Similar to Boggle, each player forms words from a given set of letters until either time or one player's life meter runs out. With each word formed, the player's opponent receives damage based upon the value of each letter in the word likened to the letter value system in Scrabble. As time progresses, certain powers appear that can be executed anytime during gameplay that can alter the outcome of the match.
There are three modes of gameplay:
- Turn-Based: Each player takes turns forming a word to throw at the opponent.
- Real-Time: Gameplay is a free for all throwing of words until either one player's life meter or the time runs out.
- Single-Player Campaign: This mode is said to be a mix between Typing of the Dead and Plants vs. Zombies. The difference in gameplay, as attributed to Co-Founder and Game Designer Gian Cruz of Feel Every Yummy, is not to forcibly dumb down a computer opponent that would otherwise massacre the player (quote not verbatim).
The following is a list of powers currently available with their descriptors:
- Resist Damage: Opponent's damage is halved for ten seconds.
- Double Damage: Damage for next word is doubled.
- Triple Damage: Damage for next word is tripled.
- Scramble: Both boards scramble.
- Letter Switch: Player can switch any two letters on the board.
- Reverse Speller: Forces opponent to spell all words backwards for ten seconds.
- Upside Down: Forces all letters on opponent's board to flip upside down for ten seconds.
- Power Steal: Steals any of an opponent's available powers.
- Health: Player recovers health with the next word.
- Blackout: Hides five of an opponent's letters from view, though still allows usage of all letters.
Currently, there are six different literary characters in Writer Rumble with additional ones promised for the future. The current set with their respective skills includes:
- Edgar Allan Poe (Edgar): Scramble, Double Damage, Blackout
- Agatha Christie (Agatha): Letter Switch, Reverse Speller, Upside Down
- Jane Austen (Jane): Scramble, Double Damage, Triple Damage
- Homer (Homer): Power Steal, Letter Switch, Resist Damage
- The Brothers Grimm (The Brothers): Letter Switch, Resist Damage, Double Damage
- H.P. Lovecraft (Howie): Scramble, Health, Upside Down
According to Designer and Co-Founder Gian Cruz of Feel Every Yummy, the game is expected to later release additional content, including additional characters, powers, and single player campaigns.