Wordscapes

App review by
Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media
Wordscapes App Poster Image
Spelling, crossword puzzles collide in fun word game.

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 26 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 9 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn about vocabulary use, logic, and will get to practice spelling. To buy hints, they'll need to track the coins they earn and spend, which can provide basic addition, subtraction, and money management experience. The app doesn't offer much instruction; but it does provide definitions for words that are shown, so kids can find the meaning of any word they don't know. Definitions, along with prompts kids occasionally see, can also provide reading practice. The app, overall, features a number of opportunities to learn and practice skills in a fun, engaging way.

Ease of Play

Gameplay isn't hard to figure out, but there aren't clear instructions, aside from a few tips that pop up during play; having a detailed reference that explains how currency and other elements work would be helpful.

 

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

Kids see occasional ads, in-app purchases available from $0.99 - $49.99 per item. They can also pay $2.99 to remove ads.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that WordScapes is a word spelling game for iOS and Android devices. Gameplay is a mix of crossword and word search puzzles. There isn't a comprehensive set of directions, so players may be a little unclear about what they're earning when they finish rounds and what they're working toward. At least there isn't any inappropriate content, and gamers can't chat with or meet other people using the app. Players can spend real money to purchase in-game items like hints ranging from $.99 to $49.99, and they're subjected to occasional ads unless they spend a one time fee to get rid of them.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bylaura_dabezic January 5, 2019

Beware of Unwanted Purchases

I accidentally purchased an expensive bundle when I tried to reopen my phone, and my thumb print accidentally authorized the purchase. There are more than 100... Continue reading
Adult Written byMomMir November 5, 2018

It's good for the first 2000 or so levels but then drops off...

This is a great app for kids and people learning spelling, English and perhaps want to improve word recognition. But after about 2000 or so levels, the words re... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written bySup bros December 16, 2020

The ads are too much.

THIS REVIEW IS NOT MEANT FOR KIDS


It has no swearing but talks about content that is not meant for kids.


Yes, the ads are too much, one pops up after every... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written by62 Review July 24, 2020

Too many ads

This app has too many ads and the way to eliminate the ads is to disable the internet connection from the device settings. This works great to play the game nor... Continue reading

What's it about?

WORDSCAPES combines elements of a word search game and a crossword puzzle. Players are given a few letters and are challenged to guess what words they could form; you can shuffle the order of your letters or purchase a hint for a 100 coins. There's no guess limit for a puzzle; to enter a guess, kids drag their finger across each letter in a word. Players can also click on a button to see word definitions. Puzzles are grouped into sections, such as forest and sunrise, that gamers move through as they complete rounds. Longer, more difficult words pop up as levels are advanced.

Is it any good?

This word game app mixes in fun with learning elements to give players an amusing time that can educate gamers while it entertains them. In Wordscapes, players can scramble letters they're given to see if a different formation will spark some spelling ideas, and they can get a detailed description of targeted words, which helps elevate the game to more than a just-for-fun pastime. It's easy to play since you swipe to choose letters, and gamers repeatedly see positive statements after they've guessed all the words in a puzzle correctly, which provides encouragement to keep playing. They'll consistently get more challenging puzzles as they do -- puzzles progress from three to seven-letter words at higher difficulty levels, but these are phrases even little kids should be able to recognize. The real challenge when you're asked, at times, to come up with eight or so different words from just four letters, which sometimes seems impossible.

The only big drawback is Wordscapes' lack of clear instructions. It's fairly easy to figure out how to play, and there's a few quick pop up hints, but otherwise, there's no tutorial on how to play or what you're doing through the game. As a result, players won't know how they're earning coins (the app's currency for hints) or how levels are structured. Nor will they learn that you'll earn a couple of coins for some bonus words that occasionally pop up. There's also no randomly generated puzzles here; if you get stuck, you have to either spend your earned coins for hints or pay for additional help to get past the word you're having trouble with. That could make some gamers stop playing if they don't want to pay for hints, and also limits its replayability. But if you can overlook this problem and you want to give your brain a workout, Wordscapes is a fun little challenge.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about reading and spelling. What should kids do if they come across an unfamiliar word? What's the best way to find out what this word means?

  • Wordscapes lets users pay for a clue to help them guess a word, which can be a jumping off point to talk about spending and saving. How can your child determine what a good expense is, versus an unnecessary one?

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
  • Subjects: Language & Reading: letter or word recognition, reading, spelling, vocabulary
    Math: addition, money, subtraction
  • Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: logic, solving puzzles, strategy, thinking critically
    Self-Direction: achieving goals
  • Pricing structure: Paid, Free (Free download with optional in-app purchases from $0.99-$19.99. $2.99 removes ads.)
  • Release date: January 17, 2020
  • Category: Word Games
  • Size: 192.70 MB
  • Publisher: PeopleFun
  • Version: 1.5.1
  • Minimum software requirements: Requires iOS 9.0 or later and Android 4.1 and up.
  • Last updated: May 29, 2020

Our editors recommend

For kids who love spelling

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