A Rival Arrival - Xaggle, a Hexagonal Word Game

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From the makers of Cleverbot comes a new hexagonal word game called Xaggle, to rival Scrabble and its kind; it's an iOS app now, and more will follow. The game is creative, strategic, challenging and addictive, not depending on short tricksy words, but longer common words, winding about the board.

Rollo Carpenter, creator of Cleverbot, has invented a word game. Xaggle is played on a hexagonal board, with simple rules. It has all the makings of a classic game to rival Scrabble.

Xaggle is available from today as an iOS app, and can be played with friends over the internet or like Solitaire, but the plan is to move to the real world too. "The game has been designed from the ground up to work on a board, which is not possible for most apps," says Carpenter.

The trick, for any game, is to combine purity of design, ease of getting started and real challenge into something consistently fun. "Xaggle is better tested than many a new app because all our beta testers have become hooked, playing again and again. It's all about balance - of scoring, letters, rack, board and rules."

During testing one thing went decidedly awry. "We simply could not believe it when we realised. We'd been playing a game that really worked for weeks without realising that something rather basic was missing - the letter B!" That big bad bug has now been obliterated.

Player Paul Tero says, "Xaggle is a fantastic game! Somewhere between Words with Friends and Letterpress - but much better than both. It needs more brainwork than just trying combinations!"

Xaggle doesn't end when the letters run out, but when the board does, calling for a healthy dose of strategy as to positions. The six sides of the hexagons allow words to fit where you least expect them, and they can snake around in any direction. Finding places to play is rarely hard, yet finding the best takes real thought.

Xaggle doesn't encourage playing all the letters on your rack - you can often do well with just one.

Xaggle promotes co-operation between players to build the biggest, best words. You're not likely to win with short tricksy words or truly obscure ones. Instead you spot the patterns of common long words, making the game more accessible and satisfying.

History will tell, perhaps very soon: can Xaggle rival Scrabble and its kind?

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Rollo Carpenter
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