Boggle for iPad

App review by
Erin Wilkey Oh, Common Sense Media
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Fun, family-friendly word game faithfully re-created.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn a little vocabulary and spelling as they find words on the Boggle game board. The game won't allow players to submit made-up words or misspellings, though many of the accepted words will be unfamiliar to kids. At the end of each game, kids can review a list of all possible words. When they tap on a listed word, they can review a pop-up definition from (though this feature doesn't always work). Boggle for iPad can help kids pick up new vocabulary and practice spelling, but the supports aren't consistent or thorough enough for a deep learning experience.

Ease of Play

Completely intuitive. From shaking the iPad to scramble letters to tapping on them to form words, players will feel at home instantly.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

Upon opening the app, a pop-up ad appears; kids have to tap "No thanks" to access the main menu. Also upon start up there is a banner ad in the bottom right corner of the screen advertising other apps. A "More EA Games" button on the menu takes kids to a screen with ads for more apps from the developer along with links to the App Store.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Boggle for iPad looks and plays much like its real-world counterpart and is suitable entertainment for the whole family. The option to connect the game to Facebook is encouraged in multiple places within the app, and appears to be the only way to view high scores (even for a solo player). However, the game is completely playable without connecting to social media. Creating words from a grid of scrambled letters forces players to use their brains, and a pass-and-play mode promotes face-to-face social gaming experiences.

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What's it about?

In less than three minutes, kids identify as many words as they can on a 4x4 grid of scrambled letter cubes. Words must be at least three letters long, and the letters in the word must touch vertically, horizontally, or diagonally. Players tap on the letters for each word and tap the final letter to submit the word. An advanced mode offers a couple of twists on the classic game. Players can challenge friends online by linking the app to Facebook. A multiplayer mode allows kids to play with friends face to face.

Is it any good?

BOGGLE FOR IPAD is a faithful recreation of the family-friendly word game. Just give the iPad a shake to scramble the letters, then start tapping them to spell out words. The push for Facebook integration might be a bit frustrating for those who aren't interested in that option. And though players who don't log in to Facebook can still earn achievements and see stats on their gameplay, it would be nice if a simple high scores list were available as well.

Some welcome twists on the classic formula come in the form of a pass-and-play mode for up to four players, the ability to challenge others to outdo your score, and an advanced mode in which players can turn on "portal cubes," meaning that the first and last letters of each word you form will swap places, resulting in a constantly changing board layout. A collection of unlockable achievements provides motivation for solo players to do their best, but in the end, it's a game best experienced in a friendly competitive environment with others.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Play with your kids using the multiplayer mode, in which you use the app as a traditional game board. Using pencil and paper helps kids strengthen writing skills.

  • Look at the word lists with your kids at the end of each game. Choose a few unfamiliar words and read the definitions together.

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love board games and word games

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