Word Ball - A Fun Word Game and App App Poster Image

Word Ball - A Fun Word Game and App

(i)

 

Engaging, somewhat frantic game with some spelling practice.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids can learn spelling by building as many words as they can with colorful bouncing balls, each containing a letter. Letters shrink and then disappear if unused, so kids need to move fast. Words earn points based on the value assigned to each letter; longer words earn more. Kids won't see the point value while playing, so it's not easy to use it to their advantage. They also won't get help with misspellings. Kids can see a list of their words after the round, but no definitions. Word-building skills combine with arcade-style fun; learning value is limited.

Ease of play

Easy to play. Three modes -- classic, frenzy, and sprint -- are basically the same concept with small twists. While the scoring is explained at the beginning of a game, while you're making words, you can't see the point value of letters, and at the end of the game, you can't see the point value of the words you made.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex
Not applicable
Language

Words like "bitch" and "damn" are accepted.

Consumerism

A "credits" tab on the settings page lists the name of the developer, but does not link to its website or promos for other apps. Links to Facebook and Twitter pages are on the main page.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Word Ball - A Fun Word Game and App is a simple but effective word-building game that challenges players to build as many words as they can with colorful balls that have individual letters on them, as they bounce around and disappear. The words need only be three letters long, so even younger kids who have just recently learned to read and spell on their own can enjoy the challenge of this game. Some words earn more points, depending upon length of word and letters used. The game organizes all of the words a player has spelled at the end of each round by alphabetical order. This game is useful in helping kids practice word building while having lots of arcade-style fun.

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

Is it any good?

QUALITY

WORD BALL may seem a little frantic at first, with all those bouncy balls with letters on them bopping around your device's screen. But there's a method to this madness, and once your kid gets the hang of building words before the balls disappear, they will be sucked into the fun and hardly notice all of the vocabulary, concentration, and spelling practice going on. There's a subtle but challenging feature that make letters shrink if kids don't choose them, which challenges players to think about words (quickly!) containing letters they may not normally think to use (like "x" and "q") before they disappear; then, if used, the letter puffs up again, rewarding them for using it and giving them more chances. The alphabetized list of words that a player has built that can be seen at the end of a round is also a nice learning touch -- it's fun to see how players tend to gravitate to using words that begin with the same letter, for example. Then, next round, they can challenge themselves to not start any word with that letter. The options are endless in this deceptively simple yet very effective word game that many kids will return to time and again. 

Families can talk about...

  • Let your kid read his or her list of words to you and identify any unknown words. Work together to find definitions of the words.

  • Challenge your kid to make longer words.

  • Use Game Center achievements to set new goals.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire
Subjects:Language & Reading: spelling, vocabulary
Skills:Emotional Development: handling stress
Thinking & Reasoning: decision-making, logic, strategy
Price:$1.99
Release date:December 12, 2011
Category:Word Games
Size:13.20 MB
Version:1.52
Minimum software requirements:iOS 3.2.0

This review of Word Ball - A Fun Word Game and App 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.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

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

  • Terrific vocabulary twist on the playing card classic.
  • Build words one letter at a time in this fun challenger.
  • Fantastic version of board classic with lots of tools.

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

Parent of a 5 and 9 year old Written bybcjames June 1, 2013

no longer available

No longer available. iTunes search as of June 1, 2013.

Poll

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