Have you ever tried your hand at “continuing the story”? I could probably count the number of times I passed a story back and forth between writerly friends, and while I never thought of it as a game, it always made for good hoots. Write it Versus!: the pen is mightier than the sword (out now, $2.99) aims to give you a similar experience. This game, a universal app by 360 Digital, will essentially challenge you to combine three given words into one or more sentences between 100 and 140 characters. Your ultimate goal is, of course, to create a collaborative story.
If you’re playing in Challenge Mode or Pass & Play (local mode), you’ll have a limited time to complete your sentences. You can win additional bonuses by reducing your time limit to as low as 30 seconds; otherwise, you’ll have up to 90 seconds. If you find this time limit too restrictive on your creativity, you can opt for the Unlimited Mode in which you can write as many pages as you wish and take as long as you need.
As a game, Write it Versus! makes for loads of fun. If you don’t have many friends playing this same game, you can challenge random gamers in either Challenge Mode or Unlimited Mode. You’ll first begin by picking a title, followed by three words. Unless you have power-ups to shuffle or write your own title/words, the selections are randomized. In the face of such a challenge, you may surprise yourself by coming up with innovative sentences you never thought of. Turns out, it’s easier than one might think to write using random key words. Whether it will make for a cohesive story is an entirely different matter.
As a writer, I don’t view Write it Versus! as a writing tool to spark proper stories, because I personally find it too limiting. The limitation on character count is one aspect of this. The game might be more inspiring to a writer if it could offer alternative modes of story creation. For instance, instead of posing random titles and words to start a story, what about suggesting random settings or types of characters? That would of course make for a different kind of game. Overall, Write it Versus! is geared more toward challenging you in sentence creation than story creation. But I doubt anyone plays “continue the story” to write good fiction, so it matters little as long as you enjoy yourself.
The main drawback I currently see in this game is its lack of landscape mode, which is especially a shame for the iPad. The time limit is perhaps not as much of a challenge for your brain as for your fingers.
If you’re uncertain if you might enjoy Write it Versus!, you can download the lite version for free and give it a spin with your friends.
iFanzine Verdict: Write it Versus! with its emphasis on sentence creation should appeal especially to fans of word games. You don’t have to be a writer to enjoy whipping up mini stories with friends. And if you happen to already be a storywriter, you may find you’ll enjoy the game more the less seriously you take your writing. Write it Versus! is all in the name of fun.