Common Sense Media says

Clever tapping game helps spelling and vocabulary.






What parents need to know

Ease of play

On-screen hints help when kids get stuck. They can shake the phone to scramble the letter grid. Minor complaint: It would be nice if traced words were automatically accepted like Wurdle's, instead of requiring an extra tap.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable

A prominent link on the main screen leads to other PopCap games.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Bookworm is word puzzle game with varying levels of difficulty. Kids connect letters to make words, and there are also definitions that build vocabulary. Burning letters spell disaster, though, and could frustrate kids who feel insecure about their spelling abilities. The game can be played in timed or untimed modes (the latter relieves the stress).

What kids can learn


Language & Reading

  • spelling
  • vocabulary


Thinking & Reasoning

  • solving puzzles
  • strategy

Engagement, Approach, Support


Kids are engaged by the challenge as they earn points for words, complete bonus books, keep track of their stats, and advance to the next level. Burning tiles add a layer of excitement.

Learning Approach

Because kids can look for any words they choose, the game is very adaptable. Learning is best for self-motivated kids or those with adults nearby because many features are optional, such as reading the definitions.


On-screen hints help when kids get stuck, and kids can access game stats and books of bonus words.

What kids can learn


Language & Reading

  • spelling
  • vocabulary


Thinking & Reasoning

  • solving puzzles
  • strategy

Kids can learn a little spelling and vocabulary as they build words in Bookworm. The definitions that pop up every now and then can strengthen vocabulary if kids choose to read them. With the fire tiles and bonus words, kids are challenged to use strategic thinking skills as they plan ahead and manipulate the game board. Though the bonus words encourage kids to look for possibly unfamiliar words, the game doesn't require it, so some players might stick with what they know. Bookworm is a fun word game with features that can enhance learning, but kids have to be self-motivated to benefit the most.

This Learning Rating review was written by Erin Wilkey Oh

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

Kids create words by connecting adjacent letters on the game board. Kids can watch the top of the screen to see if the letters they choose make a word, then tap again to submit the word for points. The blocks disappear and more letters drop down from above. Kids must use the red fire tiles in a word before they reach the bottom of the game board. When kids rotate the device, they can access stats on their game plus books of additional bonus words. Players can choose a timed or untimed game.

Is it any good?


The letter grid in Bookworm is set against a cartoon library presided over by Lex, a squeaky-voiced worm who gobbles down the words kids find. But the game's coolest special effect is burning tiles, which set adjacent letters on fire and end the round if not quickly used in a word. The effect adds a layer of challenge and excitement for kids. Bookworm is a clever, action-packed find-and-trace word game for grade-schoolers.

Families can talk about...

  • Play Bookworm with your kids and encourage them to read the definitions when they pop up.

  • To help your kids build longer words and review grammar, ask them, "What kinds of endings can we put on words to make them longer?" Then review plural (-s and -es), past tense (-ed), and other word endings.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Release date:October 24, 2009
Category:Word Games

This review of Bookworm was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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Educator and Parent of a 12 and 12 year old Written byMarlamama May 17, 2011

Great for kids who know enough vocabulary to succeed

We have Bookworm on many platforms, and have played it for years. It definitely builds vocabulary. We also love Bookworm Adventures--although it has challenges and scary creatures, so it is for more mature 9+ kids.
What other families should know
Educational value
Kid, 12 years old June 12, 2012

Very Fun

one time i played sex was the bonus word if kids get very un or likley swear words can be made
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much swearing


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