Words With Friends Word-O-Meter Review

UPDATE: Zynga has updated their pricing for Word-O-Meter, please check out this update!

I previously reviewed the Words With Friends Tile Pile last week.

This week, I’ll go into the Words With Friends Word-O-Meter.

First off, the cost of the Word-O-Meter is 32 “coins”. Like I ranted and raved last week, the way the coins and the “features” are priced are a complete RIP OFF.  The Word-O-Meter is 32 “coins”, but the least amount of coins you can buy is 7 for $0.99. The minimum you must spend to get Word-O-Meter is 40 tokens for $4.99. This leaves you with 8 tokens. Obviously they want these extra tokens hanging around so that you feel the urge to buy more tokens otherwise these are a “waste”.

Even if you bought the 23 token package for $2.99 and the 7 token package for $0.99, you still can’t get the Word-O-Meter!! The pricing alone makes me strongly NOT RECOMMEND any of these features.  Okay, okay, no more ranting, otherwise I’ll need to take a double dose of blood pressure meds.

Once you purchase the Word-O-Meter, it’s a bit confusing to figure out how to use it. In the middle of a game, you can press on the Word-O-Meter, and then it turns green. I guess this means that it’s “activated”, and then you need to exit by clicking on “less”.

Then, every time you place your words on the board, you’ll see a green + sign where you place your letters to give you some additional info.

When you click on the + and the word isn’t valid, then it will tell you that. I guess from the perspective of the gameplay, this isn’t really any additional information, since you’ll get the same message anyway if you play an invalid word.  The real question is, why is the meter not at 0?

When you play a “good” word and click on the + sign, then the “Calculating” screen comes up, and then it shows you a meter, telling you how good the word is. This is the interesting part, because it doesn’t give you any additional information besides the meter score. You don’t know in what relation this is to, whether it’s the maximum for that letter, or the most you could possibly play on the board. My guess is that it’s relative to the maximum score on the board, but who knows.

Every time you use it on a valid word, it will take 1 use from you. You start with 99 uses, and it goes quickly, depending on how often you use it. Even if you do it on the same valid word, each time you use it, it will take 1 unit.

You can see from the images that when I play KI, it gives me a mediocre in the red/yellow range, about 1/3 of the way to the top. Seeing as though it’s a 6 point word, and doing a little bit of math, that makes me think that maybe there’s a 20-ish point word out there.

I look around and try the Two-Way Word Double Word with DUP and AD. From there you can see that the Word-O-Meter is registering near the top. So I play that word, and it gives me 22 pts.

Is Word-O-Meter cheating?

In my opinion, yes, kind of, but they do a good job in making the Word-O-Meter pretty useless, so that they can defend themselves against charges that they are monetizing and incentivizing cheating in the game.

As a cheat, it’s terrible. It doesn’t tell you very much: it doesn’t tell you where to place the letters, and it only gives you a vague idea of “umm, ya there’s probably a better word out there”. If you really want to cheat, there are cheating web sites out there that do a much better job than this FOR FREE. There is no reason for anyone to spend $5 for something that tells you almost no information. Paying $5 for 99 uses, basically 5 cents per use, for something this useless is really dumb. I guess they are trying to profit from lazy and rich people (or desperate bloggers). A feature like this won’t help anyone who is even remotely familiar with the game.

It does give you an idea of how much better words are out there, which to me is kind of cheating. But, if you are already at the top of your game, you already know that always playing the highest point word isn’t necessarily the better play. Getting a 22 pt word vs an 18 pt word likely isn’t going to make a difference to the score, but in terms of strategy, it could make a huge difference. So, even though it’s cheating, it’s relatively harmless, and more of a distraction than anything else.

My only fear is that if this is even remotely successful, then it will embolden Zynga to add more intrusive cheating feature that will simply ruin the game.  They managed to barely tow the line so that they can avoid outright accusations of cheating, kind of like sticking their toe across the line to see what people said and then quickly retracted their toe.  But if no one says anything, they might start crossing the line in a big way, because they want money.  Not that there’s anything wrong with capitalism, but if they ruin the game that millions of people love, it’s ultimately self-defeating.

