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Words With Friends

App review by
Carla Thornton, Common Sense Media
Words With Friends App Poster Image
Superb Scrabble clone; open chat makes it for teens and up.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 11 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 7 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids will learn how important it is to have a broad and deep vocabulary base and strong spelling skills to play Words With Friends well. The Scrabble clone, which doesn't give clues or give kids access to a dictionary, encourages kids to test their skills against opponents (their friends or random players, so they'll need to act responsibly), and kids can use strategy and math concepts to maximize scores. While kids can pick up new words and spellings, the words aren't in context so vocabulary building is limited. Words With Friends is a fun and social way to play with words, but not their meanings.

Ease of Play

Overall game play is easy, just without Scrabble's frills. Tile recall and shuffle are both convenient. There are no free words, tips, or hints.


Some of the words allowed in the game are surprisingly iffy. Also, chat is unmoderated and can't be turned off, so it is possible to be exposed to offensive language from an opponent.


Players can buy tokens as an in-app purchase. The tokens are used for the Word-O-Meter, which measures the strength of your word, and the Tile Pile, which tells you which letters remain. The app is perfectly enjoyable without any purchases. Also, ads appear in the free version.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Words with Friends is a Scrabble-look-a-like that caters to older teens. Its speedy global matchup option is accompanied by open chat (which is unfiltered). The free versions for the iPhone and Android display lots of ads (Android only has a free version).

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byDVA December 11, 2011

Keep your mind going

i think it is great it is a good mind challenging game
Adult Written bysarahp9 November 1, 2015

Obscure words, horrid use in sentences.

I love the ability to play with friends anywhere, and with the computer, to learn new words. However, I find the acceptable and unacceptable words ridiculous in... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old August 9, 2011


This game is very educational, although kids can start games with randome oppenets, i still love this game
Kid, 7 years old August 6, 2010

What's it about?

Much like in the board game Scrabble, kids playing Words With Friends make words out of seven letter tiles, each with their own point value, and place them on a grid gameboard. Taking turns with another player on the same device or online (friends or random opponents), kids continue to draw letter tiles and build words crossword style until one of the player uses all of his/or her tiles. Kids can use the point value of their letters and the special squares on the board (doubling or tripling a letter or word's points) to maximize scores.

Is it any good?

WORDS WITH FRIENDS is crossword nirvana with its option to play several games simultaneously. This game doesn't have as many cheat options as Scrabble, something we missed sometimes. For each game, only two people can compete against each other. But Words is also more forgiving, with no time limits for moves, so if life gets hectic the game will still be there when you return.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Encourage kids to play with people they know in real life -- including you! If your kid plays against random opponents, make he or she knows to keeps personal information private, and to resign from any game where a random opponent behaves inappropriately.

  • Encourage kids to look up the meanings of words they're unfamiliar with.

App details

For kids who love word games and puzzles

Our editors recommend

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Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

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