Strategic word game builds vocab; optional open chat.

What parents need to know

Ease of play

The rules of the game have some intricacies, but play is introduced slowly with a tutorial that can be accessed at any time. Play is fairly challenging, and difficulty gradually increases with higher levels, though the games are not timed. The game is single-player only. Games can be played locally or saved to iCloud, then accessed from any device.


The definitions of some words include descriptions of or references to violence. 


The definitions of some words include descriptions of or references to sex.


Swear words that have other meanings, such as "damn," can be played, and their definitions can be viewed.


From the Shop link on the main menu, there are in-app purchases for Gigawatts from $2.99-$29.99. Gigawatts are are not necessary for gameplay, but the easy boost might be tempting for kids. There are also links on the main menu to rate the app or share with friends.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

The definitions of some words include descriptions of or references to drinking, drugs, or smoking.

Privacy & safety

Some privacy and safety concerns. In two-player mode, players can choose to be matched randomly with strangers. These games have a chat component, which could put young players at risk. Players can share the game, their scores, or definitions of words on Facebook, Twitter, or email. Additionally, players can opt in to Apple’s Game Center to track scores and achievements. 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. With iOS 5, 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 W.E.L.D.E.R. is a strategic word game that has optional links to social media and a mode that allows players to challenge friends or strangers. The 2-player mode includes chat features, which raises privacy and safety concerns for younger players. The game draws on the same word list as Words with Friends. Some words and definitions may include mature content. In addition, players can share the definitions or their scores on Facebook and Twitter and can also share high scores via the Game Center social network, but participation is optional.

What kids can learn


Language & Reading

  • vocabulary


Thinking & Reasoning

  • solving puzzles
  • strategy

Engagement, Approach, Support


Fun word game has a lot to offer teens. Dictionary feature makes it a great way to learn the meanings of obscure words. A little monotonous.

Learning Approach

Players must take the initiative to learn definitions since gameplay doesn't require it.


Play is introduced slowly with a tutorial that can be accessed at any time.

What kids can learn


Language & Reading

  • vocabulary


Thinking & Reasoning

  • solving puzzles
  • strategy

Teens can learn some unique new words and improve their spelling in this fun word game. For the most part, players build words they're familiar with; however, when the letter tiles fall, words can automatically form -- some familiar, others not. If they choose to, players can tap on a word and read its definition. Teens also use strategy skills as they navigate the different types of tiles and try to stay under the number of tile swaps allowed in each round. W.E.L.D.E.R is a fun game that has the potential to help players learn new words, but they need to make a conscious effort to do so. 

This Learning Rating review was written by Cynthia Chiong

User reviews

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's it about?

W.E.L.D.E.R is like a challenging version of Boggle crossed with a little Bejeweled. On an eight-by-eight tile board of jumbled letters, players swap tiles to form at least a 4-letter word of connected letters (the Boggle part). When they make a word, those letters disappear, making the tiles above fill in and new ones to appear at the top (the Bejeweled part). Some tiles have special characteristics, like they can’t be swapped or are double the points, giving the game an element of strategy.

Is it any good?


W.E.L.D.E.R. has a lot to offer teens. While there are elements of sharing and potential privacy risks in 2-player mode, it can be played as a self-contained, 1-player game. The game can get a little monotonous, but the variety of tiles and achievements helps mitigate this. The different types of tiles and swaps make this game very strategic, similar to Befuddled. Stylistically, the game is reminiscent of Spellsquares, with tiles locking into place. What sets W.E.L.D.E.R. apart from most word game apps is the dictionary feature, making it a great way to learn the meaning of obscure words (instead of just using them to frustrate your Words with Friends competitors). Of course, the exposure to mature content in the definitions, as well as the social network sharing and open chat, make this best for teens.

Families can talk about...

  • Draw your kids' attention to the dictionary feature in W.E.L.D.E.R.; it's easy to miss and can add a bit of vocabulary learning to their gameplay.

  • Choose to play a fun word game like Scrabble or Balderdash for your next family night. Your kids can show off their vocabulary and learn from you, too.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire
Release date:August 1, 2012
Category:Word Games
Size:48.70 MB
Publisher:Ayopa Games LLC
Minimum software requirements:iOS 3.1 or later; Android 2.3.3 and up

This review of W.E.L.D.E.R. was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

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.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

  • Set of addictive word games that use strategy, not speed.
  • Great tool uses context to explain commonly misused words.
  • Engaging word game free, but will entice you to buy extras.
  • Engrossing multiplayer word game with open chat option.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Write a user reviewThere aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Digital Compass