My previous post was on a game called Red Herring, a game that I started off enjoying but quickly got annoyed with. The game is by a company called Blue Ox Technologies, and was preceded by their other, much more famous game called 7 Little Words.

Again, the premise of 7 Little Words is simple, but quite addictive. 20 tiles appear at the bottom of the screen and consist of groups of two to four letters. There are seven clues with the number of letters indicated for each, and you just have to put together the tiles to spell out each clue. The tiles don't correspond to syllables, so it's a really great way of distilling crossword puzzles (which I usually get bored with less than a fifth of the way through) into something quicker and more focused. As with Red Herring the game's focus isn't on monetizing hints or turns, but instead requires you to pay for more puzzle packs, which again seems fair to me. Also like Red Herring, there's a daily free puzzle (with the past two dailies available for free as well), for those people who are content with just playing a bit at a time.

I found this game to be much more satisfying than Red Herring. Although some of the clues can be a little off ("gift wrap" is not one word), for the most part the game doesn't try to make itself too difficult. In most puzzles there's usually one or two harder clues, but through the process of elimination you can usually figure it out. There was one puzzle in particular that had a few too many obscure clues, but that was an exception. Anyone who's played the game probably remembers that one. It was the one that had, among other things, "Norwegian porridge" as a clue. Apparently a lot of people have resorted to looking that up since "Norwegian porridge 7 little words" shows up as #2 in Google's engine auto-complete (the answer, by the way, is "ROMMEGROT"). For the most part if you're really stuck you can brute force your way to a solution by just trying all the different combinations of tiles that have the right number of letters, but, of course, as with crossword puzzles you can always just look up the answer online if you want.

I played through almost the entire first puzzle pack, consisting of 50 free puzzles, and a fair number of the daily puzzles, before calling it quits. This is a game that I enjoyed quite a bit, but not one that I feel compelled to continue playing. Being able to compare times to complete with your friends would have kept me interested a little longer, but in any case I'll keep it on my phone and will probably pick it up every now and again.

One little link for 7 Little Words:
Official site: Includes the daily puzzle, which can be played online. The game is also available in British English, French, and Spanish.

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