Daily iPhone App: Quarrel
Quarrel is yet another word game for the iPhone, but this one is actually worth taking a look at. Instead of another Scrabble clone, in Quarrel you're also playing a metagame where you control an empire of warriors trying to take over territories by fighting battles with word scores.
It sounds complicated (and it really would be, if the game didn't have an incredibly detailed tutorial to walk you through everything), but once a game gets rolling, it's terrifically fun. Developers Indiagames went all-out with presentation, and everything oozes quality, from the cute characters and smooth notifications to the sparkling gameplay. Everything is extremely well designed, and the game is really well balanced -- there's even something to do while you're not fighting a battle, which can grant extra rewards and power. If I have one complaint, it's that things are a little slow once you understand everything, but that's a minor concern -- otherwise, the gameplay's so well designed that it's really enjoyable.
The one really big misstep here is that the game doesn't have any multiplayer included -- all of your battles so far are against AI opponents (though there is Game Center integration for achievements and leaderboards). That's coming in an update, supposedly, and when that happens, Quarrel will really be something amazing. Until then, though, it's still a really excellent game. There is a "Deluxe" version with a few extra modes and a dictionary available for US $4.99, but the free version for iPhone will allow you to go through the tutorial and play matches against the AI. Quarrel is a really amazing title, and I bet we'll see it become quite popular as more and more gamers discover it on iOS.