Top 5 word game apps06-Sep-2012
Last month we had a look at some great apps for classroom management, so I think it’s only fair to have a bit of fun and look at some word game apps! If most of your class have smart phones then you could incorporate the use of these apps into your classroom teaching, asking your students to play for the first five minutes of class, as an easy, fun and relaxed way of kicking off class. If that isn’t an option, these apps will still be a great recommendation to get your students practising their spelling and vocabulary while having fun!
I’m putting this one top because I just love the play on words. I can just imagine the conversations at lunchtime: ‘What are you playing?’ ‘Angry Words.’ ‘Angry Birds?’ ‘No, Angry Words!‘ Anyway, this is essentially a cross between Scrabble and Draw Something – you get word tiles and have to build up words on a board, and whoever gets the most points wins. The great thing is that your students can play against their Facebook friends, search for people by email or their Angry Words username, or they can play a random opponent if their friends aren’t online. This would be great if the majority of your students have smart phones, and if they all do, you could have an Angry Words tournament with prizes for the most impressive word! Best of all, the only complaint about the free version is that it has a couple of adverts inside!
Rating – 5/5 Cost – £ 1.24
Moxie is currently only available as an app for the iPhone and iPad, but there is an online version which plays well on other smart phones’ internet browsers – I’m on Android and tested it myself! The aim of Moxie 2 is to spell as many words as you can by replacing letter tiles with a new letter, chosen at random by the app. Say you start with the three letters L – A – N and the next letter to appear is an R: you could replace the L with the R to make the word RAN. If the next letter to pop up is a G, you could add it to the end of the word to make RANG. If the next letter is another G, you could swap it with the R to make GANG. There’s a maximum word length of six letters, rarer letters are worth more points, and you lose points for creating ‘twaddle’ or nonsense words. There’s also a special set of words, called Moxie Words, that give you bonus points if you can spell those out. It’s really simple but really addictive, and will definitely get your students thinking about their vocabulary. There’s also a free edition of the app available, and the online play through the website is completely free too.
Rating – 5/5 Cost – $1.99
This could be quite a difficult game for non-native English speakers because it combines language with logic, so it’s probably better for more advanced students. You start off with a selection of tiles, each with a couple of letters on them. You then have a list of seven very cryptic clues, and you must combine these multi-lettered tiles to create full words which are the answers to the cryptic clues (have a look at the screenshots on their product page to see this in action). It’s really addictive and completely free, so will be very popular with anyone who likes a challenge!
Rating – 5/5 Cost – free!
We all know the adrenaline rush from playing Tetris, as the screen fills up, bricks stacking higher and higher, until… Game over! Well, Word Crank combines Tetris with Boggle: you have to make words from the falling letter tiles to prevent the wall from filling up. It comes loaded with a dictionary.com Word of the Day widget that your students could put on their phone desktop to learn a new word every day, then try and spell it in the game! There’s a free version available too so you can try before you buy. It’s got great graphics and three difficulty levels: Basic, Bonkers and Bananas! Don’t tell me you’re not tempted to have a go yourself now…
Rating – 4/5 Cost – £0.64
If you like the sound of 7 Little Words but want something for lower-level students, you should take a look at Word Train. The clues aren’t cryptic at all but simply descriptions of the word that is the answer. The interface is fun too, and very thematic: the letter tiles are train carriages and you navigate different train lines as you go. This would be good with younger students if they have smart phones.
Rating – 3/5 Cost – free!