I decided to follow up my Help With Friends application (used with Words For Friends) with Help With Hanging With Friends. It has two main options to select from, the Word Builder and the Word Guesser. The word builder is similar to the word builder in Help With Friends, but it uses the Hanging With Friends dictionary and there is an algorithm that will rate the strength of the word based on:
- Word Length: In Hanging With Friends, a longer word will reduce the amount of guesses your opponent has to guess the word. This makes sense, as there are more shorter words than longer and usually when you guess a few letters in a longer word, you can somewhat make out what it is. However, if you have a longer word that has letters that are not often guessed, you can usually get the opponent to expend all their guesses without getting one correct.
- Number Of Vowels: Your opponent will automatically get a vowel in the word, but more often than not, a player will try to fill in another vowel, guessing AEIOU until they get at least one hit. The word builder is designed to display words that take this into account.
- Probability Of Letter Occurrence: Letters like Q, K, J, Z, and X will boost the strength of the word, while letters like R, S, T, L, N, and E will usually put a word at the bottom of the list.
- # Of Letter Recurrence: If a letter appears more than once, you are giving the opponent more bang for their buck when they guess. For example, say you had the word TOOTER. If they guess T, they will get two blanks filled in. In addition, if they guess O, they will get another two blanks filled in. Higher strength words will have unique letters with little or no recurrence of letters.
The word guesser option will allow you to enter the word as you see it in Hanging With Friends, letting the app fill in the blanks. For example, say you have ???O??.
You would enter this exactly as it is displayed into the app and it will return all the words that match this pattern. It will also display a frequency chart that lets you know what other letters occur, in order of greatest to least. For instance, this search brings up:
- S: 426
- E: 407
- R: 368
- A: 258
This means that out of all the words that match this expression, S occurs 426 times, E occurs 407 times, R occurs 368, A occurs 258 times, and so on. By this information, I’ll guess S next. Say S comes up, and now you have S??O?S.
Entering this back into the app, I get a reduced result set of 24 words! See how it can narrow down quickly? The new frequency chart is:
Judging by this, I should probably guess R. If you continue in this fashion, you should guess the word at least 9 out of 10 times.
So there it is. Give it a try!