games

I don’t think it will surprise you to learn that I really like word games (though in my defense, I like other games, too, and am truly a well-rounded person, okay? 😀). I recently learned about a new game called Wordslay from its developer, who wondered if I’d be willing to tell you about it, too. It turned out to be a terrific game, and it got me to thinking that you might be interested in hearing about the other wordy games that have made it onto my phone. So, in no particular order, here are the 6 best word games for your phone, according to me.

Wordslay

WordslayWordslay is what would happen if you combined an epic word scramble with that duck-hunting game from the carnival midway. The letters are moving targets and you need to peck out enough of them to make words and score points, all while the clock ticks down. Different game play mechanics in different chapters of the game keep things interesting. Beautiful graphics and sound make this thoroughly addictive game stand out.

Languages: English
Type of Action: Speedy and frantically fun
Number of Players: 1 (or 2 with $2.99 in-app purchase)
Difficulty: This game has just one level of difficulty, but the game play makes Wordslay accessible and fun for everyone from master wordsmiths to second language learners.
Platform & Price: iTunes App Store (free with in-app purchases), Apple Watch ($1.99)
Website:  tylerapps.com

Synonomy

SynonomyFor something more meandering and thinky, look no further than Synonomy. You’re assigned a target word you’re trying to find, and the only way to get there is by choosing a chain of synonyms beginning with the first word you’re given. So, for example, you might be trying to get from the word obstacle to change, and you might do it like this: obstacle → chain → train → groom → fix → adjust → change. Stylish graphics and minimalist sound make this game the perfect one to go with a cup of black tea, an armchair, and a rainy day.

Languages: English
Type of Action: The tranquil and cogitative resolution of conundrums
Number of Players: 1
Difficulty: With 5 levels of difficulty to choose from, most people can enjoy this game. Young kids and beginning language learners will probably find this one a challenge.
Platform & Price:
iTunes App Store($1.99), Google Play Store ($2.22), Mac App Store ($1.99), Steam Store ($2.19)
Website:  synonymy-game.com

Alpha 9

Alpha 9Looking for a fast-paced brain burner? Alpha 9 is a bit like Tetris but with raining letter tiles. In wall mode, a pile of letters begin to accumulate and you need to clear them (by forming words) before they reach the top of the screen. And the longer you play, the faster the tiles fall… In clock mode, you begin with a wall full of tiles and try to score as many points you can as the clock counts down. This is a pacey game that somehow manages to be mellow at the same time—chill music and smooth graphics set the tone.

Languages: English, French
Type of Action: An engrossing race against the clock
Number of Players: 1
Difficulty: Fun for everyone, this is a great game for second language learners.
Platform & Price:
iTunes App Store ($1.99)
Website: iTunes page

WordBoxer

WordBoxerWordBoxer combines the strategic point multipliers of Scrabble with the word finding of Boggle in a head-to-head battle with the computer or a friend. You can play in a dozen languages, making it a fun way for second language learners to bone up on their vocabulary. If you or your opponent make a word you don’t know, tapping on the word will take you to its definition. Fun in any language (I would imagine—it was fun in the 2 I tried)!

Languages: Catalan, Danish, Dutch, English, French, Frysk, German, Indonesian, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish
Type of Action: Relaxed, competitive fun
Number of Players: 1 (against the computer) or 2
Difficulty: The game’s 3 levels of difficulty and its mode of game play make this an accessible game for everyone while keeping everyone challenged.
Platform & Price: iTunes App Store (free with in-app purchases), Google Play Store (free with in-app purchases)
Website:  wordboxer.com

Whirly Word

WhirlyWordIn this game players are given 6 letters and must form as many words from them as possible. Once you’ve reached the minimum score, you can move on to the next word. But beware: if you’re a completionist, you won’t be putting this game down soon. The game shows players how many words they could still make if they just stuck it out, and I, for one, am loath to move to the next word if I haven’t found every single answer for the current challenge! This is a great game for second language learners, too—when the game is done, the meaning of any word that’s been played can be accessed by tapping on the word in the list. The game lets players choose their preferred colour scheme and music (or silence).

Languages: English
Type of Action: Satisfyingly obsessive
Number of Players: 1
Difficulty: The game offers the choice of 2 English dictionaries the player can use—the abridged includes only commonly used words while the full dictionary includes lots of arcane words to make things more difficult.
Platform & Price:
iTunes App Store ($1.99)
Website:  whirlyword.com

WordBrain

WordBrainDon’t be deceived. WordBrain starts out easy, but after the first couple of levels, it’ll start to bend your noodle. Players are given a field of letters and must make words with them. With game play in 15 different languages, it’s a good resource for second language learners who want to play their way to a bigger vocabulary. One note of caution, though: the game is looking for a specific word, and anagrams won’t be accepted. So if the offered letters are O – P – S – T, the game won’t accept TOPS or STOP or POTS if it’s looking for OPTS. Playing in both my native English and my second language, French, I found this to be a bit vexing in the beginning. But I have to admit, it does just make the game that much more challenging, which can’t be a bad thing, right?

