Hanging With Friends




Hangman meets Scrabble, against online opponents.

What parents need to know

Ease of play

The interface is mostly intuitive, but the help section doesn't explain how all the features work. Scrabble players will be familiar with the DW, TL, etc. which stand for "Double Word," "Triple Letter," and so on, but they are never explained. Also, on occasion the screen doesn't display the word being guessed -- either by the opponent or even by you. Backing out to the menu and returning seems to solve this.


Each time you miss a word, one of the balloons your avatar is holding shoots away and the avatar drops lower on the screen. When you lose, your avatar apparently falls into a pool of lava, though there isn't any animation showing the results. Afterward your avatar is shown apparently crying over the loss.


While there is no sexual content in the app, users can play sex-related words.


No language issues in the app itself, but users can play words like "bitch" and "damn."


Coins, which can be used for hints and character upgrades, are available as an in-app purchase ranging from $1 to $50. The app is branded with the Zynga logo and has a link to other Zynga games; the free version of the app is ad-supported.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

While there are no such issues in the app itself, users can play words related to drinking, drugs, or smoking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Hanging With Friends is a hangman-style game that allows players to find opponents among their Facebook friends and Twitter followers or even complete strangers. The open chat interface introduces some privacy and safety issues. The app can be glitchy; sometimes letter tiles do not display properly. There is also a free, ad-supported version of the app.

What kids can learn


Language & Reading

  • spelling
  • vocabulary


Thinking & Reasoning

  • deduction
  • solving puzzles

Tech Skills

  • social media

Engagement, Approach, Support


Learning Approach


What kids can learn


Language & Reading

  • spelling
  • vocabulary


Thinking & Reasoning

  • deduction
  • solving puzzles

Tech Skills

  • social media

Kids can learn the importance of spelling skills and a strong vocabulary when playing Hanging With Friends. There is no built-in dictionary to help teens expand vocabulary or solve the puzzles, so they must rely on their current knowledge or look for guidance outside the app. Building words gives them a little practice with math skills, and the social media component offers teens the opportunity to demonstrate safe and responsible online behavior. Hanging With Friends is a social word game that mixes a little spelling practice with a lot of fun.

This Learning Rating review was written by Erin Wilkey Oh

What's it about?

Players build a word for their opponent to guess using a set of 12 letter tiles, which earn them points depending on the placement of bonus spots (double letter, triple word, etc.). The points earn players gold coins, which they can use to buy avatars, backgrounds, and other extras. To guess a word, players choose letters until the word is revealed; they only get a certain number of strikes (wrong guesses) before they lose the round and one of their avatar's five balloons pops. When one player loses all five balloons, the game is over.

Is it any good?


HANGING WITH FRIENDS is a cross between hangman and Scrabble (or Words With Friends): You create words for your opponent to guess, and then guess the words they've created. Each time you guess you get a few mistakes before you've missed the word, and then one of your five balloons pop. Run out of balloons, and you lose the game. Meanwhile, you get a set of 12 random letter tiles to create words, and there are bonuses for double- and triple-word or letter scores. Get enough points, and you're rewarded with coins that can be used for lifelines that give you a hint or remove a mistake.

There does seem to be an interface issue where the letter tiles do not always display properly. Still, the game is quite fun to play and adds a twist to the traditional hangman game.

Families can talk about...

  • Encourage your kids to play with people they know in real life -- including you! If your kids play against random opponents, make sure they know to keep personal information private, and to resign from any game where a random opponent behaves inappropriately.

  • Encourage your kids to look up the meanings of unfamiliar words.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire
Release date:June 9, 2011
Category:Word Games
Size:19.40 MB
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.0 or later; Android 2.1 and up

This review of Hanging With Friends was written by

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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.

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For kids who love word games and puzzles

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 10 years old July 27, 2012

bad word bad child

i play this game but i know that anyone and i mean ANYONE can use a word and a bad word can surface your kids like some BAD BAD word and you have to get coins with real money oh and you'r kid can play with pepol on facebook sorry for spelling
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Safety and privacy concerns
Parent of a 8 and 10 year old Written byJojano July 26, 2011

Fine for younger kids if they are supervised

My eight year old daughter loves this app. She plays with her friends all the time. I'm trying to understand why the site rated it for 14 and up?? Maybe because, depending on who you are playing, the words can be hard to guess? Or maybe because it allows users to play strangers? I've just told my daughter that she is only allowed to play her friends. I also told her that I will frequently check the dialogue on the chat part. Neither of those "rules" have been a problem for us.
Parent Written bytestik August 22, 2015

Nice game but some MAJOR flaws

Will somebody please tell me why this game will not me play "morphed" or "rehome"? Those are perfectly fine words. If the game won't recognize perfectly valid common English words, then what good is it?


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