Last updated on June 10th, 2023 at 12:05 pm



HardBack is one of the best $4.99 to play game in the App Store.
Developed by Fowers Games Inc., HardBack is a Board game with a content rating of 4+.
It was released on 3rd August 2018 with the latest update 4th August 2022

Whether you are a fan of Board, Card, games, you will find this game interesting and will absolutely like it.


34 people have rated 1.22

You can download the game HardBack from APP STORE.


Hardback is a deck-building word game, a prequel to Paperback. As an aspiring 19th-century novelist, you work to pen your next masterpiece, earning prestige along the way. Specialize your deck in certain genres to exploit card combinations, and press your luck to draw extra cards — but make sure you can still string a word together!

Players build a deck of letters with various powers and race to 60 fame points to win.

1-5 player hotseat and online async
3 levels of computer opponents to challenge you.

No wilds in your deck – any card can be wild.
Push your luck for more cards with the Ink system.
Match genre colors to gain bonus abilities on your cards.
Fight over the coveted award cards.
Timeless Classic cards stay in play, until someone uses them.
New hardcore mode – can’t repeat a word!

Updated on 4th August 2022

-Updates to online play
-Online play moved to a new server

HardBack Reviews

Great game! Will certainly stretch your vocabulary to find the right word to get the extra 3 points you need to snatch victory in the last turn. A few suggestions that really really do need attention. 1. For a word game to include spelling errors in the labels/game instructions is just plain shoddy workmanship. Fix them! 2. Really need some form of statistics for keeping track of local scores – how many games played, won, lost, highest scores, champion words, etc at various levels. 3. Would vastly improve replay value if there was a leaderboard function. Notwithstanding the above, excellent game and highly recommended!

The game itself is enjoyable but as others have said the online multiplayer is unusable since we cannot add new friends on the new server. The developer has not yet responded to our support requests. Id hold off on any purchase until this is resolved.

This has been going on for weeks now. It wont accept our password and when we try to reset, the reset password button doesnt work. We were really enjoying this game until this point but it was primarily a long-distance game for us. Theres no point without online access to our play friends.

Online issues still continued. We are unsure to add new friends when our list is empty. We just lost all our friends and all our open games. Same with other people we know. Something is broken as we can’t add them back now. The UI feels clunky especially async online play. Dev should model this more after the old Carcassonne game where players can see the board even if it isn’t their turn. You should have a bar along the bottom that displays players score and ink counts. All buttons should be more defined and identifiable. Would be great to be able to zoom and pan around the board to see details of cards. Play a sound with the notification so we get a buzz. Would love to see this game realize its full potential.

There arent enough turn taking games like this made in such great quality. Our wife and we love playing this game and we even bought the real life version. The tutorial is good but could be a little better. You need to read the rules to really understand what the abilities do. The online play is very solid but Id prefer to stay in the game and play with our letters while waiting for our turn.

Great game! Loads of fun! We enjoy this one more than paperback… & we love paperback!

We would recommend this game, and this app, to players who are familiar with other "deck-building" strategy games, specifically ones such as Star Realms and Ascension. We think fans of deck-builders will like this even if they don’t like other word games. We suspect, though we don’t know, that word game players may find this game a little too heavy on the game and too light on the words. But it’s worth a try, because it’s a great game and a great app. Solid graphics, music, gameplay. Highly recommended!

This game is perfect and the app is perfect.

How does AI player (hard) score .06 cents on the very first turn when a player can only score 5 max. Odd. We feel cheated.

We like the game, but the app needs to be developed a little more. Every time a game gets up to 5 active timeless classics, the AI opponent freezes and the app crashes. At that point, theres nothing to do but abandon the game and start a new one, because the bug will keep kicking you off the app. Hopefully theyll fix this in an update soon. It would also be nice to be able to purchase some of the fan fiction variants.

We really wanted to play this game with our wife and it looks like it couldve been a really good game which is why we gave it four stars. Unfortunately we get an HTTP error when we try to connect to an online game. It looks like they dont really support this anymore so Im guessing we just got it for no reason. Too bad.

Overall, we really enjoy this game. However, when we play against the computer on the hard setting, it is almost impossible to win. You would have to be a freaking word savant to come up with aalii or anchusa. They may be considered legit in an official Scrabble dictionary, but we shouldnt have to look up words two or three times every game because the terms are so obscure. Not fun.

We bought this after playing the board game, which is great. The app is tiny! Our vision is normal, but this is painful and hampers the fun. Please remove some of the dead space on the board to enlarge cards, and enable pinch to zoom.