So there you go, the overall recommendation is “DO NOT BUY“. It’s a complete waste of money, and even for beginners it’s not much of a help, and at $5, it’s way too expensive.  Instead go get yourself a Starbucks coffee, a couple of oranges, a Subway sandwich, 5 mp3s from iTunes, 1/2 a share of ZNGA, or my best suggestion, 5 lottery tickets.

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41 Responses to Words With Friends Word-O-Meter Review

  1. desack says:

    I didn’t buy the WOM, at least not knowingly, maybe it took tokens or something. I hate it. Th only thing it does is slow down my game & phone. I don’t really care about knowing that I can get a higher score, because I am usually aware of this and avoiding it to keep a triple from opening up or something. I don’t know how to get rid of it, but would love it if it was gone.

    • steve4games says:

      Sorry for the late reply I was on vacation last week. On the game board, click “More”, and then you should see the Word-O-Meter green. Click on it, and it will turn yellow. This should turn it off hopefully!

  2. Belinda Lyons says:

    I purchased word o meter on july 18th & it is Not working.I am Not happy. It is a rip off!!!! I want my credit card credited!

    • steve4games says:

      Did you try clicking on the “More” button, and then clicking on the Word-O-Meter until it turns green? When the entire button is green, then it is “on”, and when it’s yellow it’s “off”.

  3. i need help to get it

  4. Jamie says:

    Nice article.

    I bought the WoM out of curiosity some time ago and never used it until the last week or so. It was using it that caused me to search for more information about it, which led me to this site.

    I don’t want to cheat and I don’t use those web sites out there with those anagram algorithms. The WoM basically gives you an idea of whether to ‘keep looking’, or not, for that higher scoring word. It is probably only useful near the end of a game, when all the tiles are gone and you’re scratching around for words, at which point you’re most likely to be less concerned about strategy.

    In summary, I have to agree with you; the WoM is a waste of money. Thumbs down Zynga.

  5. Pingback: Free Tile-Pile and Word-O-Meters uses? | Word Game Strategies

  6. Selena says:

    I received the WOM as a “free gift” after playing a game for charity. When it expired, I decided not to buy it. But after a couple of games of missing it, I decided it would be worth $2.99. What I did NOT realize is that only covered 99 uses. When it stopped working, I searched online to discover why & came across this site. No where in the terms & conditions did it say that it was ONLY for 99 uses. It misrepresented itself as being an app I could use from now on. I enjoy using it, but wouldn’t buy it again unless it was available for unlimited uses.

  7. barb13760 says:

    Same here this is a scam i will never buy anything else it says no where that you only get 99 uses!

  8. Pingback: Ultimate Play Pack Review | Word Game Strategies

  9. Whitebull says:

    Anyone who a.) owns a mobile phone b.) has time on their hands to play these games and c.) has the additional time to waste reading this blog is already so comparatively rich by world standards that its beyond words. Suggesting that the player population of this game can account for every annual 5 dollar expense is not only disingenuous it’s a complete fantasy, an invention of this blogger to have something to write about. Fair? Give me a break pal. If you want fair you can start by giving back the land you live on to the American Indians your ancestors stole it from. Until then why don’t you go and police something that will actually make a difference in this world. Start with world peace and work your way down.

    • steve4games says:

      Sorry you didn’t like the article, Whitebull. I will freely admit that I am scraping the bottom of the barrel to find things to write about! Blogging is tough!

    • Kirk Patrick says:

      Are you kidding? Half of these people are unemployed, holding an Obamaphone, eating food from an EBT card and trying to get free health care, all while watching a TV bought on a credit card that has some whiny liberal saying “America is the richest nation” when we are obviously the poorest as we are 17 Trillion in Debt). Wake up.

  10. Teacher02 says:

    I tried the Word-O-Meter and did not investigate enough. I really like to option of knowing if a better word is available. But I won’t be purchasing this again. I would pay
    $5-10 for unlimited use, but not $2.99 for limited use. That is just too greedy on the part of Zynga.

  11. Gardengal-Geek says:

    I “bought” it on my Kindle Fire, but it didn’t seem to go thru. I saw a quick “Loading…” grey box come and go and then the game froze. I had to force close it. Clicking on the green + still offers me a chance to buy it, so I guess no purchase went thru. I will be checking my accounts carefully.

