Dabble With Word Puzzles and Just Enough Strategy

Illustration for article titled Dabble With Word Puzzles and Just Enough Strategy

Dabble is an incredibly simple but satisfying game that combines two of my favorite things: words and puzzles.

Like any other word game, Dabble gives the player a bunch of tiles and asks them to form words; this is fairly straightforward. Then the puzzle catch comes in: each round has exactly 20 tiles, from which the player must make exactly five words.

The field of play is a little pyramid of Scrabble racks that reminds you of the rules. One word must be two letters long, one three letters long, and so on to the bottom row, which holds a six-letter word. Many collections of tiles have more than one solution available, but learning to juggle all the words at once is the real trick. Since every letter can be used only once, it's entirely possible to make four satisfying rows of words and yet find "EROOGX" staring at you at the bottom (as I currently have), forcing you to rework the entire thing and jettison the other cool words you made.

Dabble isn't hard and it isn't revolutionary, but it is pretty catchy. I zipped through a half-dozen rounds in no time and found myself entering, "Just one more turn..." territory with surprising ease. It probably won't keep anyone glued to their iDevice for a full afternoon, but for those moments when you just need to play a game for five minutes, it's a good way to go.


Dabble [$0.99, iTunes]


They really should just make game center mandatory for games. I hate it how every game has its own awards system that isn't cumulative. It also should be a lot more structured like XBL gamertags and having games give out a consistent amount of points. Gosh, I really have turned into an achievement whore.