Languages: Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish
Type of Action: Relaxed, sleuthy fun
Number of Players: 1
Difficulty:  This game doesn’t offer more than one difficulty level. It is easy in the beginning, but it quickly becomes quite challenging.
Platform & Price:
iTunes App Store (free with in-app purchases), Google Play Store (free with in-app purchases)
Website:  maginteractive.se

 

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English Down Under

by Heather

The past couple of weeks I’ve been wandering around in Sydney, Australia, so it seems fitting to make today’s post a roundup of fun and informative links about the ways that English happens down here.

And now I’m off to the beach…but purely on a language fact-finding mission, I assure you.

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Procrastination Station

You may have noticed that I haven’t been posting quite as often the last little while. It has been awfully busy in WordBlogland the past couple of months, but I suspect there may have been a teensy bit of procrastination involved, too. So to give you something to hold you over until my next entry, I’ve gathered a few fun word-related sites to help you while away your time.

You’ll find lots of rebuses to exercise your mind at NIEHS Rebus Brainteasers page, and a great list of record-breaking words at fun-with-words.com. And if you really want to get lazy and avoid writing, visit the The Morty Skusting Writing Avoidance Center—it will automatically create memos, band names, postmodernist scholarship, and more so you don’t have to.  Enjoy!

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Art for Word Lovers

The Ideal Bookshelf is an ongoing project by artist Jane Mount. She says, “We show off our books on shelves like merit badges (the ones not on our Kindle, at least), because we’re proud of the ideas we’ve ingested to make us who we are, as we should be. The spine of a book, as I paint it—only a few inches tall and with slightly wobbly text—is a sort of code for the giant cloud of ideas the author included within it. Just ten of them together on a sheet of paper tells the story of the mind that picked them in a way that is easily digestible but allows for endless study.”

AA

This Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea poster is created using the first 8 chapters of the book. Find posters for other classics of literature at the PosterText website.


Accessories for Word Lovers

Bibliophiles, don’t fret! All of these purses are made from damaged or discarded books, 90% were being thrown out by libraries. All care is taken to never use valuable or rare books. Have a favorite book that is falling apart? Send it to Rebound Designs and they will turn it into a one of a kind purse or wallet for you!

This bag is hand made from two volumes of the United States Code Annoted, taking around 7 hours to make! It has a maroon faux leather trim & a black microsuede lining with pocket. Check out other designs at the BookBags website

DIY Gifts for Word Lovers

Make your own wordy wreathes from the pages of discarded books! Lindsay can show you how at her blog, Living with Lindsay.

A shelf that floats on air? Learn how to make one at the Instructables website.

Photo by P5ychoP3nguin

Games for Word Lovers

Take turns adding letters to a teetering tower of words. Go for longer words – upward, downward, or sideways – to score more points. But watch out…the next letter may cause gravity to kick in and a Konexi collapse!

WordJong features simple engrossing gameplay: Use a set of lettered tiles to create words, clearing the board as you use them. Aim for high-scoring words, earn bonus tiles, and work to clear the board with no leftover letters

Books for Word Lovers

Ever wanted to be a character in a classic book? Well, here’s you chance with Personalized Classics.
Substitute the name of the leading character with your name, and create your own cast list – choose yourself, family and friends to play 6 leading characters

The Book Lovers’ Borrow Book consists of a bound set of bookmarks with stubs. Slip a bookmark, with your name added, in each book you lend someone, then write their name on the stub. It reminds them to return your book and gives you a record of borrowings. Very clever.


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Welcome to the new year, fellow logophiles. I hope that your 2009 was chockful of new vocabulary, fantastic friends, great reads, fascinating conversations, wholesome fun, and above all, words! And, of course, I wish you a 2010 full of more of the same.

So to start the year off right, here’s a roundup of my favourite online word games. Have fun, and watch you don’t put your “i” out.

CRYPTOQUOTE


Crack the secret code and win the game.

ETYMOLOGIC

Do you know where that word came from? Find out here.

GRAMMAR GAME (FREE RICE)

For every grammar question you answer correctly, 10 grains of rice are given to those in need.

POPWORD

Quick! Build words before the board fills up.

QUIDDLER

Strategically build words to maximize your points.

SENTENCED

Up word fix the up mixed. Sort out the syntax to win.

VOCABULARY GAME (FREE RICE)

Test your vocabulary and help feed those in need with each correct answer.

WORD MASTER

Build words by unscrambling the letters.

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