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What's it about?
WORD BRAIN is a word-hunt game in the same vein as the classic letter-dice game Boggle or modern versions such as Word Streak. Players drag vertically, horizontally, and diagonally through a grid of letters to spell each puzzle's hidden words. Every level's grid forms a word or several words using all the letters, and players must find them all to advance to the next level. There are hundreds of levels in increasing difficulty, from the easy, starting two-by-two grids all the way up to extremely challenging eight-by-eight grids. As you find a word, the letter blocks disappear and the remaining ones fall to fill the space. Then, as the grids get bigger, players need to find words in a certain order or the blocks won't fall correctly, so sometimes you have to start over and try again. Along the way, players can earn and use hints to reveal letters in the correct solution, or buy more hints with real-world money. Every five or six levels is interrupted by a full-screen advertisement or video, which must be manually closed with a small exit button before you can continue. The game also lets users create custom puzzles and share them with friends via a unique code.
Is it any good?
There are a few interesting twists on the classic word-hunt gameplay that make this one fun, but the experience can potentially be pretty frustrating. The idea that every letter in the grid must be used is a cool variation, but since every puzzle has only one correct solution, open-ended thinking and multiple solutions aren't options, leading to discouraging grinds to guess the specific word that completes the puzzle (it might be "SPOT" even if "TOPS" is a perfectly valid option). Its minimalist look and easy controls are appealing, but getting booted out of the clean interface for flashy, in-your-face ads every few puzzles is a major bummer. And unless you're playing with a stylus or just have extremely precise touchscreen dexterity, there's a 50/50 chance you'll miss the ad's exit button and click a link instead, taking you to the app store or a website. Adding the possibility for multiple solutions and giving users the option to play a (perhaps paid) version without ads would dramatically change the game's entertainment and learning value.
Talk to your kids about ...
Talk about persistence in puzzle solving. Sometimes it takes a long time and a lot of tries to figure out tricky solutions, but the satisfaction from getting there is often worth the work.
Discuss spelling patterns and strategies. This can be an opportunity to talk about vowel and consonant rules, which can help solve puzzles more quickly.
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
- Subjects: Language & Reading: letter or word recognition, spelling, vocabulary
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: part-whole relationships, solving puzzles
Self-Direction: achieving goals
Emotional Development: persevering
- Price: Free
- Pricing structure: Free (with optional in-app purchases)
- Release date: June 16, 2016
- Category: Word Games
- Topics: Numbers and Letters
- Size: 91.70 MB
- Publisher: Mobile Access Group AB
- Version: 1.10.0
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 6.0 or later; Android varies with device
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