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Celebrating its 5-year anniversary, Zynga has released a revamped version of its hit word game called ‘New Words With Friends.’ It’s an all-new app, but users won’t be forced to upgrade, and those who do will not see any kind of interruption in their gameplay.

The game is essentially a sleeker, more robust version of the massive hit that first debuted in 2009. There are some definite design changes here, with flatter UI elements and more streamlined menus, and a host of new features including a new offline solo mode.

Interestingly enough, Zynga told Time that it spent several months building the New Words With Friends using direct input from users. It put out surveys for possible features, hosted focus groups, and soft-launched the app in select countries for more feedback.

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Here are the resulting new features:

  • Solo Play – perhaps the most requested feature by WWF users, this allows a single person to play offline against an intelligent computer opponent.
  • Community Match – where as the old Smart Match feature would simply pair you with an anonymous opponent, this lets you pick your partner. You can choose someone nearby, male or female, and swipe through candidates Tinder-style.
  • Dictionary – now, instead of just telling you whether or not a word is playable, the game has the ability to give you its definition too via its new built-in wordsmith.

Additionally, the new WWF also includes Word Strength, an old in-app purchase feature now included for free that tells players how strong their word is in terms of points available, and Statistics, a new chart that shows you how you stack up against your opponents.

In all, New Words With Friends is a long-overdue update that remains familiar enough to keep current players happy, but offers enough new features and changes to lure veteran players back in. You can find it in the App Store for free, for both your iPhone and iPad.

  • Lance Baker

    I hate the icon. It looks like pre iOS 7 design. It also doesn’t support the new screen sizes. Hope they update the old app because I won’t use the new one.

  • Stephaughn Alston

    Updated for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus screen?

  • Wamid

    Good for them! But i stoppen paying ever since the cheat apps appeared.

  • Stefano ‘Graziani’ Polo

    people still play this?