WordBrain

App review by
Galen McQuillen, Common Sense Media
WordBrain App Poster Image
Word hunt gets tough quickly, has ads and purchases.

Parents say

age 18+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can potentially learn word-pattern recognition and spelling conventions, though not without a good amount of parent involvement, especially since kids might never know if they're misspelling something or simply haven't found the right word yet. If they can push through the inevitable sticky spots, they can also practice perseverance. 

Ease of Play

Controls are straightforward, though dragging to make words is sometimes cumbersome (tapping would be a bit easier). 

Violence
Sex
Language
Consumerism

Every 10 or so levels is interrupted with a full-screen or video ad for other mobile games, all of which have intentionally tiny exit buttons. Hints are available for purchase without a gate.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that WordBrain is a word-hunt game similar to classics such as Boggle, where players swipe through a grid of letters to form words. There are hundreds of puzzles with increasing difficulty, and the words are all appropriate for kids at any age (though some are trickier to spell or find than others). The game does feature hints you can purchase with real money with no parent gate, and the temptation to use them is always present, so be wary of your device settings. Also there are quite a few full-screen advertisements for other apps, including war and fighting games. For information on the kinds of data the developers collect and share, see their privacy policy.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byBanana J. December 28, 2016
Adult Written byDiane C. July 23, 2017

Grwst slthough there's a lot of repetition of words and many are US English.

Great game but some repetitions of words and many in US English. Most annoying thing is that the game progress and purchased hints don't transfer to anothe... Continue reading

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

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 ...

  • Families can talk about in-app purchases and advertising, which can distract from the fun of a game by offering tempting bailouts or more flashy content. 

  • 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. 

App details

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