From the Real-Time Strategy Masters at Petroglyph: A Social Word Game for the iPhone

Illustration for article titled From the Real-Time Strategy Masters at Petroglyph: A Social Word Game for the iPhone

Founded in 2003 by the last remaining members of Westwood Studios—fathers of the modern-day real-time strategy game (see Dune II)—Petroglyph Games has spent the past decade continuing to build on that proud RTS tradition. Now the developer has taken an unexpected turn towards mobile social games, to Coin a Phrase.

Coin a Phrase is a pleasant little free social game in which players take turns (turn-based!) trying to solve a phrase before their friend or randomly-chosen opponent. Players can draw cards or spent coins earned through winning to uncover hints to give them a leg up on the competition as they attempt to suss out song and movie titles, popular sayings, sports teams and a number of other categories available for in-app purchase.

Making a move into social mobile gaming is a smart choice for any developer given the state of today's market. It's just incredibly strange seeing a name like Petroglyph attached to this sort of experience. It's like thinking you're eating one thing and then discovering it's something else entirely—not something bad, just not something you were expecting.


Coin a Phrase [iTunes]

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The game could use a lot of things. There's no way to tell which game is which once you start multiple games with the same person. Another problem is that someone can start multiple games with you at the same time and you have no way of saying "No" unless you "swipe to delete". What's wrong with an invitation? The user-face is clunky at best. Home screen gives you no useful information (show me my existing games, don't make me go to another screen). Do you really need three separate screens for when its your turn, their turn and "ended" games? Oh and once the game ends you need to go to the "Ended" screen and then guess which game you were playing (if more than one with the same person) to see what the solution was. Please take a page from Zynga (I can't believe I said that) and show me everything on one scrollable screen.

Overall, a nice first try, but definitely needs an update already.