Word Joust for 6-8

App review by
Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Media
Word Joust for 6-8 App Poster Image
Brief vocab quests should hold preteen attention.

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn the 3,000 most popular words used in middle school reading materials. They'll master words like alligator, guitar, sympathy, correctly, and emperor. Neuroscience research shows that word games build brain power, so kids will expand their minds through games like word searches and scrambles. In some of the games, kids have to spell the words after seeing only the definitions, which will improve spelling as well as vocabulary. Word Joust 6-8 makes learning words fun and effective with short, fun games that keep kids engaged.

Ease of Play

Some mini-games seem more a test of how fast kids can read as much as of their understanding of the vocabulary. The maze word-find game is pretty challenging, as many words are presented diagonally and backward.


The hangman game doesn't feature the expected stick figure but hangs a realistic-looking cartoon man, body part by body part.


Spoon is defined as "to engage in petting or kissing."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Words like champagne and wine are included in the vocabulary lists.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Word Joust 6-8 requires an Internet connection to play. Words are compiled from lists of most-used words in sixth- through eighth-grade literature. The hangman game hangs a cartoonish, yet realistic-looking, man rather than a stick figure. Though kids can log in with their Google accounts or submit their email addresses, there's no reason to do so as their progress is saved in the app. The default setting is to share scores on the global leaderboard, but that option can be turned off.

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What's it about?

Kids become knaves in a medieval joust where they can either enter a quest and learn vocabulary from a list of 3,000 age-appropriate words or train by playing games with the words they've encountered in their quests. Games include Scramble (unscrambling mixed-up words); Troll Trickery (matching words to definitions); Labyrinth of Letters, a word search that is quite challenging; Cohorts of Swords (identifying the correct word as it crosses the screen); and Hangman. Kids move up from infantryman to archer and so on. Mastered words and "apprenticed" words (those introduced but not yet mastered) can be reviewed in Stats and on the Global Leaderboard.

Is it any good?

WORD JOUST 6-8 is a fun way for kids to practice word skills and develop their vocabularies. The mix of five games is varied enough that kids can practice different skills and use their brains in different ways. The words and definitions reflect varied meanings that could be encountered in YA lit. The short quests, which are only five words at a time, easily will hold preteen attention spans, and kids will stay challenged by the increasing difficulty of words as more quests are mastered.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Read to your kids and encourage them to read. Reading is the best vocabulary builder. Read our tips on How to Raise a Reader.

  • Some of the mini-games in Word Joust 6-8 are classics, including the word search and hangman. Challenge your kid to a pen-and-paper duel with one of these.

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love reading and vocabulary building

Themes & Topics

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