You’ve conquered the Scrabble board, dominated Words With Friends, and now you’re looking for a new challenge. Strategically piecing together words is entertaining, but savvy wordsmiths should try their hand at Write It Versus.
The story, or your motivation, is to help Astro (the main character) prove to the evil Mr. Sharks that anyone in the universe can be creative. While that hook might not work with adults, it’s a clever way to get kids interested in the app. Armed with a title and three words chosen at random, players are challenged to write a story in 140 characters or less before it’s passed over to the next player. All words, including the title, have to be used to complete the turn, otherwise it’s counted as a loss. Oh, and if that isn’t enough to worry about it, you’re being timed.
A good option if you’re just getting started is Unlimited. You can have unlimited amount of pages and unlimited time to write — it’s especially handy for more serious writers. If you prefer to dive right in, I recommend Challenge. Here, you and your opponent will go head-to-head in a timed 10-page match. The person with the most points wins. Pass & Play lets you play a local game with a friend, meaning that you pass your iPhone back and forth between the two of you.
The app gives you plenty of options when it comes to choosing an opponent. You can find friends via Facebook and Twitter, invite someone from your contact list, or choose to be randomly matched with an opponent. If you choose the latter, keep in mind that the Write It Versus community is still growing.
Once you’re matched, the app will automatically generate a title for you, as well as the first three words to include in your story. At this time, you can also use one of your power ups to write in your own. Once you reveal the first word, you will only have 30 seconds to decide how you will play (you can choose one, two, or three words to include, and to write it in 30, 60, or 90 seconds). Keep in mind that the more words used in the least amount of time means more bonus points and coins — which can be used to get more power ups.
To help you save time, you can tap the word tabs below the text box to enter one of the mandatory words (instead of spelling it out). The downside, or should I say the challenge here is that the app doesn’t support the iPhone’s auto-correction or auto-capitalization after punctuation. So if you’re a fast texter, you might be slightly slowed down the first couple of rounds. After your turn, you can choose to tweet out your story (hence the 140 character limit). And once the challenge has ended, you’ll have the option to download your story as a PDF (only available in the premium version, not the free app). As you play (and win) more games, you’ll receive more points, coins, badges, and new rankings.
All of the bells and whistles can be a bit distracting for serious writers, but I think most players will appreciate all of the extras. Whether you’re a teacher encouraging creativity, a student brushing up on your skills, or an adult dabbling in the art of storytelling, Write It Versus has something for you.