Building WordsAmok! sparked a desire to make more word games. There are a lot out there, but of course there’s plenty of room to make stuff that’s different.
So I wrote WordsAmok 2, which is much more addictive than the first one. WordsAmok 2 is based loosely on the gameplay of Boggle – you get one set of tiles and you have to make as many words as you can from adjacent tiles in the allotted time. The big difference here is that the tiles are laid out in 3 concentric circles, rather than a grid, and each time you make a word, the circles rotate independently of one another, one position in a random direction, so the adjacent tiles shift every turn.
The other big difference is that words are scored both on their length and on the relative rarity of the word. I scoured multiple wordlists from the internet and wrote a program in Node.js to sort them in order of how frequently the word appears in Google Books’ English Fiction corpus over the past couple of decades – the rarer the word, the higher the value, so a really odd 3-letter word is worth as much as a routine 6-letter word. It’s not perfect, but it adds a level of flair to the game, at the same time as it flatters the egos of word nerds like myself.
And if you’re on a desktop or laptop, you can play it here!