One of the earliest word games I remember playing on a personal computer was TextTwist. I became so obsessed with it that I would stay up late at night to finish “just one level more” but of course I’d end up completing more levels. These days, this classic word game can also be played on the Internet. Playing Text Twist online is as good as playing it on a mobile device and now there’s even Text Twist 2, doubling the fun!
History of TextTwist
Not many are aware that this classic game was based on another word game called Jumble. Jumble came into prominence in 1954, but it still appears in various newspapers today. Jumble puzzles are usually composed of 4 base puzzles, an illustration that serves a clue, and a set of jumbled words that need to be rearranged to form an anagram. When the base puzzles are solved, some of the letters are contained within circles. You need to get these encircled letters and arrange them to form a phrase or a sentence that is related to the illustration provided along with its caption.
TextTwist is a Java game developed by GameHouse and has similar gameplay as Jumble minus the illustration and the need to figure out a phrase or sentence. The original version had limited features as it was also a freeware edition. In December 12, 2001, Super TextTwist was released in the US. It had a wider vocabulary than the original version and personal high scores could be saved in the players’ own boards. In addition, it became available for purchase-downloading. The latest version of the game is Text Twist 2.
How to play
Regardless of version, gameplay is still the same: you are given 6 letters to form as many words as you can. The letters are inside white balls and above them are blank boxes where you input the words you want to submit. To play a word simply type in the letters or you can click each letter to spell the word you wish to form. To submit a word, just hit the enter key on your keyboard or click the enter button of the game. To find more words, you can click the twist button to rearrange the letters. To erase letters, you can either use your keyboard’s backspace key or click the clear button of the game.
On the left part of the game, you will see rows of three, four, five, and six empty boxes. These boxes represent the words you can form from the given 6 letters. If a word you submit is valid, it will appear in its corresponding row, allowing you to monitor the words you have already played and give you an idea on the word lengths of the words you have not yet submitted. To move on to the next round, you are required to get at least one word that uses up all the 6 letters, making the game even more challenging. If you don’t get a 6-letter word, the game ends and a prompt appears if your final score makes it to the list of high scores.
The longer the words you form, the higher your points will be. 3-letter words are worth 90 points each, 4-letter words are worth 160 points each, while 5-letter words are worth 250 apiece. In addition, a huge score bonus is given if you are able to get all the words, so always do your best to complete each level and not just get at least one 6-letter word.
There are two game modes to choose from: timed and untimed. If you simply want to enjoy playing the game and simply practice your word building skills, go for the untimed mode. However, if you like a bit of a challenge, then choose the timed mode which starts at 2 minutes and 30 seconds. As you go along, this time limit will decrease, giving you a greater challenge.
Text Twist 2
As mentioned earlier, this version is the latest one. It was last updated in April 2013. Aside from the two original game modes (timed and untimed), it has 3 additional ones: word of the day, lightning, and crossword. In addition, you can even choose the maximum word length when playing! There’s the original 6, but you can also opt to go with 7 or 8-letter words. Moreover, you have the option to pass a word, but you can only do so twice.
Whether you play Text Twist online or on your mobile device, there’s no doubt that it is one of the most well-loved classic word games ever!