Keyword VS. is one of the safest games I've played in recent months.

It's a word-based puzzle game from, a company that fully understands the value of words. You'll need to grasp what words are worth too, since Keyword VS. is essentially a highly polished version of Words With Friends, which is itself loosely based on Boggle, Scrabble, and so on.

While it's slickly presented and enjoyable enough, there are no risks or creativity to its design whatsoever, meaning that if you've ever played a similar game before you'll probably tire of it very quickly.


Do I have to explain 21st century mobile word games to you? Right you are.

You're presented with a five-by-five grid of individual letters, and from this you must make whole words. Each letter must be connected to an adjacent one, vertically, horizontally, or diagonally. You can't re-use word tiles, but you can undo any mistakes you make while joining them with a swipe of your finger.

Letters are worth different amounts based on how often they're used in the English language, and some tiles come with a score multiplier, indicated by a bronze, silver, or gold finish.

Two people play asynchronously, and the person with the most points after making three words is the winner.

Each match consists of three rounds, and you earn coins if you're victorious. Those coins can then be spent on up to three power-ups, which help you to achieve higher scores.

One is an extra 3x word bonus (gold tile) being added to the board. Another doubles the score of any vowels you use. And the last places a wildcard tile that can be any letter you please.

As you've probably gathered, Keyword VS. is, in every fibre of its being, just another mobile word game, and it arrives more than four years after Words With Friends made social word games popular.


What's worse, it fails to make up for this lack of timeliness with essential new features.

I couldn't find a way to chat with my opponents, there isn't a mode to encourage better play, there's no customisation of the visual elements, the aesthetic (while pretty) is lacking character, and there's no way to engage with a community that may otherwise build around this type of game.

With Keyword VS., King is aiming to capitalise on an arguably expired craze for online multiplayer word games. If you have room in your life for another handsome screenful of letters then by all means give this game a go, but if you're looking for a bit of variety you'll be disappointed.