Subwords

App review by
Ana Beltran, Common Sense Media
Subwords App Poster Image
Fusion between trivia and word game engages spellers.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Though it's not designed to be educational, kids can explore new vocabulary and practice spelling by combining fragments to make words. 

Ease of Play

Tapping on the word fragments spells out words. The light bulb in the top right corner provides hints of words to look for. 

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Subwords is a word game that encourages kids to sift through various fragments to spell out words. It combines trivia with a word game. It offers 28 categories, allowing kids to choose from topics such as vegetables, animals, fruit, or more challenging topics, such as the solar system, European countries, and car brands. The categories offer various levels of difficulty by allowing kids to engage with familiar vocabulary and more complex or topic-specific words. Kids can choose to play in classic mode, where they use all the fragments to spell out words, or under timed mode, where they play against the clock. When players get stuck or do not know which words to look for, pressing the light bulb in the corner spells out a clue. The more kids play, the more stars they'll collect, revealing more categories. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

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What's it about?

Incorporating the idea of trivia, SUBWORDS is a word game that encourages kids to identify word segments and put them in order to spell out words. It provides players 28 category options. The categories range from common knowledge to more content-specific topics, creating a range of difficulty. Tapping on a word segment brings it to the bottom of the screen or moves it back into the mix. If kids have a tough time figuring out which words are part of a certain category or which segments to look for in order to spell out the next word, tapping on the light bulb provides a hint. There are two game modes to choose from: Classic mode allows players to focus on spelling out all the words, while timed mode challenges kids to spell out as many words as possible before time runs out. The settings offer control over sound. Kids can choose to play in English or explore words in German. They also have control over high contrast.

Is it any good?

A nifty fusion of trivia and word game offers players various levels of difficulty, keeping kids and grown-ups engaged while they practice spelling and learn new words. Subwords is pretty straightforward and simple to play. It requires kids to tap on the segments in the correct order to spell out words. The light bulb image provides players hints when they get stuck, which motivates kids to continue playing when it's not super clear which fragments go together to make words. It also encourages kids to take on challenging categories with more content-specific vocabulary, since hints are always a tap away. Although the words can be complex, the clues keep the game from becoming frustrating. The classic mode creates accessibility, allowing kids to play at their own pace, spell out words they know, and explore new vocabulary. The timed mode motivates kids to beat the best time and makes the game a bit more challenging and fast-paced. Searching for images or definitions of new words will enrich the experience. Also, it's a game that can grow with kids: Younger kids will be entertained with common knowledge topics, while older kids can begin to explore more complex topics. The coolest part of Subwords is that both kids and parents will find it entertaining and will want to play together.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about new vocabulary while playing Subwords. Can you find pictures, definitions, or descriptions to help you understand what the word means or represents?

  • Ask kids what words they would add under each category. Challenge them to break up the words and put them back together. For example, under the fruit category, kids might add words such as cherry, coconut, or passion fruit. How would you segment those words and how would you put them back together? 

App details

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For kids who love word games and spelling

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