Word Yard is a word puzzle game developed and published by APNAX Games, whose only other app is Word Snack.
Like so many word puzzle games, Word Yard is based on the principals of anagrams and crosswords. On the lower half of the screen is a selection of letters arranged in a circle. On the upper half of the screen is the playing board, where the correct words appear in their appropriate slots. The board changes from a crossword-style to each word being separated in list form and sometimes the board incorporates both.
Word Yard is Picture-Perfect
Despite Word Yard’s many flaws, the graphics are phenomenal. Everything is modern and pops out of the screen, as it should in any mobile game.
The theme is a kind of floral garden exploding with flowers. The gameplay screen is divided in two. The bottom half is part of a stone path with well-illustrated stones and flowers framing the image. The upper half is an illustration of wood flooring, a little worn, and also framed with flowers.
The letter tiles have a lighter woodgrain, contrasting beautifully with the board itself. Every icon, font, and animation is very pretty and clearly accomplished by a professional – even if the dictionary itself is not.
The Sound of Paradise
The audio of Word Yard is just as beautiful and well-done as its graphics. The focus here is mostly on harp and nature music – everything is very soft and soothing. The music playing during gameplay is a combination of harp, birdsong, and piano. It is approximately 1:45 minutes long on an infinite loop, something you won’t really notice unless you start a new level. Each level has the same song, no matter what.
The selection and menu sounds are remarkably pleasant ticks. Winning a level and selecting the right word are both the sound of the harp’s scale. A wrong word is a soft maraca-like sound. All of these lovely sounds combine to provide very soothing accompaniment to Word Yard – though if you are getting very frustrated with the game, the soft music might seem somewhat like mockery.
Ads for Days
Beyond the increase in difficulty, the player is also “rewarded” with an ad at the end of every level. The ad is skippable by simply pressing the back button on your smart device, but it is no less irritating when it happens every single time. Moreover, every time you switch apps (not quitting Word Yard, but for example, responding to a message) a skippable ad will pop up as well. At the bottom of the screen is a banner ad, but I did not find it at all distracting during my gameplay.
You can pay for the ads to be removed indefinitely for a fairly low price. Whether or not that price is worth it depends on how much you enjoy the core gameplay of Word Yard.
How to get Hints in Word Yard
Hints are available through the in-game currency at 120 coins each, which can be earned through a variety of methods, including: daily bonus, microtransactions, ads (up to 3 a day for 5 coins each), share Word Yard on Facebook (50 coins a day), invite up to 30 friends (from 80-150 coins), and earn up to 8000 coins for playing a selection of other games up to certain levels (most require the user to simply start a game past the tutorial) or some are just videos for up to 12 coins.
Word Yard: A Big Little Problem
Word Yard does not feature any rewards for bonus words whatsoever, the idea is to guess the correct word during that particular level and herein lie the many problems with Word Yard. If you thought the Word Chums dictionary was limited, you haven’t seen Word Yard’s.
Specific Words in Word Yard
Each level of Word Yard has very specific words allowed on the board and more often than not, no clue as to which word is the right one.
Whether or not you created a real world, like ATE or EAT, the game will not accept it if it isn’t the “right” one. At first, I thought these simple words just were not included in the Word Yard dictionary, but it turns out the determination of which words are acceptable or not is made based on the level. This means that the game is not using a dictionary to determine the “right” words, but rather a kind of algorithm to determine the right combination of letters.
Searching the right Words is frustrating
That said, it is perfectly fine for the board to require specific words, many word puzzle games do this. The frustration comes when you have made word after correct word and they are still not the “right” ones. It is beyond important to have a full enough dictionary to reward the player for finding words not on the playing board. Players should never be punished in word games when they go beyond the playing board.
I would like to point out that even using our Word Unscrambler cannot make Word Yard any less frustrating. It gets to the point where you are literally going down the list waiting until a word works. You don’t learn this way, it’s impossible. All the words are simple and very rarely something people don’t already know, so you won’t be learning new words. There is no strategy to Word Yard, so our Word Unscrambler won’t help with that either.
No Change from Chapter to Chapter
To be perfectly fair, the lack of a bonus word feature is Word Yard’s only flaw. After the 20th level though, I guarantee you’ll want to uninstall the app.
Speaking of levels, Word Yard has chapters, but there is no distinguishable change from one to the next beyond the letters and board provided. Nor are there any rewards after finishing a certain number of levels. I wouldn’t say this is a major flaw, but some players require ultimate goals to keep playing, not just a very slow increase in difficulty.
titlepciture – screenshot of the title of Word Yard
pic 1 – 2 – in game situation in the app Word Yard by word-grabber.com