Wordster 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.