Zynga’s Words With Friends annoys me on a regular basis not only because the lack of my vocabulary acumen is prominently on display but also because a flaw on the synchronization of games between multiple devices has me wondering if my opponents are cheating. There are many times when a move I thought I played seemed to have mysteriously vanished upon going back to play. Because it is supposed to be a game for relaxation I never really paid attention to the nagging sensation that some games I thought I was winning all of a sudden became games I was losing.

Like many players my game avatar is synchronized through Facebook on two Apple devices where I play Words With Friends. Depending on where I find myself with some free time I log into the game using either my iPhone or my iPad thinking I’m continuing the games where I previously left off. However, it just seemed like some of the games were forcing to make the same move over again.

Lately there was one particular game where I thought I had won that kept nagging me to make my move on my iPad. I was proud of the word I had played and I knew I had already won this particular game. I thought it must be a synchronization glitch and believed it would eventually clear itself up. Because it kept reminding me to make my move it became an annoyance and I shutdown my iPad in order to clear up the synchronization problem.


It didn’t. I then looked at other games and it became clear to me that the games on my iPhone were not the same on my iPad. I was playing each game twice, once on my iPad and another time on my iPhone. As you can see from these two screen captures taken earlier today the game on the iPhone is over yet the same game on the iPad is still ongoing. As an opponent it looks like I may have the opportunity to rethink my previous move because now I know how my opponent responded to my original tile placement.

I thought about putting my theory to the test but I decided not to because as the title of the game suggests, Words With Friends is played between friends and I did not feel like discovering that one of my friends may have been cheating all along. However, the flaw in the game will now forever make me question whether someone is cheating in the game thus making me rethink about whether to continue to play Words With Friends.

Martin Paredes

Martín Paredes is a Mexican immigrant who built his business on the U.S.-Mexican border. As an immigrant, Martín brings the perspective of someone who sees México as a native through the experience...