Wordster Megatouch Touchscreen Game

wordster.jpgWordster is a game found on Megatouch touchscreen terminals in most bars. It’s based on the same idea as Scrabble. You get points for making the eight largest possible words from eight letters before time expires. Proper names and plurals ending in S are not allowed. However you can use words ending in ED, ING, and other suffixes in addition to the root form of a word.

Tips

  • A good set of letters is the key to high scores. Use Shuffle to get a second set of letters if the first set does not look promising. A good set of letters has no Z, J, Q, X, and the best have ED, ING, Ts and Rs. Most high scores include an E and an R or a D.
  • Don’t waste time making small words. Only the scores of the eight largest words count. Once you have formed eight words, only words that score high enough to replace one of the eight will be accepted. There’s a common misconception that you should form small words first while they are accepted in order to use them toward your score. However, only the scores of eight largest words contribute to your total score; small words that are later replaced simply waste time.
  • Correct mistakes by swapping letters that are already on the tray – by touching each in succession.
  • For unknown reason, not all eight-letter words are accepted. In fact it seems that almost half of the common 8-letter words are not recognized (for example RELATING). This appears to be a bug or perhaps a limit to the amount of memory available as the rest of the dictionary for smaller words seems to be extensive.

High Scores

Once you can find 7-letter and 8-letter words effectively, getting high scores depends mostly on getting a good set of letters. Use Shuffle to get a second set of letters if the first ones don’t look good. Unfortunatey, you can only do that once. Advanced players can easily see productive letter sets that may result in high scores, and often just abort the game rather than waste time on bad letters.

Scores over 120,000 are good. Top players will score above 150,000 with good letters. The highest possible score is a little under 190,000.

The best possible eight letters to get (based on computer calculations with a number of popular dictionaries) are TRIANGLE because you can make five 8-letter words (TRIANGLE, INTEGRAL, ALERTING, ALTERING, RELATING, and TANGLIER according to the Scrabble word list) and many 7-letter words. Unfortunately, a short while after discovering these perfect letters, a friend actually got them and found that none of the 8-letter words were accepted! Later I confirmed the same result. So in fact the exclusion of many 8-letter words means that the actual highest scoring letters remain a mystery.

Other top scoring letters are: UNDERDOG, SPROUTED, REMANDED, TEARDROP, and REACTING.

Scoring Algorithm

See https://wtwii.wordpress.com/2006/08/20/word-dojo-megatouch-touchscreen-game/

Tricks and Cheats

In newer editions of the touchscreen console, there are no known ways to cheat, except of course to buy good letters by playing only quality letter sets. In older models, you could pause the game and still see the letters and thereby have as much time as you want to find words. It would also work to press a button continuously to keep time from passing.

Practice

Contact the author of this blog to request a Wordster practice program that runs on Windows. Sorry, this is only available to people I know personally and agree to my terms.

Advertisements

23 Responses to Wordster Megatouch Touchscreen Game

  1. Lee Shields says:

    excellent review! i don’t even want to think about how much money i’ve spent playing this game at my neighborhood pub, haha. a few months ago they took down the mega machine, and ever since i’ve been trying to find some suitable game online; the closest i got was Annagramatic, but it’s still very different. at the end of your article you mention a Windows version of Wordster – is this available to purchase anywhere? i realize you don’t “know me personally”, as you mention in the post, but i’m a Wordster-addict, willing to “agree to [your] terms”! thanks,

    Lee

  2. Kenan Hobajabu says:

    Haha, Wordster is one of my favorite games on the Megatouch machine at my local watering hole. Technically there is a way to cheat, if you have the technical capabilities to pull it off that is… You can implement a Subset Anagram Tree for any kind of smartphone and a wordlist commonly found on the internet. The beauty of the Subset Anagram Tree is that it can find all subset anagrams for a given tray of letters in mere milliseconds. Unfortunately, the Subset Anagram Tree algorithm takes up about 40 MB of RAM for a wordlist that has 40,000 words in it. I originally wrote a brute force search that took about 10-15 seconds to run (enough time for Wordster’s time limit) for my RAZR but this new algorithm on an iPhone is pretty effective. Couple this with your algorithm (thanks for this by the way) and you can sort the results by score!

  3. jared says:

    hey there, lots of great info here. could you please send me a windows version? thanks a million

  4. judyg8or says:

    It is so nice to know that my man and I are not alone in our addiction!!! For all the money we’ve put into the machine at our local bar, we could have bought a Megatouch – but it is a fun social game, crowds sometimes form behind us shouting out words 🙂 Just a few days ago my partner got his personal best of 171 thousand and change!
    We too have searched in vain for a computer game like Wordster – I’ve even considered trying to dust off the ole programmer’s hat and write one. If you ever decide to make your program available to addicts you don’t know – please contact me 🙂

  5. paul elliott says:

    As with your other replies , I have been a wordster addict for some years now,and cannot find a half decent representation of your game to play at home, Iwould be very grateful if you could possibly send me the windows version I would be forever grateful .
    paul

  6. paul elliott says:

    In my previous comment I did not click the “notify me by email ” again I would really appreciate if you could send me a windows version of wordster . paul

  7. camille says:

    I would really appreciate a practice program. i love this game but don’t have the extra money to spend playing it at a bar (single mom). Or suggestions of how to find a computer version would be great. I haven’t found any other word game that is really like this.