    My rationale for buying it was that I was sick and tired of accidentally hitting the green + and getting the stupid popup ad for it. Actually, now I would pay to get the green + (ad) for it to disappear!!!

    • steve4games says:

      Gardengal-Geek, are you not able to turn it off, via the “More” button? I don’t have Word-O-Meter, and the green + doesn’t should up anymore for me, but I’m on iPhone.

      • Gardengal-Geek says:

        Thanks. Just saw your reply a little late. Went to look and the green + is now gone. I think maybe an update cleared this matter.

  12. Margo Landry says:

    I liked the word-o-meter and decided to purchase it and now it said I need to purchase it again! Where did it say that it was not a permanent apt!! What a gyp!!

  13. eos says:

    I was curious, so purchased and used it until it ran out. The verdict is that, it is definitely a cheat, a real advantage over the opponent if they have not got it. The meter was telling me if I had the best word. It made my moves much faster, because if the meter was full or almost full, I knew that there was no point of looking any further and just submitted the word. But how often I thought I had the best word and the meter only gave me half full, so it made me spend more time to search for a better place or a better word. The real advantage was that you would never miss a bingo. What could it be but a bingo, if your 40+ point word is only half a meter full! Of course, it does not tell you where it is, but it gives you the hint which is enough to make one a cheater, a legally cheater, I imagine, if it is supplied by the same company who produced the software in the first place!!

    • steve4games says:

      You make a good point about how it does encourage you to look for a better word if you already have a good word. I agree with you that it’s definitely a cheat. However, I would assume that anyone who really does want to cheat would just use a cheating app, so it might be a way for Zynga to make money off of people who don’t want to feel like they’re cheating since it’s “sanctioned” by Zynga.

      • eos says:

        You are absolutely right there, it is for a cheater who has guilty conscious! it is a good app, and I wish they make it available for everyone as part of the main app.

  14. lisa says:

    this is here all the time its great for my son

  15. lisa says:

    its lovle for my son

  16. lisa says:

    its thare 24 hrs a day

  17. Tom Bammann says:

    Thanks for the write up, I wish I read this first! I unfortunately purchased the triple-pack of features, blindly thinking that if I wanted to buy the ad-free version, I might as well get all the bells and whistles whilst I’m at it and be done with it. I still have ads on the main page in a ‘see what’s new’ slide down bar (just not full-screen ads between moves) and the WOM is completely useless, for all the reasons you’ve detailed! I didn’t even know that I will run out of credit, either.

    I’ve also noticed that WWF has used 20mb in the last week, which boggles my mind as to what data a simple game could possibly be transmitting.

    I’m now on the market for a better scrabble style game!

  18. kate says:

    I purchased vision for 99 cents 5 times and got a receipt for it but it doesn’t work on my words with friends games. I don’t understand it I’ve used it before and it was great. What am I doing wrong?

  19. I bought vision but it stopped working? After a few rounds? says:

    We love WWF
    Just looking for word suggestions at times BECAUSE we get stuck & know there are other words NOT in our vocabulary to learn

  20. I bought vision but it stopped working? After a few rounds? says:

    We love WWF
    Just looking for word suggestions at times BECAUSE we get stuck & know there are other words NOT in our vocabulary to learn. Help ?

  21. Worst useless app it lead me to believe it could calculate how many points for the word before it was place to be sure the point value was the most points big disappointment

    • Kirk Patrick says:

      That’s exactly what it is, it just calculates a ratio of Current Word / Maximum Potential Word and then displays that percentage on the meter.

  22. I did not purchase word of meter from freaking zynga which sucks with their service, no contact to complain. This shit only makes me a possible violent person

  23. Kirk Patrick says:

    You can’t say it’s cheating if it’s part of the game.

    However, a Scrabble player will definitely consider it cheating.

    Once you learn how to use it, it’s indispensable. There is no other way to know there is a 120 point word when you are about to play a 60 point word except to be a genius.

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  31. Alex V says:

    I think that the Word-O-Meter is yet another way of encouraging endlessly trying to put letters randomly together to form words—in this case, by making it actually easier. This is something that would also not work in real-life Scrabble. I’ve been using this word search helper specific for Words With Friends, which renders the Word-O-Meter unuseful, and found that I am learning new words with it.

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