Word Trip: A Journey From Wordplay to Wallet-Play

Word Trip: Fun at first, then it wants your money.

Summary (TL;DR)

Word Trip started out as a fun word puzzle game. But as I got further, it became less about solving puzzles and more about pressuring me to spend money. The ads were invasive, and their dictionary was weirdly inconsistent. Updates ultimately made the game impossible to play. It reminded me why I’m cautious about mobile games – too often, they focus on squeezing out cash instead of providing a fun experience. I’ll stick with my ad-free Sudoku for now!

I thought I’d found a fun word puzzle game…until it demanded my wallet and then broke. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good word challenge and the occasional mobile game break (Andoku Sudoku is my jam). Word Trip, by PlaySimple Games, initially seemed like a decent addition to my downtime. You get a set of letters, and it’s up to you to unscramble them into all the possible words.

Word Trip. More words to solve, less rewards.

The beginning was a breeze. Simple puzzles, a gradual increase in difficulty, it was all pleasantly familiar. Turning on airplane mode became my saving grace for two reasons. First, those pesky ads! They were relentless when you were connected to WiFi. But more importantly, I wasn’t comfortable with the idea of them tracking my internet activity just because I wanted to play a game. Does finishing a puzzle mean anyone needs to know my browsing history?

The minigames were cute, and I loved the spin-the-wheel feature – free hints, bonus letters, even the occasional completed puzzle! Word Trip felt like a little mental vacation.

word trip spin the wheel

Then things took a turn. The number of puzzles required to move to the next area ballooned. The dictionary in this game had more mood swings than a teenager! “Ass” was fine one minute, then completely unacceptable the next (and don’t get me started on “tarot”). The spin-the-wheel lost its most useful rewards. Word Trip wasn’t so much about wordplay as it was wallet-play. They relentlessly pushed those coin purchases for hints, which became practically mandatory as the puzzles got less about smarts and more about obscure vocabulary.

Word Trip. I made it to level 2055!

I get the monetization model, but I wasn’t going to throw money at a game that was starting to feel less like fun and more like a chore. Playing with WiFi on was like trying to solve a puzzle during a commercial break marathon. Then, in February 2022, those updates hit, and the game became flat-out unplayable. Crash city! The game would not load. After a week or two, since it would not load, I uninstalled and reinstalled the game. It worked, but I lost all of my progress. I proved my point, and I uninstalled the game.

Here’s the thing: I’m stubborn. Maybe I wasn’t their ideal customer…I actually stuck with the game to spite the monetization. I made it all the way to Croatia (top 0.09% of players!) and amassed over 10,000 coins without spending a dime. It makes you wonder, what if I had put money in, only to later have the whole thing glitch out?

Playing Word Trip reminded me why I don’t usually bother with mobile games. Are there good mobile games without the cash grabs? If so, they’re buried deeper than some of the obscure words Word Trip rejected. For now, I’m happy to go back to the peaceful predictability of Andoku. At least Sudoku doesn’t try to pickpocket me for solving a puzzle.

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