Now that just about everyone owns some sort of iOS device, it was no surprise to see my family spend a lot of time browsing the App Store over the holiday. One of the more interesting apps we stumbled across was "Wordament", which just so happens to be the first Xbox Live enabled game on iOS devices.
The game itself really isn't anything new – you have a set amount of time to find words in a word search. The more you find, the more points you earn. What really makes the app unique is the fact that that everyone plays at the same time. Matches start every few minutes and players compete against each other in real-time, looking at the same word search. When the timer runs out, you're shown a leaderboard with literally thousands of people who were playing along with you.
"Wordament" tracks your stats using the same Xbox Live account you use to play online on Xbox 360. Your Xbox avatar and all of your friends who've downloaded the app and signed in with their Live account will show up. It's actually very cool. There is even a "Frenemies" system that will have you settling rivalries with the Xbox Live friends that you're most evenly matched with. And, of course, there are achievements to be earned along the way.
Best of all, "Wordament" is completely free and Microsoft has even been nice enough to leave out any distracting in-app purchases. Anyone who's played games such as Word Scramble will feel right at home. If you have an Xbox Live account, the game is definitely worth checking out. It's designed specifically for iPhone, but in my experience it played just fine on an iPad.