Writing can sometimes be hard, and mustering up the motivation we need can make a task that we enjoy often feel like a chore.
That is what 4theWords is trying to change.
4theWords is a innovative online game and system for writers, and if this is the kind of motivational technique that works for you, it could not be more perfect.
- What 4theWords is
- How much it costs
- Everything I liked and didn't like about it
Table of contents
- What is 4theWords and How Does it Work?
- Pricing: How Much Does 4thWords Cost?
- Pros: What I Liked About 4theWords
- Cons: What I Didn’t Like About 4thWords
- Bottom Line: Is 4theWords Worth It?
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What is 4theWords and How Does it Work?
The game allows you to go on quests, defeat monsters, collect items, all by putting words on the page.
If you have played any RPG's before, the mechanics of the game will feel familiar. Like many RPG's, it has a main story, side quests, and special events (NaNoWriMo, for example).
The way it works, is you are faced with a quest or a monster to slay. That quest or monster will have a time attached to it, so you have to get writing immediately, and you have to get down a certain number of words in order to “defeat” the monster or complete the quest.
If timers make you stressful, don't worry, they give you plenty of time to complete the task in the time allotted. The point is to get you writing now.
The purpose of this game is to get you in the habit of writing. In addition to timed writing sessions that defeat monsters, you are also rewarded by writing at least 444 words every day with a streak system.
Keep up the streak, and you earn more rewards.
Overall, it is a highly engaging gamified system, one I would recommend for any gaming nerds out there who also like to write.
Pricing: How Much Does 4thWords Cost?
4theWords costs a grand total of $4/month, making it a really inexpensive tool. Because let's face it, we already pay a lot for the tools we use as writers, we don't need any more major fees.
Sometimes you can get specific bundles that include a certain amount of subscription time, plus a few other in-game spendables. These can be things like in-game coins that you can use to buy cosmetics, and other perks throughout the game.
Does 4theWords have a free version?
4theWords does not have a free version, but it does offer a 30-day free trial, which is plenty of time to get to know the software and see if it is right for you.
Pros: What I Liked About 4theWords
4theWords has a lot of features, so let's discuss some of the aspects that I like the most:
When you sign up for the game, you get to choose from a set of avatars, which you can later modify to your own liking.
This is a great feature that lets you add a more personal touch to your character. They also look really great, and winning new cosmetics to “upgrade” your character is one of the big thrills of the game.
Game for it is one of my favorite tools to increase productivity and learning. It's worked in Duolingo, it's worked in Fitbit, and it definitely works here.
Granted, this type of game is definitely not for everybody, but for those who like RPG's and gaming, the game of in this game is on point.
I very quickly found myself wanting to get more words on the page just so I can defeat the next monster, and definitely got that dopamine hit from finishing.
There is a science to gamification, and the founders of 4theWords understand that science completely.
I was surprised how much I enjoyed this part, but the lore and world building of this game is much more extensive than other gamify platforms I've seen.
There is even an animated video to introduce the background of the world, the main antagonists, and your role in the story.
While the Lauren world building is a bit basic, the fact that it exists at all is a big plus in my book.
Additionally, there is a map, and a clear goal that you can work towards as a writer. You are not just defeating random monsters and going on pointless quests, everything pushes you towards a larger objective.
And as you go along, you explore new areas of the map, which just increases that gamification dopamine hit as you make progress.
Overall, I enjoyed this quite a bit.
4theWords is fun to play on your own, but if you enjoy playing with others, you can band together in groups for group quests.
There are also group events, such as NaNoWriMo, that are special events to get you writing even more, and in a group.
Lastly, I was once again pleasantly surprised to see that this game has some high quality artwork attached to it.
It feels like an actual game!
The entire design and art throughout the game, and on the website, gives it a much more professional and entertaining vibe that I appreciated.
Cons: What I Didn’t Like About 4thWords
Despite the being a lot of really good things about this game, there are a few reasons why I think it wouldn't work for everyone. Let's get into those:
Unnecessary for Some
Now all I feel a lot of people would love this game, and I can absolutely benefit anyone who has difficulty putting words on a blank page, it is definitely not for everybody.
For one, games like this probably don't appeal to a lot of people. I feel like the target audience for this game is people who are already familiar with some kind of role-playing game, whether that be tabletop, videogame, card game, or even certain types of boardgames.
If you are to gamer, this simply might not appeal to you, and that's okay.
Difficult To Use If You Write In A Different Program
In order to defeat the “monsters” within the game, you have to prove your words by writing them with in the text editor that they provide.
If you prefer to stick to your writing program of choice, you can still make it work. But you will have to copy and paste the words that you write from your writing program into 4theWords.
This isn't exactly an issue, but it does take away from the experience of the game a little bit. Part of what I like about the game is that you can see your word count go up, you can see the timer, and you can see how much you need to hit in real time to defeat the monster complete the quest.
If you are writing in a separate program, you see none of.
You may still be able to defeat the monsters, but there is a certain magical quality that is lost when writing elsewhere.
If you are comfortable writing in 4theWords first, then copying it into your writing program, that might be a better option. But even this becomes difficult if you use non-typing ways of recording your first draft, such as handwriting, dictating, or artificial intelligence.
So all in all, I would most recommend for the words if you are comfortable typing your manuscript with in the text editor they provide first, then copying it into whatever wordprocessor or form wedding tool that you use.
Bottom Line: Is 4theWords Worth It?
So do I recommend 4theWords? Absolutely, yes…with the caveat.
If you are the type of person that enjoys game of in this kind of role-playing adventure, then I can think of no other writing motivational tool that will work better for you. 4theWords has an audience, and if you fall into that audience, you will love it.
On the other hand, if gaming doesn't interest you, or you simply prefer a simpler method of writing in your preferred word processor, then 4theWords might feel unnecessary.
That said, it is a fantastic motivational tool to help you when you need extra motivation. I would especially consider using it during NaNoWriMo, or when you need to hit a deadline.