Kalimat

App review by
Liz Panarelli, Common Sense Media
Kalimat App Poster Image
Great Scrabble clone, but open chat makes it for teens.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

This Scrabble clone will be familiar to most people in normal game mode, with a 15 x 15 tile board. There are also instructions in the "Help" link from the main menu, which explains the "remix" game mode where players earn additional points (by multiplying your score) for playing quickly, allows one free swap per turn, and has a hidden "Ali Baba" square worth 50 points. There is no single player option; players can choose Pass & Play (played on one device), invite friends via email or text (not enabled on the iPad), or challenge a random opponent. This game also includes a dictionary to lookup the definition of any played word.

Violence
Sex
Language

In all of the game modes other than the "Pass & Play," there is open chat with your opponent that is unmoderated and cannot be disabled. Kids could potentially hear offensive language.

Consumerism

The game encourages users to promote the game by inviting friends to play or share on Facebook or Twitter.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Kalimat is a word game meant to be played with others. This Scrabble clone is similar to Words with Friends, but it has more interesting game play. However, it creates privacy and safety concerns because players can play with strangers where there is open, unmoderated chat with your opponent which cannot be disabled. Players can also share the game itself on Facebook and Twitter. There is no single player option, so players can either pass and play with others on the same device, challenge contacts via email or text, or challenge random opponents. There are three social game networks players can use (OpenFeint, AppBoy, and Game Center), which can involve sharing private information including photos and email addresses and importing friends from Facebook and Twitter. Players can choose between normal game play or remix, which has more flexible, high-scoring rules that reward fast play. A dictionary is included in all modes to look up the definitions of words after they are played.

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Is it any good?

Two features make this app shine in the crowded field of Scrabble clones: the dictionary you can use to look up words after they've been played (so you're learning the definition instead of just trying to find your highest scoring word) and the remix option. Remix is appealing for people who want to play quickly and rack up points and adds a dose of luck with the hidden 50 point tile. In normal play, the rules in KALIMAT are more similar to Scrabble than they are in Words with Friends, which is nice for players accustomed to that 50 point bonus for playing all seven tiles. For teens and adults ready to handle the privacy issues, the integration with multiple game networks gives them a huge number of potential opponents, and it's neat to be able to challenge your friends to match your specific achievements. Having a pass and play option is also a nice alternative to all of the networks and makes this a good choice for families who like to play word games together on one device.

App details

For kids who love word and board games

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