Under a Spell

App review by
Paul Semel, Common Sense Media
Under a Spell App Poster Image
Clever, deceptive word puzzler makes spelling fun.

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A lot or a little?

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

Ease of Play

Simple touch controls, but can be mentally challenging.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language

Despite what letters "O," "O," and "P" might lead you to believe, you can't spell words like "POO."

Consumerism

Players can use real-world money to buy hints when they get stuck, earn hints by doing well, watching advertisements.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Under A Spell is a clever word game that's safe for all ages. There's no inappropriate content, and even when you get the letters "O," "O," and "P," you can't spell words in poor taste like "POO." That said, some parents might object that you can spell the word "DOG" but not "GOD" when you have the letters "G," "D," and "O." Be warned: there's no privacy policy available in the game or on the developer's website.

User Reviews

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What's it about?

As a word game, UNDER A SPELL doesn't have a story. Granted, it does have a wizard, but it doesn't have a bad guy, any monsters, or some short farmers trying to destroy a piece of jewelry. So, no story. But that's okay, since this linguistic puzzle game will give you plenty of words to make your own story. You just have to pick the letter pieces in order to spell the right one.

Is it any good?

By putting a clever twist on Scrabble­-esque word puzzles, this deceptively simple but challenging word game will keep all spellers entertained. In Under a Spell, you have to slide your finger from one letter piece to another to spell the right word. Except you can only connect letter pieces if they're next to each other, and have to do it in the right order. Though you do sometimes get hints, like how the second letter in a five-letter word is an "E." Letters can not only be connected up and down, but diagonally as well. And things just get more elaborate from there, with tiles on top of other tiles, or keeping other pieces frozen until you use other letters to form words first. There's even times when a letter piece will explode if you don’t use it fast enough. You also have to be mindful that using certain letters will make the rest of the puzzle impossible to finish. The game can also be played in a variety of languages, which makes it good for teaching words. But there are times when it can be a bit too rigid. Once, when given the letters "T," "S," I," and "E," putting in "TIES" didn't work; it was looking for "SITE." Even so, Under a Spell still manages to be fun challenge whether you're a Words with Friends addict or someone who always uses auto correct.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about spelling. Why is it important to know how to spell words correctly?

  • Talk about learning new words. Have you learned any new words playing this game? Why don't we try to learn a new word every day?

  • Discuss budgets. Since you can earn hints from playing this game, is there a reason to spend money to buy more of them?

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • Price: free with microtransactions
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Release date: April 21, 2017
  • Category: Word Games
  • Size: 268.00 MB
  • Version: 1.0.1
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 8.0 or later

For kids who love puzzles

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