The computer game is not the strongest medium for word games. The crossword puzzle and word jumble dominate the papers; Boggle is the board game master. Computer games are often overlooked by the linguistically minded. But then, Text Twist changes all that. I'm tempted to call it the best word game I've ever played. Of course, there are lots of awesome games out there. Scrabble, Boggle, Funny Farm—you know the drill. But I think Text Twist's the best, or one of them—and here's why.
Text Twist's rules are simple. Combine the six letters on the screen to make as many words as you can. This is by no means an original concept, but it's been spruced up. The goal of every level is to get the six-letter word. Once you do that, you are allowed passage to the next level. However, there is not much pleasure in just determining the six-letter word. I found that by just typing words as they come, eventually the long one will pass through my mind. Play is at it's best when you complete every single word before time runs out, giving a huge score bonus. Very satisfying. Play is available with keyboard or mouse. This is particularly useful for the "Twist" button. Twist shuffles around the letters for you. It's annoying to have to click during a keyboard-oriented game, so press spacebar instead. The versatility is great for speed. The interface is understandable from the start, and it has a nice presentation.
Despite the great gameplay, the game does not vary much between levels. Eventually you will start to recognize some letter sequences (when I see A R E T, I think tea ate era are art tar rat rate tear etc.) Text Twist's word bank is not perfect; some words are omitted from the game that should not be. The game is not exactly built for longevity and playtime. That being said, if you want variation in levels and gameplay and a larger word bank, the full version is available to buy. The full version's strongest point is that it includes seven letter words and a high score list. However, these criticisms are from the point of view of someone who has played this game for a long time. For a beginner, none of these points apply.
Analysis: Text Twist is a wonderful word game. The joy experienced when having just uncovered a word in the nick of time is quite satisfying. The sound and interface suit the game well. The criticisms I've covered are quickly overcome by purchasing the full version. A good presentation and simple rule set make this game perfect for a quick break. And that means many, many rewarding quick breaks for you.
A last word of advice: "Ade" is indeed a word. Click.