We love the concept of the game. However, the game locks up intermittently after inspecting offer row cards.

Can corroborate earlier review.

This is yet another so so mobile version of a wonderful card game. It does not work properly on iPhone X and it has not been updated for newer iPad pros. When the app works it is a lot of fun but the app gets in the way. On the iPhone it loses track of ink and has scoring glitches. On the iPad it occasionally freezes. We really want to love this app and we hope it gets the updates it deserves.

Our IPad meets all the requirements but it will not run. We tape the icon, our screen goes black and then flips to the minimize state. It will not come back up when tapped. We contacted the company and they seemed to be working on it and then just forgot us. We contacted them again to be told that a closed ticket means they are working on it!! Really?????? We asked for a refund or a substitution of another game. No response. Really tired of trying to get support.

A week and a half ago, all of a sudden, new invites weren’t showing up in the app — I’d get a notification, but couldn’t accept. So, we figured I’d log out and back in to see if that would fix it, but none of the various passwords we tried worked. Tried resetting the password, TWICE, and never got a response back. We just tried to create a new account, and the app refuses to let us create a new one with our email address. So, the makers of this app can just go to @&$! — we’re never downloading one of their apps again (Paperback is buggy, too).

At some point it locks you out of the account, says incorrect password and if you try to reset it just gets stuck so there is no way to do so… So the whole reason we overplayed to play this game with friends and family long distance asynchronously is lost as we are locked out and are games are done. Disappointing.

We’re over our disappointment of Paperback, the app, not allowing for player powers. Because of that, we expected some of the rules to be missing from the app compared to the board game. Something as vital as the ability to flush the Offer should not have been left out [and wasn’t]. We’re disappointed. We’ll get over it, because it’s a great game even with a stripped version.

This backgrounds instantly on launch 100% of the time. We restarted our machine and reinstalled the app. No changes. We’re hoping this can be fixed. We’re a fan of Tim’s other designs.

Fun just like the card version. Even non-wordsmiths like us can win using clever card play. Only issue is that sometimes it hangs during AIs turn. This game is turning into an addiction.

This app taught us how to play the game. Very fun and very clean yet very rich visually. Make sure you put your log in info correctly at first as there is no way to change it in the app. We think this is a fine representation of the game. We own the game but for one reason or the other havent been able to get it to the table because our wife and daughter havent wanted to have to go through a rule book with us to learn a new game. Now we can just get it out and teach them. Good Job!

Nice interface and art for a good word game. V1.01b: no problems!

We like it a lot more than Paperback. While Paperback is a fun and relaxing game, we felt myself getting bored halfway through. Hardback is full of interesting decisions. The categories add a whole new level and create chaining bonuses like in Star Realms. Buying and using ink is a key feature of Hardback since its the only way to draw cards, and adds a press your luck element to the game. The greatest part is that you can flip over cards to make them wild. This allows freedom to create tons of words while still considering the chaining abilities of the cards. There are also options to adjust the victory point goal for longer or shorter games.

We love the physical game, and now we can play on our iPad! Easy to play with a good UI. Update: the latest release fixed the bug. Thanks for the quick response! – we’ve only played against the hard AI 1 bug and one request. Bug: If we had two Romance cards with the doubling effect it wouldnt let us use it with both cards. It would warn us that we hadnt used one of them when we tried to move on, but if we tap on the unused card, we couldnt select either of the adjacent cards. This happened twice. Both times the card it wouldnt let us use was a card with ink. No errors showed in the log. We can give more info if needed. Its a repeatable error. Request: when playing against the AI, it would be nice to have a back button. Id like to be able to re-do our word even after hitting submit.

This is another take on their earlier game, Paperback. It adds several interesting complications and improvements. There is a new suit mechanic, where you want to collect cards that compound their scores when played together. Each suit also focuses on certain types of gameplay advantages, so there is more variation from game to game that depends on which suits you focused on collecting. There is a new wildcard mechanic, where any card can be used as wild by flipping it over. This greatly increases the number of words that can be made from any hand. Because wild cards do not score at all, you have an interesting puzzle to solve in deciding which cards to score and which cards to use as wild. It also has a new push your luck mechanism where you can draw extra cards, which you must play. If you can play the new cards, you can get a great score, but if you draw an unfortunate combination of letters you might get stuck. On the downside, it feels like there is some more luck to it. We have had games where we easily tripled the score of the robots on medium, and we have had other games where we couldnt get started. Overall, we loved Paperback, and Hardback takes the same idea to another level.

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