Dabble - The Fast Thinking Word Game

Common Sense Media says

Quick-moving game will engage kids who love words.






What parents need to know

Ease of play

Playing is easy: Touch the letters and drag them to the desired space. The objective can be difficult; spelling five words in under five minutes can get tricky. 

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An option to purchase the Dabble board game appears on the home screen; tapping will take users to the Amazon website.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Some privacy concerns. Players can connect Dabble to their Facebook accounts in order to challenge friends and share high scores. This option is available from the main menu button "Challenge a Friend." In addition, players can opt in to Apple's Game Center to track scores and achievements, and for some games, challenge friends. Players can send and receive friend requests using an email address or Game Center nickname, revealing the first and last name associated with each party's Apple ID and, in the case of email requests, the sender's email address. Players can opt to have a private or public profile, which can include a photo. With a public profile, your real name is visible to all other players, and Game Center will recommend you to other players using your real name. With a private profile, only your friends can see your real name, and Game Center will not recommend you to other players.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Dabble - The Fast Thinking Word Game encourages quick wit and an extensive vocabulary. Although there's no iffy content in the app, younger kids still learning to spell will likely find it frustrating. The object of the game is to spell five words (of specific lengths) from a set of 20 letters in under five minutes. Players earn more points the quicker they can spell five different words, but still score if they are unable to finish the task in the time allotted. Players can share high scores via the Game Center social network and Facebook, but participation is optional.

What kids can learn


Language & Reading

  • spelling
  • vocabulary


  • board games


Thinking & Reasoning

  • solving puzzles
  • strategy

Engagement, Approach, Support


Kids who enjoy playing with words will keep coming back for more. It's marketed as a family game, and will appeal to a range of ages. Kids who have difficulties with spelling or have limited vocabularies may get frustrated.

Learning Approach

Kids will practice spelling, and will be able to use vocabulary words they already know. Self-motivated kids may also pick up new words. There's no dictionary, so curious kids will have to find the meanings of new words on their own.


Instructions are brief but adequate. There are no hints. Once your time is up, you can see the results but the game is not saved, only the score, so if you actually want to go back to check a word, you can't do it.

What kids can learn


Language & Reading

  • spelling
  • vocabulary


  • board games


Thinking & Reasoning

  • solving puzzles
  • strategy

Kids can learn a little spelling and vocabulary as they rearrange the Dabble tiles and try to create five words in less than five minutes. This fun word game helps kids dig into their existing vocabulary and challenges them to explore and discover new words. Kids can develop strategy skills as they try to make best use of the tiles for each game. For example, if there aren't many vowels, they'll have to make words with more consonants. Kids who enjoy puzzles and are self-motivated to learn can have lots of fun and pick up a little new vocabulary with Dabble.

This Learning Rating review was written by Erin Wilkey Oh

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What's it about?

Players receive 20 letter tiles arranged in a pyramid with six letters on the bottom row and two letters on the top. The goal is to swap tiles so that each row spells a word, creating a total of five words. The letters turn blue when a word is valid. Players can submit fewer than five words and still earn points. The app shows a correct solution at the end of each round. Players can connect to Facebook to challenge friends.

Is it any good?


Part of Dabble's addicting game's charm is the background noise. The combination of tiles being shuffled, along with the upbeat classical music (that speeds up when a word is spelled correctly), all aim to relax and encourage the player as time quickly runs dry. 

Players will be motivated to keep competing for different awards such as quickest time, highest score, and consecutive winning streaks. Users may enter up to four names to track scores and can switch users in the middle of a game. Dabble promises to be quick-wit fun for the whole family.

Families can talk about...

  • If your kids like the Dabble app, pick up the board game version for your next family game night.

  • Look at the puzzle solution with your kids at the end of each game. Choose any unfamiliar words and look up the definitions together.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire, Nook HD
Release date:October 4, 2012
Category:Word Games
Size:19.00 MB
Publisher:INI, LLC
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.3 or later; Android 2.2 and up

This review of Dabble - The Fast Thinking Word Game 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, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent Written byhoritof March 7, 2012

The Perfect Family Word Game!

What other families should know
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