It truly is the season of goodwill – Microsoft has bestowed upon us the ability to unlocked Xbox 360 achievements from the comfort of our iPhone.
That’s to say, Microsoft Studios’ free to download Wordament was released yesterday on the App Store and offers 10 Xbox 360 achievements worth 50G. It’s quite a significant event so it’s odd that Microsoft has chosen not to make an official announcement about it. Our first guess is that Xbox 360 achievements are one of the Windows Phone’s selling points, hence why they’re keeping it quiet. Another guess is that they’re simply testing the water.
Although Wordament looks like yet another grid-based word search, there’s a fair bit of technology going on behind the scenes – it’s played online against countless other eagled-eyed word spotters at the same time. At the end of each two minute match a list of all possible words is shown as well as your position on a leaderboard.
There are no lobbies or such – as soon as you’ve signed in with your Xbox Live profile (or as a guest, if you don’t have one) you’re dropped straight into a game. This does mean though that sometimes you end up joining a match when there are just a few seconds left on the clock. Earlier this afternoon we found ourselves playing against over 1,200 people – a fair old amount for a game that’s currently less than a day old.
Presentation is more functional than flashy but you can choose a colour palette and also add “frenemies” to compete against. The achievements aren’t too hard to unlock either – there’s even one for tapping on the word tile shuffle button for the first time.
In related news, two fake Halo 4 games have also appeared on the App Store from a duo of rather dubious sounding companies – Dung Bui and Toan Tran.
The product descriptions for each feature official artwork and screenshots from the Xbox 360 version but those who have been tricked into paying $4.99 for either have discovered that one is simply a chess sim, named Chess 4, while the other is a terrible racing game. A load of dung indeed.