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Word Pyramid Guide

by trailblazer20


LOST DESERT - Out of tiles… out of time… and out of luck whenever you’re playing Word Pyramid? Well then, this is the guide for you. All concepts of this game are explained and advanced strategy and tactics are given. Read on!

The Basics

If you have played this game before, you may skip to the next section : Basic Strategies.

The objective of this game is to spell as many words as you can by connecting adjacent tiles. Upon acceptance, these tiles disappear but other tiles which were above will now take their place. Tiles will also appear randomly on the top of your pyramid. And so it is a continuous cycle: you use up some tiles, but more will appear. It’s not so easy because you are timed : if you don’t find any words during an allotted amount of time, it’s game over. Thankfully, every word that you find will add some time to your clock. But what sets this game apart and make it really challenging is the fact that there will be many more consonants than vowels.

There are five vowels in the English language : A, E, I, O, U. These vowels are key to forming every word and in fact, most words must contain at least 1 vowel! If you use up your pool of vowels too quickly, you will find yourself left with too many consonants and no words to spell. If this happens too often, you’ll likely find yourself out of time and your game will end. Luckily you can buy vowels for a certain cost in points, when in dire need. But every time you buy a vowel, its price will be increased by one point. So if you abuse this system, you will find your score decreasing steadily… More on this later.

You can make words of 1 to 8 letters in length. The longer the word, the more points you’ll get. By consistently making longer words, you’ll maximize your total score. As an added bonus, longer words will add more time to your clock! At this point, I would suggest you to try to play a game or two, if you haven’t done so already. This will help you understand tips which will be given next.

Basic Strategies

- Word Length : All words should contain five letters or more! If you stick to this rule, you need not worry too much about buying vowels since you will most likely not make a deficit in terms of points. Also, it will refill your clock at a reasonable rate. There are a few exceptions which are given out later.

- Vowel Content : All five-letter words should contain only 1 vowel. This will help save your precious vowels and as a result, will prolong your games considerably. Luckily, you usually get quite a few ‘S’ tiles. So in reality, you will be making four letter words most of the time and simply pluralizing them. Following this logic, there should be a maximum of two vowels for 6 and 7 letter words. For eight letter words, using three vowels is ideal; but the benefit in terms of points and time being so significant, feel free to use as many as needed! (Buying vowels for this purpose is another story…)

- Shorter Words : If you are running out of time and can’t find a 5 letter word or longer. You may get a 4-letter word using a vowel, but only to buy you some time! Remember use only when in great urgency! As for three letter words using a vowel, simply avoid them.

- Buying Vowels : First, I’ll explain the system more in depth. Sometimes you will find that you are missing a vowel to spell an awesome word. You may buy the vowel for a number of points. When you first buy the vowel, it will cost you ten points. However, the next time need to buy that same vowel, it will cost you one more : 11 points. By the end of the game, most vowels will cost around 20 points. So needless to say : don’t buy a vowel if it results in a word which will give you less points than the cost of the vowel. Better to end your game on a high point than buying vowels in vain and lowering your score in the process.

Advanced Topics

- Pyramid Health: A pyramid when it’s well built, has a solid base. If it does not, the pyramid will collapse. This is adequately represented in this game: a healthy base will result in a much more successful score. What is meant by healthy? You should try and keep as many vowels at the base of your pyramid. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of saving your vowels in this game. So rather than forming words at the top of your pyramid, you should be finding words near the bottom. If not, you will soon find a jumble of consonants piling up severely limiting your options. Did you ever have consonants such as XJHCM littering your bottom two rows rendering them useless? The next points will discuss what can be done to ensure a healthy growth and to fix that problem if it arises.

- Evil Consonants: Here I will list the consonants which are most annoying to get rid of; namely, the ones which will clutter your pyramid. They are J, Q, V, X, Z. It is important to make words with them as soon as you have the chance. Don’t hesitate to buy a vowel if you must. I will almost always buy an E to spell VEX; or a U to get rid of my Q. If you must use two vowels to get rid of a J, then go ahead, it was well spent. The reason why V is included and K is because there are very few 5-letter V words which will contain a single vowel. Whereas a C next to a K or even an L, can lead to LUCKS or MILKY.

- Vowel-less words: Yes they do exist and I will almost always spell them. Here is a list of some of my favourites : BY,CRY, DRY, SHY, STY, WHY. There are more, but these are the ones I used the most. Get these words when you have those consonants cluttered at the bottom of your pyramid.

- Buying Vowels Revisited: Now that you have this idea of pyramid health in mind, we will add some more restrictions as to when you should buy a vowel. Firstly, do not buy a vowel simply to spell a long word, even if it is an 8-letter word. If you do that, you will hurt yourself in the long run as the vowel cost increases. The purpose of buying vowels should be limited to improving your pyramid health by getting rid of “evil” consonants or getting rid of 4 consonants at a time! To do that, we need to revisit our suffixes :

- TCH, GHT, etc: These are the best suffixes to use in this game because they enable easy spelling of 5 letter words at the cost of only 1 vowel. If you ever have HTCH clumped up together, just buy and I or an A, and you can spell HATCH or HITCH. Using GHT you can get LIGHT, SIGHT. Another of my favourites which fall in this category is MONTH. By buying a single vowel you have considerably improved the health of your pyramid.

- Y and S = Yes!: The S and to a lesser degree the Y are great letters. By adding an S, you can pluralize most words and by adding a Y, you are turning it into an adjective. So many of the easier to find 4 letter words will become 5 letter words! So, should you save up these letters? Never! I find you always get plenty to work with, use them without hesitation; with preference with the “evil” consonants.

- Elusive ING: For every word game played, the –ING is a magical suffix. Adding to any verb will give you a long word. So if you ever see NG together without the I, don’t hesitate to buy it if you can do a 6, 7 or preferably 8 letter word.

- Clock and Time: Keep an eye on your clock at all times. And while I would think this is obvious I will still mention this... Never get a word if your clock is full! If you get all your words at once, you will have an empty pyramid in no time. Your clock will run out as you are waiting for tiles to randomly appear. You should not worry about your pyramid height. Whenever you see one side of your pyramid a lot higher than the other side, simply get a few words at the base to level it. I will periodically switch from one side to the other.

Final Thoughts

For more information on the basics of the game, you should just read the rules in the game itself. If you find getting 5 letter words containing only one vowel too demanding, then you may lower it to 4. If you have a brain freeze and your time is almost up, don’t follow any rules at all and get the first thing that comes to mind. If you have trouble understanding some of the advanced topics, don’t worry about it much; they were meant for those looking to be near the top. I would say that in order to get a trophy at this game, you need two things: vocabulary and pattern recognition. If you excel at both, then you should also excel at this game. Good luck!

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