I thought I was bad at hangman before. Now, after trying to play hangman with the added wrinkle of figuring out what has most recently been in the news? I’m hopeless. Luckily, that hasn’t detracted one iota from my immense enjoyment of the Hangman RSS iPhone game.
Hangman RSS ($1.99) works by pulling its puzzles directly out of various online news sources. The puzzles are given four levels of difficulties: easy, medium, hard and expert. On an easy puzzle, you’ll be given headline and required to fill in one missing word in the headline. On a medium puzzle, you’ll fill in two words, and so on.
To help clue you in if keeping up with the news isn’t really your thing, Hangman RSS provides a brief snippet of the story, intended to help jog your memory. If that doesn’t help, you are also given a free letter or two if you choose to use it. Once you finish the puzzle, either by solving it or by hanging yourself after guessing too many incorrect letters, the story will appear in a log of the puzzles you’ve solved so you can read it later.
The layout is snappy and easy to follow, and although the hangman image is just the simple, classic stick figure rather than an updated, graphic representation, it keeps the emphasis on the puzzles. That’s not a bad thing, as the puzzles are particularly tough. Although a dedicated puzzle fan won’t have much trouble on easy or medium, the top-tier difficulty settings should please anyone looking for a good mental workout. Hangman RSS even keeps track of your high scores and longest runs on each difficulty level, as well as your cumulative stats for games played and won.
Between the use of OpenFeint for stat tracking, online leaderboards and a very unique way to combine the news into a classic puzzle game, Hangman RSS is a very cool iPhone game for those who love news or puzzles. It’s well worth its low price tag.