Friday game: WordBreaker

Try to guess the computer's secret word before it guesses yours. It's for puzzle nerds, but also for cool people, too.

By Farhad Manjoo
June 23, 2007 12:40AM (UTC)
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Shortly after I posted the first Friday game a couple weeks ago, a programmer named Erik Michaels-Ober e-mailed me to recommend his game WordBreaker. I played it immediately, and found it pretty fun. A few days ago Michaels-Ober e-mailed me again to tell me he'd updated the game -- now, he says, it'll work on the iPhone.

The object here is to guess the computer's secret word before it guesses yours (it's based on the logic-game Jotto). You and the computer take turns trying out test words -- each time, you tell each other how many letters in the other guy's test word matches your own secret word. By process of elimination, then, you try to guess the machine's secret word.


WordBreaker will appeal to traditional puzzle nerds -- crossword and sudoku addicts, you've got to try this out -- but you don't need to be good at words to ace it. It does seem to help, though, if your secret word isn't too common; trouble is, if it's too obscure, WordBreaker's dictionary might not recognize it. (Michaels-Ober has built in a dispute form to send him words that fail.) And to the cheaters out there, look somewhere else: You can't really change your word mid-game, because WordBreaker will know.

Try it out, and come back here to post your winning words.

Read WordBreaker's instructions first. Then play the game.

Farhad Manjoo

Farhad Manjoo is a Salon staff writer and the author of True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society.

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