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Word Stacks

App review by
Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media
Word Stacks App Poster Image
Ads, clue costs slows otherwise fun word puzzle experience.

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A lot or a little?

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

Ease of Play

Players see instructional prompts when they start playing, and overall, the app is pretty easy to figure out.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

Ads occasionally pop up, and some take a while to watch; gamers can pay $3.99 to remove them and can also purchase coins and coin, spyglass, shuffle, and light bulb clue bundles for $5.99-$99.99.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Word Stacks is a word puzzle app for iOS and Android devices. It offers players a chance to test their vocabulary, spelling, and logic skills, without putting them in contact with strangers or exposing them to inappropriate content. They get upbeat responses when they're successful, and they don't have to buy anything to play. But they'll see ads every few minutes between rounds and may be tempted to buy additional coins and clues to use if they can't figure puzzles out. Players can also pay to get the ads removed.

User Reviews

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What's it about?

In WORD STACKS, players need to find terms in blocks of letters related to a theme. They might, for example, be told to identify words that correspond with blue, and then sweep across blocks that spell out bird and berry. As correct words are chosen, the blocks shift, revealing new possibilities. Playing earns coins, which can be used on clues or to shuffle the letters. As they progress through the app’s 400 chapters, players earn new background themes. Bonus words in puzzles also provide additional coins.

Is it any good?

Players get to work their way through increasingly more challenging word puzzles as they advance through this fun, simple-to-use app. In Word Stacks, you solve parts of a puzzle just like you might solve a crossword: by identifying surrounding words or noticing what will be a correct answer once the blocks shift and a different letter is in place. Clever, somewhat indirect themes -- such as things that have buttons -- help make the answers players are looking for -- pants, remote, shirt, and elevator, for example -- less obvious. Word Stacks also offers three types of letter and word reorganization clues, which should help players figure out which format works best for them.

They'll need a fair amount of cash on hand to get a hint, though -- shuffling letter tiles is the least expensive option, but it still may be more than some players can afford, if they're only getting coins through playing. As a result, they might feel pressured to buy the coin and coin-and-clue-combo packages the app offers, which, at $5.99-$99.99, parents may not be thrilled about. Giving players more free clues over time, and removing or at least reducing the amount of ads they have to sit through, unless they pay to eliminate them, would allow players to move through rounds faster and make the app a more enjoyable experience. Without free hints, continuing to play Word Stacks may turn out to be too frustrating -- or expensive -- if gamers get confused.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about setting and reaching goals. In Word Stacks, players work toward unlocking various things, but can you and your child think of a goal together and create a plan to achieve it?

  • Do you feel pressured to buy something to get the full experience? Is it possible to play without spending any money?

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Release date: February 15, 2019
  • Category: Puzzle Games
  • Size: 107.00 MB
  • Publisher: PeopleFun
  • Version: 1.0.9
  • Minimum software requirements: Requires iOS 9.0 or later or Android 4.1 and up.

For kids who love puzzles

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