2 Minute iPhone App Review: Moxie

Word games are a dime-a-dozen on the iPhone/iTouch, and my word addiction sees to it that I own most of them.  There are the heavyweight contenders such as BookWorm, Scrabble, and WordFu+; but, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t lesser known, quality games out there.  One title that is definitely of high-quality is Moxie.

Moxie is a seemingly complicated, yet quite simple word game.  Players are given three rows in which to build three separate words.  In each row are 5 boxes; one box for each letter.  So, the goal of the game is to build 3 5-letter words.  The trick is, however, that players are given letters one at a time, Solitaire-style, and must decide where in the 3 rows to place the letter.

The game starts-out simple.  If you’re given a consonant such as “R,” odds are it should go at the beginning of a word.  Perhaps an “O” would go after it, and if you pull a “T” next, then you can place that in the third box of the same row as “R” and “O” and spell “ROT.”  But, you’re work isn’t done.  You have 32 more letters to go through, and 2 rows left to fill.  And, even though you spelled the word “ROT” in the first row, that does not mean that row is done.screenshot_moxie

Perhaps you pull a “D” next.  You can replace the “R” in “ROT” with the “D” and spell “DOT.”  Let’s say you pull an “E” next.  Place the “E” after “DOT” and get “DOTE.”  And, this is how the game progresses until you’re out of letters.  There are more advance rules such as always having to spell a word, and being docked 30 points if you spell a nonsense word.  But, the basic gameplay is a word-making strategy teachers use with students since Kindergarten.

And, that’s really where this game could see the most traction: with students (this is an educational blog, so you must have seen this coming).  Moxie is a fun, interactive way for students to practice their Onsets/Rimes.  What word do I get if I replace the “C” in “COAT” with “B?”  This is a standard activity in the primary grades, and now it’s seen more life on the iPhone/iTouch as a game.

My biggest surprise in this game is how taxing it is on adults to complete, even though it is a gaming recreation of activities we have our 6-9 year old students take part in.  And, that’s really what the iPhone/iTouch Apps (and even Nintendo’s Brain Training games) aim to make clear: basic skills we labor over with our kids are skills that we, as adults, have even lost over the years.

Load-up some Moxie, and rediscover the joy of creating, destroying, and rebuilding words!

Pros: Quick gameplay, new take on word games, non-arbitrary word building, global scoreboard
Cons: Can be difficult, possibly repetitive if played in long sessions, only 1 game mode (with 3 different themes)
Price: $.99 (Free Lite version available)

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