I don’t know about you, but I love a really good word game. Whether I’m on public transport or just trying to wind down, an immersive and challenging word puzzle is often just the tonic for me. I can’t be the only ‘wordie’ either as there are literally hundreds of word games in the Android Market.
Therefore I have compiled what I believe to be a definitive list of the best. Is your favourite included here? Or have I missed out on an absolute gem? Has a meritorious masterpiece been inexcusably cast asunder? Read on to make absolutely sure…
Intricate and colourful graphics are perhaps the biggest draw here. 3D Magic Words features various modes of play, thousands of levels and slick 3D graphics. Create as many words as possible from those in your rack and make sure you create a word using all of them to progress the level. Different modes can give you up to five minutes to find as many words as you can.
When so many word games are relatively austere in the visuals department, it is nice to see the beauteous effort that has gone into the graphics in 3D Magic Words. The game therefore stands out as something great to look at in addition to being lots of fun to play.
7 Little Words is a polite and unassuming word puzzle game where you have to solve crossword style clues using 20 letter groups, using including 2 or 3 letters each. Graphics, sound and gameplay are deliberately minimalist yet compulsively charming. Gameplay is occasionally tough yet highly addictive.
7 Little Words first came to my attention when an early paid-for version became one of Amazon’s Free Apps of The Day. A relaxing and engaging word puzzle, 7 Little Words is the ultimate in gentle wind-down games. It makes my top three of this ‘best-of’ list for its overall challenge and unassuming beauty.
Set in a clucking chicken shed, you have a set of letters from which you must create as many words as possible. Familiar gameplay, 300 levels, smart visuals and the ability to earn ‘Eggchievements’ (yeah, that doesn’t actually work does it?) Chicktionary is a staple word puzzle cutely themed. One cool feature is that you can shake your phone and the chickens shuffle.
Chicktionary is another title which argues the point that word games do not have be devoid of nice graphics. It’s quite a cute game environment and perhaps ideal for children to play. Again there are different modes which create differing challenges so, while the ‘find-as-many-words-as-possible’ formula isn’t particularly novel, there is at least variety. Anyway… ‘Chicktionary’ has such a lovely ring to it!
Dabble is the mobile version of the popular board game of the same name. Simply shuffle and realign the racked letters to create a 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 letter word. There are awards and badges for fast times and high points. The graphics are also pretty nice and the game itself is a novel twist on the word puzzle genre.
It’s always refreshing to see new word game concepts developed and Dabble stands out as an immersive and fun word creation game. There is a slew of stats collected with each game you play, so it’s great to go back and beat your previous scores. Like most word games it’s impeccably casual, perfect for bus rides or a five minute distraction.
Dropwords presents players with a grid of letters which, when used to make a word, disappear, creating an ever-changing and dynamic board of letters. The game is quite rightly described as a blend of Scrabble, Boggle and Bejeweled. Scores are accumulated and compiled through the Papaya Mobile social gaming network, so you can compete with friends online.
One of the first word games I found myself addicted to was Word Drop and, now renamed Dropwords, it still holds my attention as an absorbing puzzler. The graphics are somewhat dated now but it’s still addictive and enjoyable.
Hanging With Friends is the cuter, younger sibling to Words With Friends, both being the digital children of internet gaming behemoth Zynga. A flamboyantly visualised rendition of pen-and-paper classic ‘Hangman’, the game lets you play against multiple online opponents. Sadly the hanging by execution element of the original has been supplemented for a more serene balloon suspension, albeit over volcanic lava.
Graphics in Hanging With Friends are remarkably colourful and bold and there is a busy online community from which to find your challenger. Unlike the early version of Words With Friends, Hanging With Friends is both stable and responsive. Despite being loads of fun, I think games of Hangman only have so much appeal. However, for short bursts of wordy fun, it’s pretty and immaculate.
Choose between game lengths of 30 seconds, one minute or two minutes in this polished little word puzzle where you must find as many words as you can. These kind of games are immediately familiar and playable, but Solitaire Words comes with integrated Openfeint scoring so you can seamlessly fence high scores with your buddies online.
Solitaire Words is certainly not the most original of word games, but it is very grown-up and responsive. There are no primary coloured balloons or clucking chickens here. If you commute, this is perhaps the most dignified option for playing in public.
Touchy Words is aesthetically very basic, yet it is actually graphically better now than when it was first released. Letters are introduced from the left hand side, filling a rack of nine tiles. Select letters to create word and these disappear to allow more room. There are dedicated areas of the screen for scores, letters remaining and created words and you have a set number of letters available.
The game is quite novel and fun, despite the simplistic graphics. I find Touchy Words very addictive and this is complimented heavily by the ‘just-one-more-go’ factor. It’s very easy to pick up and play and great for casual word gamers who favour simplicity and intuitiveness.
