A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Pictoword Free is a puzzle-driven app. The app is easy to learn and comes with video tutorials if players get stuck. Kids have the option of watching ads to earn coins, which can be used to buy hints; they can view an ad to triple the coins they're receiving or earn $10 every three hours by allowing full-screen ads to be shown if they choose to not purchase coins with real money. But they don't have to choose to use ads, as kids can also keep guessing, earning coins by playing and solving puzzles.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
In PICTOWORD FREE, kids identify words based on two photos that are shown -- for example, football, based on pictures of a foot and a ball -- and choose from a list of letters to submit a guess. They earn coins for each correct answer and can use them on hints to reveal or remove a letter or have one of the photos identified. Kids can also use coins to skip a puzzle.
Is it any good?
This puzzle experience is easy to get into and play, but if players get stuck, there's no solution available to them. The Pictoword Free experience is pretty simple; users enter a guess and can keep trying until they get it right. The puzzles aren't too complicated, so kids should be able to solve many of them. If they can't, they can use some of the coins they've accumulated by playing to get a hint. Kids earn coins as they finish puzzles and can also get them by playing three days in a row, finishing five puzzles a day, or watching advertisements.
The app gets points for offering positive encouragement when you solve a puzzle; issues could arise, though, if kids haven't earned enough (or have spent their saved coins) and can't figure out an answer. You need a fair amount -- $150 -- of coins to be able to skip a puzzle. If you can't afford that and don't have enough for a clue, there's no way to move on and keep playing the game without entering the correct response. Incorporating free clues or the ability to skip puzzles would ease the risk of kids becoming frustrating and potentially giving up if they can't identify one of the words.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about screen time. How much time should they spend playing app-based games, even if they offer some educational benefits such as practicing verbal skills? How much time each day is too much?
Discuss picture recognition. Can you draw two images to represent a short list of words?
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
- Subjects: Language & Reading: letter or word recognition, vocabulary
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: logic, solving puzzles
- Pricing structure: Free
- Release date: February 24, 2017
- Category: Word Games
- Topics: Numbers and Letters
- Last updated: November 11, 2020
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.