  8. oly dude says:

    please please send me a home version of this game….. i can’t live anymore at my favorite watering hole……… i want this game…..:-)

  9. Jenna Carpenter says:

    Hi I am a Wordster addict and I have not found a version available online that is close enough to satisfy. Could you please send me a windows version- I will agree to terms…Please?
    Thank you. Cheers, Jenna

  10. Sami says:

    We have this game at our work, and when its dead the bartender and I sit and play it all the time. I was searching here on the internet for a version of it when I crossed paths with your blog and bit of info.. thank you alot the other day I used alerting, but didnt catch the word integral and triangle… ha ha ha! May I please get your practice version, and I am sure I can agree to the terms. Thank you and Happy Gaming all!

  11. Hi, I just recently started playing Wordster, but I would love to get a computer version to bring my skill level up to that of the friends I’ve been playing with. Could you pass it along to me? I’d be happy to agree to any terms. Thanks so much!

  12. James Sweet says:

    What did you use for the dictionary for the Windows version?

    Since you don’t want to share it with people you don’t know, I’m considering writing my own emulation. Shouldn’t be too difficult, but my concern is getting a dictionary that’s anything close to Wordster’s. What words it accepts and what it doesn’t are WEIRD. For instance, it takes “redneck” but not some other much more common words.

    • John says:

      Hi James,

      You’re right. That’s the toughest part of truly emulating the game. And I believe it’s unsolveable since they use a “tweeked” dictionary. The game has a reference to Mirriam Webster dictionary, which can be found online. You might think that starting from that removing the “s” plurals and proper names would get you close, but Wordster also removes lots of non-PC words and for some odd reason, lots of 8-letter words (like “triangle”).

      I found that the best thing to use was the Official Scrabble Players dictionary (or maybe they call it the Official Scrabble Players Word List). It’s available online for free. Remove all words 8 letters, all plurals ending in “s”, all proper names (shouldn’t be any). It’ll have just about every word allowed in Wordster and more.

      If you make a mode where it spits out the top 8 for any set of letters, you’ll find that many of the words won’t be allowed by Wordster, but you can go down the list and be pretty sure that the top 8 accepted by Wordster from your list are usually the best possible Wordster words given their 8 letters.

      Some advice. To keep your project safe from claims of infringement, so you can distribute it safely, don’t use “Wordster”, “Megatough” or any other trademark anywhere in the game. It’s generally safe to duplicate the game play since that’s not usually protectable (though Tetris has squashed copies very effectively). Just don’t copy the user interface, “look and feel”, or anything else verbatim off the game. I’m not a lawyer, so take it for what it’s worth (or not), but I think that’s generally accepted practice if nothing else.

      Good luck,

      John

  13. lisa says:

    Did anyone find where we can get this game to play on line?

  14. wilme2 says:

    The owner of the Wordster application REALLLY should think about making a tablet version, and sell it on the Google Andriod store and ITunes. I would pay good $ ($10? which is a LOT for an app) for a andriod tablet version to run on my Motorola Xoom…

  15. Lori says:

    I agree whole-heartedly with all above. Would you do me the honor and coolness of sending me a copy of the Windows version? I would sooo appreciate it. Thanks so much!

  16. pcgeek says:

    My high score is 196592 … not sure why the article says just under 190000 is the highest possible score ….

  17. bob12345678 says:

    Has anyone found anything close to this for Android tabs ?

  18. dale says:

    words (pun intended) could not say my thanks if I could receive the gift of a pc version of this game I played for hundreds of hours with my old friends from the mountains who I never see anymore. please, if you would, I will comply with all use requests, 100%.
    great article

  19. Glenn says:

    My wife and I play this game all the time at Mcdonalds restaurants. Can I get it for my computer without a touch screen?

  20. grandpuzzler says:

    pcgeek: 196592 is quite impressive. What were the letters?

  21. HD DJ says:

    So no tablet version 9 years later..?
    I have a win 8 tablet so if you send me a copy I would try it; used to play this all the time at the pub, but don’t drink anymore so…
    I play wordament now…

  22. ulying says:

    ok..why would it say to contact the author of this article for a wordster practice program, and then say that you are only going to give it to people you know. If that was the case, why didn’t you just put this article on you fb page and not to the general public. Why would you make a program, publish an article about it, but not want many people to play it? I think this is a joke. You don’t have shit.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: