Assignment 5: Word Game Part 2: Addictive Word Game

This is an individual assignment.

Note: This assignment will be VERY time consuming for those completely new to Android, and especially for those also brushing up on Java. Please start early!

The purpose of this assignment is to help you learn more of the basics of creating Android apps and to move you towards an interesting project. To make that simpler, you are starting with the Sudoku example from your textbook and turning it into a different, fully-functional, addictive word game modelled after a game called Letris (see

The Sudoku game is similar to Letris in some respects.

All the basic components that you need to create a Letris game are in your prior Dictionary assignment or used in the Sudoku game, such as use of 2d graphics. Your goal is to study the Sudoku code (reading the chapters in the text related to it) and figure out how to modify the Sudoku game into a functioning Letris game. The game can have a simple look and feel, but it needs to work robustly.

Letris is a type of word search game. Word search games can be simple to master yet, for many people, totally addictive. Letris, like many other word games, can be modified to play with other people, and small variations in game design can make it more or less fun to play. Therefore, in addition to programming the game, you will need to think about your unique design spin on the interaction and game play. You are not duplicating the Letris app, but instead creating your own unique and interesting (and hopefully addictive) variation.

To get started, study and play Letris, Boggle, Dabble and play some other similar word games. A search for Boggle and Word Games on the Android Play Store will turn up many great ones. In particular, look for the Boggle variants because you can see how small twists on a similar game concept can lead to different gameplay experiences: ICED (Lite), BoggleDroid Lite, Dropwords, WordTwist Lite, etc. Play Letris several times. Ask some friends who are not in the course to play Letris and watch them carefully. Make notes about what you and your friends like or don't like about game design, interaction, scoring, etc. Please do not skip this, because you will see how small changes in the GUI can impact overall experience. Decide on how your would like your game to work. Try to come up with at least one or two ways that your game can be distinctive and stand out from the crowd.

Your game must have the following:

You should use the same word list from Assignment 3.

For extra credit, your game could have one or more of following additional features:

You are building this game for educational purposes only, not for actual release, so feel free to grab graphics from any source and use them in your game if you want. Do NOT grab them from the Letris app, however. You must also clearly specify on your Acknowledgements screen where you obtained all content and help. As in Assignment 3, we expect that you will be very detailed in your acknowledgements so that we can find the source of all images, sound, content, and code snippets you used, and who provided you with tips/ideas/help.

(Important: For an actual game that was being released you would need to design the graphics yourself or get permission to use all graphics you incorporate, therefore, if you do want to use this app outside of class someday, you might want to design your own graphics or find graphics that you know do not have copyright restrictions. If you design your own graphics/sounds/content, you can list this in the acknowledgements.).

Your game should be added to your existing app on the Play Store (alpha testers). Add a new button on your apps initial screen, "Word Game" which will start your game. Your main app on the Play Store will then have these 6 buttons: About (with your info), Generate Error (generates error), Sudoku (runs Sudoku from Assignment 1), Dictionary (runs Assignment 3), Word Game (runs this assignment), and Quit (exits). Do not add a new icon and launcher for this game ... your single NUMAD14S-[FirstName][LastName] will launch the menu of buttons, and Word Game will launch this app. Your prior assignments should still function as they did when you turned them in (or fixed them, thereafter).

As you complete this assignment and have “aha!” moments where you figure out tricky things that might hold other people up, you should help out your classmates on Piazza.

This is an individual assignment. You should not be working with a partner, and you should not be sharing code. You may ask high-level questions about how to accomplish goals on Piazza, but you should not be copying ANY code from classmates.


Your app should be available on the Play Store (alpha version, not open release) by the assignment deadline, and your Git repository should be up to date with your code (and easily buildable from scratch should we need to download it and compile your project). You Git repository should show that you did incremental commits as you went along. We do NOT want to see a single commit right before the due date. We want to see commits incrementally as you work on this assignment, usually multiple in a single work session. Your Bitbucket feature tracker should have evidence that you are using it to plan your work and track bug fixing as you go.


You will be graded based on how well you follow the instructions above using the app that is downloaded from the Play Store at the time we grade it. What this means is that if you find a bug in your app, you should fix it and update the app, because you may get lucky and do this before your assignment is graded! Your application will be tested on an actual Android phone, not the emulator.

Although it is subject to some tweaking, this table will give you a sense of how you will be assigned points. Crashes will be reported to your Google Play development console, when possible, and some comments will be entered directly in Bitbucket.