If you’re looking to challenge your vocabulary skills, there’s a free iOS app you can download for your iPhone or iPad that’ll have you typing out words at an alarming pace. This tons-o-fun app is called Catena by Fusee, who claim to be “professional day dreamers,” and it nearly had “the Critic” walking in the middle of traffic one evening I was so enthralled in it. You will be sucked in by it’s amazingly simple concept, yet in your mind you’re reaching down into the deepest crevices to unearth the most challenging of words to drop on your opponent. If you make it through this review before downloading it, I’ll be highly surprised—it’s serious fun!
Catena is very easy to pick-up. To play, you input a word that begins with the ending letters of your opponent’s word. For example, if I were to start off by playing the word Apple, you could input Please (letters in bold show the letters used to satisfy the rules). Next I would use the last letters from Please to come up with Easy, and the game goes back and forth until a player fills their circle at the top of the screen. You cannot submit plural words or the entire word your opponent previously used (Peace is used, you cannot play Peaceful). Your word must include at least the last letter of your opponents word and you cannot use the same word twice in the same game. The more letters you use from your opponents words, the more points you score. Now that you have the basics of the game, let’s talk about the different modes you have to choose from.
You can choose between single or multi-player in Catena, which is awesome. Multi-player is a lot of fun, but you must wait for your opponent to respond before you can drop your next word bomb on them. Single player is much faster paced since you’re matched up against the multitalented computer. I say multitalented since you can choose between easy, medium, and hard. Believe me when I say I thought I was a vocabulary genius from my numerous victories until I ventured into the hard category. The computer opened up a virtual can of whoop-ass and sent me packing back to the medium skill level.
There are two more levels of difficulty, advanced and pro, but you must pay $1.99 to unlock these options. After my stomping at the hard level, I figured a little more practice was in order before I go paying to get another beatdown.
Single player has two modes you can play, either classic or time mode. In classic mode there is no time limit to your responses, but you’re able to play this mode for free. If you want to play time mode, you must pay $1.99 to unlock this pro game mode. Personally, I haven’t unlocked these features yet since I’m still enjoying the other game styles. With that being said, I do see myself purchasing these features in the future given how much fun I’m having playing Catena.
Multi-player mode is tremendous fun as well, but it does have a slight downside. Since you’re playing someone else, you are chained to waiting for them to respond. I’ve waited as short as minutes to as long as 4 hours for my opponent to respond. I haven’t yet seen if Catena auto resigns your opponent after a given time period of no response. You can add additional multi-player games so one person doesn’t hold up your entire gameplay. You can invite players to a game or you can be auto matched to speed things up. Currently there aren’t a lot of people playing Catena so I kept getting matched with the same opponent from Game Center. This isn’t Catena’s fault, but it does make the multi-player mode less appealing, especially since it took a while for my opponent to respond a lot.
I’ve had a blast playing Catena! This game has kept me up well past my bedtime a few nights and had me shaking my sleepyhead at myself the next morning. If you like how Words With Friends or WordRoll challenges your vocabulary skills, you’re going to really enjoy Catena. Don’t waste any more time and head over to the App Store right now and download this fun game. The more iOS users that download Catenta and start playing, the more opponents we all will have to challenge our vocabulary skills against. Download it now and start playing today.(5 / 5)