Advanced Topics on Typing
Edit: I strongly recommend playing Jumblewords instead at hobub.com. Games are faster, more challenging, and include more detailed statistics to help you track and improve your skills.
An Argument for Pressing Enter Rather Than Backspace
In Boggle Bash, there is no penalty for entering an invalid word. If in your spree of typing you made a typo at the very beginning of a word, I would recommend NOT backspacing to correct the error if you have already typed most of the word. Hit Enter to enter what you have anyway, and start over. Who knows, the word you accidentally entered may actually be a legitimate one!
Note: Optimally you’d want to do this if the number of keystrokes to hit Enter and retype the letters up to your typo is less than the number of times you’d have to hit backspace (although one could argue the number can be slightly more since it is generally faster to hit Enter and other keys than hitting backspace the same number of times in succession; also, since the errant word may actually be a legitimate one, you don’t want to backspace a word that would have scored).
An Argument to Keep Typing Rather Than Backspace
Suppose the word you were thinking of doesn’t actually connect on the board. In the middle of typing the word, Boggle Bash will give you an audio clue that the path does not exist upon entering the disjoint letter. Again, I would suggest not to get rattled and start backspacing, but to simply follow through with the word you wanted to enter, and just hit Enter (again your errant word might actually score!).
If you want to keep it simple, I would suggest the following general guideline: never press backspace more than twice in a row. Either hit Enter or keep typing anyway.
Keeping a Mental Queue
As illustrated in the previous post about typing, it is faster to simply think of words than typing those words. Use the time it takes you to type to continue analyzing the board for words. You will want to look ahead, building a mental queue of words you want to enter, and thus make typing a background task. There is a limit on how big of a queue you can manage (depending on your short term memory), but any time you can focus less on typing and more on identifying words, clusters and high scoring point regions, the better. This concept will become clearer when clusters and suffixes are discussed in future posts.
Notes on Other Input Methods When You Can`t Use the Keyboard
If you’re playing a version of Boggle where keyboard input is not allowed (e.g. the actual board game, or Zynga Scramble on the iPhone/iPad), I do have a few suggestions to offer based on my experience.
Writing down words in the actual board game is by far the slowest input method. You will almost think many multiple words per minute more than you can write. At some point in time early in the round you will want to give the entire board a quick analysis to identify the point-rich regions and clusters. Identify some easy words at the beginning of the round, and while you are writing those words down, do the scan of the entire board and start keeping a mental queue. Use some of the tips already described in this post: if a word doesn’t exist or is invalid, don’t erase letters, either stop writing the word or continue writing what you wanted, and move on.
Note that in Boggle Bash, scanning the entire board early in the round is less of a necessity. If you manage to type 80+ words per minute, usually the time it takes to enter those first few words will not buy you enough time to scan the entire board. It is usually sufficient to simply gravitate towards the obvious suffixes and general higher scoring regions, but not necessarily the highest scoring regions. Usually there will be sufficient time to traverse the board and naturally find the highest scoring region.
On a further note, if you are playing a version where you cannot duplicate a word already entered by another player, it actually becomes more important to do the scan in the early part of the round. Yahoo! Games Word Racer is one such variation of the game. I would suggest here NOT starting in the upper-left corner: start typing small clusters in another region, and use that time to do a quick scan of the entire board. Immediately attack the suffixes and higher scoring regions. There are many other suggestions I have for variants such as Word Racer, but they are out of scope for this guide.
For touch devices such as IPad or IPhones, word entry should be done with a dragging motion between letters and not a touch-typing motion. In the case of Zynga Scramble, a dragging motion automatically enters the word once your finger leaves the screen, whereas if you were selecting one letter at a time, you have to perform one more “stroke” to enter the word (it also takes longer to repeatedly having to lift and press your finger for each letter). The finger-drag method can actually be just as fast as typing (I would estimate my speed around 60 words per minute), so essentially most of what has been discussed in this guide applies equally for touch devices.
Don’t use backspace to correct typos at the beginning of words.
Don’t worry if the word you think of does not even connect on the board. Just type it in anyway.