Wixel is another grown-up word game which features a cool coffeebreak thematic that should be popular with commuters, espresso fans and wordies alike. Create as many words as feasible from words from a 4×4 or 5×5 grid. If you get the full version you can play online against fellow word junkies and the whole app has a decidedly polished and bold feel to it.
No gurning avatars, no gimmicks or characters – Wixel is a cracking little game that looks cool and is equally challenging and immersive. It’s easy to play and while not massively addictive, it blends compelling yet familiar gameplay with a refined aesthetic.
Word Game Pro might not be imaginatively titled, but features hustling and frenetic gameplay. The time is against you as you create words from a rack of letters, with more tiles moving to your rack with each submission. The colours and design of the game are looking a little jaded with time now, but the game itself if very good indeed.
I was once heavily addicted to Word Game Pro. It’s just so busy and fast with the countdown timer along the top and sharp gameplay. If you like to add a bit of pressure to your word puzzling, this is great option.
I think everyone and their puppy has played Word Mix. An essential download for me, it is a champion of the find-as-many-words-as-you-can genre and has deliciously pressurised gameplay. This for me was the original of this word-game type, and I played it to death when I first bought an Android phone.
Now featuring Openfeint scoring, you no longer have to play against yourself. The game also features bonuses and hints should you need them. Word Mix is crucially very intuitive; options like the ability to resubmit your last word to the rack should you need to add to it demonstrates a cool way in which the game helps you, making for a far more enjoyable experience.
Word Weasel is my latest Market find and is absolutely brilliant. It’s an online multiplayer game where you compete against a dozen ore more opponents in the ultimate word-finding challenge. You have one minute to find as many words as possible and submit them. Your score is accumulated and then, at the end of the game, compared with all the other players in that game – telling you what position you came in.
Utterly immersive and competitive stuff it’s also frantic as the clock is always running down either in the game you are playing or the next one. You just have to dip into it and let your brain fizz with words for sixty seconds at a time to see where it gets you. Despite not hearing of Word Weasel until recently (well, only when researching this article actually) I’m finding it horrifically addictive. There are always oodles of players online so definitely check it out.
I think there is a widely held opinion that Wordfeud is the best Scrabble alternative on Android. I might be wrong but nonetheless it seems to be incredibly popular. It was available long before the release of the official Scrabble game in the US and seems to have been adopted by the word-game of choice for many.
There is lots of to love about it. If Words With Friends looks a bit ‘pre-school’ for you (and I wouldn’t blame you for thinking that) then Wordfeud is ideal. Play against online competitors on a slick game board that does exactly what it is supposed to do and still looks good without the frills and showboating of other titles.
Words With Friends is a huge, online, cross-platform, Scrabble-thumping title from Zynga (of Farmville fame). Create words from the rack of seven letters and compete against myriads of online friends (or strangers). While very Scrabble-esque, the mobile forum is very polished and bright with delicious graphics and a rich online environment.
Seriously flawed when it was initially released, Words With Friends crashed so often it was virtually unplayable for quite some time. Following a huge update which greatly improved stability, the game has finally started to win back support from impatient word gamers. A massive title on iOS and Android, there is always plenty of competition.
In Word Twist you have to create words by dragging your finger from letter to letter, combining them to make a new word. It has a relatively cute bubble/underwater theme to complement the familiar gameplay. The graphics are quite simple compared to other titles, but the game does provide extra scoring options and achievements, which are subsequently displayed in a Trophy case.
Word Twist isn’t the most glamorous of the titles in this list, but should you have an older phone which can’t handle the searing visual heat of some of the other games listed here, this might be just what you need. The game is responsive; there’s no lagging or delay – just straight into the game. It’s good fun, and kids will like the fishy theme too.
WordzUp is another title I have been periodically fixated by in the past. You have a rotatable grid of letters from which you have to create as many words as you can muster. You can change the time you take to play the game so it’s ideal for beginners or experts and your scores are saved at the end so you can play again to better your previous achievements.
You need to slide your finger quickly across the gameboard to make the words and as the clock ticks down, accuracy is the order of the day. It’s lots of fun, again it’s something I’ve been playing for many, many months now and I would greatly recommend it if you haven’t given it a try.
Word games are usually highly addictive and buckets of fun to play. I think the genre lends itself very well indeed to the touchscreen platform and in many way I find it more intuitive and natural to play certain games on my Android device than on my laptop. Not included here, but perhaps worth a mention, are the official Scrabble app – which isn’t available anywhere except the US – and Lingrove – a quirky little game only available through Amazon.
Here is just a smattering of the best I have discovered so far- hopefully there might be a couple of new ones you might not have heard of. I’m a massive word game fan, so if I have somehow flagrantly missed an absolute diamond, let me know!