Zynga’s New Daily Word Wheel Voice Game Will Be Exclusive to Google Assistant Devices
Video game developer Zynga is launching a new voice-based game exclusively for Google Assistant-enabled devices called Daily Word Wheel. A variation of the developer’s popular Words With Friends mobile game, Daily Word Wheel is the second platform-exclusive game made by Zynga, after debuting Word Pop just for Alexa.
Voice Wheel Words
Daily Word Wheel offers players an anagram puzzle every day. Using a five-letter word bank, players have to generate as many real word combinations as possible by saying the word to Google Assistant or spelling it out letter-by-letter. They can also use the touch screen of devices with one if they would rather not speak their guesses out loud. Google Assistant can also help out with explaining the game, shuffling the letters, and even providing hints for when players get stuck. The game will be free when it arrives shortly.
“As gaming continues to evolve, franchises are becoming more universal and less dependent on any specific platform, opening up new opportunities and technologies that expand the reach of our games,” Zynga publishing president Bernard Kim said in a statement. “We’re thrilled to partner with Google on Daily Word Wheel, which proves that a fun game experience can transcend any single platform.”
Words With Alexa
The Daily Word Wheel marks another evolution of Words With Friends over the last decade or so. It’s very similar to Word Pop in conception, although some of the details are altered. In Word Pop, Alexa reads out six letters, which the player uses to create as many words as they can in one minute. The words can either be spoken or spelled out, and points are earned based on how many words are built and how many letters they contain. Zynga hasn’t commented on why the two games are platform exclusives and why they are slightly different. It could be just the company’s way of testing the waters on both platforms to see if it’s worth investing more in one or the other, or just as an experiment in different versions of the voice game to see what people like. Word games like this are pretty flexible, so it’s not difficult to imagine Zynga wanting to gather as much data about what and where people like to play this kind of game.
“The beauty of Words With Friends is that even after ten years, we’re still discovering new ways for the franchise to bring joy to players around the world,” Kim said when Word Pop was released.
Voice games are getting a lot more creative too. Earplay’s audio game The Orpheus Device lets players explore a haunted house and investigate ghosts solely by voice, while Pac-Man Waka Waka lets users command Pac-Man’s movement in a maze in his own language, Wakanese. Testing out a wide variety of gameplay and styles to find out which work well and appeal to more people is part of the evolving world of voice games. That doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of potential money in voice games, even though they are still very new. That’s one reason Amazon has been pushing the option for voice app monetization to more countries and offers incentives to developers who create premium purchase and subscription options. Startups like Labworks and DriveTime have raised plenty of investor cash for the same reason.