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You Should Play: Meet Capitals, your new favorite word game

Sarah Jacobsson Purewal | July 13, 2015
These days, keeping up with games can be a full-time job. So how do you separate the signal from the noise, the wheat from the chaff, the Temple Runs from the Temple Jumps? Allow us to help by regularly selecting a game You Should Play.

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These days, keeping up with games can be a full-time job. So how do you separate the signal from the noise, the wheat from the chaff, the Temple Runs from the Temple Jumps? Allow us to help by regularly selecting a game You Should Play.

I adore word games, but I could never really get into the Words With Friends craze. The turn-based Scrabble-inspired game moves too slowly for me, and there's no real hook (aside from it being Scrabble, that is). But NimbleBit's new word game Capitals is different: It's the perfect mash-up of Scrabble, Boggle, and Risk.

That's right...Risk. So it's not just about who can come up with the best/longest word (or rather, who can use an online cheating site to come up with the best/longest word), it's also about strategy. And that's where it gets really interesting.

Capitals is free, so word game connoisseurs have no reason not to give it a whirl. But if you're in the same "Words With Friends is too slow" boat as I am, I understand why you might be wary--so here are three reasons you should check it out.

Strategy is key: In Capitals, each player starts with a base tile, their "Capital," which is colored in their color (default colors are red and blue), and has a rook-like symbol on it. Tiles are hexagon-shaped, and each capital tile has six random letter tiles surrounding it. Your first move is to make a word using any combination of your capital's letter tiles and your opponent's letter tiles. There are no restrictions, which is what makes Capitals more fun than Words With Friends--you can use any tiles on the board, make words as long as you like, and the letter tiles do not need to be adjacent (as they do in Scramble With Friends or Wordament) to count.

But there's a catch. This game is not just about impressing people with your vocabulary, it's also about strategy. The whole point of making words using the letter tiles is to take over the board in your side's color. When you use letter tiles that touch your territory (tiles of your color), those tiles are converted into tiles of your color. When you use letter tiles that touch both your territory and your opponent's territory, the tiles in your opponent's territory are converted into neutral-zone letter tiles. And when you use letter tiles that only touch your opponent's territory, nothing happens those tiles stay neutral and get new letters. So, in order to expand your territory, you need to strategically link up letter tiles so you're touching both your territory and your opponent's territory.

 

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