WordWhile: Casual Literary Fun

App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
WordWhile: Casual Literary Fun App Poster Image
Smart (and silly) fun for literature lovers.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Practice recalling details of literary texts, poems, well-known proverbs, and more. Develop greater understanding of how parts of passages affect the meaning of the whole.

Ease of Play

Very easy to use. Tutorial guides new users through options and play.


Since kids can create words, they could add iffy language and references.


Mild suggestive themes in some passages. Since kids can create words, they could add iffy language and references.


Since kids can create words, they could add iffy language.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Since kids can create words, they could add iffy language and references.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that WordWhile: Casual Literary Fun is a game that challenges players' knowledge of well-known poems, prose, plays, and popular sayings. Styled in an old-fashioned, genteel, literary motif, the app asks players to read brief passages or phrases, then fill in the blanks with either the accurate answer (if they know it) or a silly answer (in error, or intentionally). If they choose, kids can also add their own words, Mad Libs-style. Note that kids can enter any words they want to. Players can collect 13 "achievements," including achievements related to proverbs, Shakespeare, Dickens, children's classics, and more. There's an untimed Zen mode, a timed mode, and a Virtuoso Race mode. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the types of information collected and shared.

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What's it about?

To play WORDWHILE: CASUAL LITERARY FUN, tap New Player and select a profile name, an avatar, and a tint color. Select Choose and Peruse to view the collections of various genres -- proverbs, poems, children's classics, and more -- from which you can choose to play, or just tap Play. Read and play a sample game in the tutorial. Then read the text that appears and examine the spots with omitted words and phrases. To select a word to place in a blank, tap one of two word choices in the decorative panels. You can either answer accurately or with "novelty" (i.e., with an incorrect, but often funny, answer). Review your correct and "novel" answers (also shown on the app by a percentage correct after each round), replay optional. If you turn on the option to add your own words, you can create a word bank of funny options to plug in as well. After the first round of play, you have the option to choose timed, untimed, or Virtuoso Race mode, as well as "tricky" or "silly" challenges. Collect 13 achievements.

Is it any good?

This quirky word game is absolutely delightful for any word game enthusiast. The old-fashioned literary motif, the well-chosen prose, and the often laughable wrong answers make WordWhile: Casual Literary Fun a hoot for any "dear player," as this app's users are called. For teens and adults who aren't word geeks but just want to hone their general literary knowledge, this app provides a no-judgment way to learn more about specific passages, poems, and proverbs, because choosing the wrong answer doesn't end the game. Players can also look back on their answers and replay, if desired. Even though WordWhile: Casual Literary Fun is mostly for teens and adults, parents can choose certain achievements (such as children's classics) to play with younger literature fans. Note that kids can enter any words they choose if that option is on in the app, so it's possible that they can use swear words or iffy references. Links to the actual, longer works would be a great addition for those who want to explore further.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the categories on WordWhile: Casual Literary Fun. What do poetry, tongue twisters, Shakespeare, and other great prose all have in common? Even if you're not a literature lover, why is it useful to become familiar with phrases and passages from the best-known works? 

  • Play the game intentionally inserting the wrong word choice for some silly fun and follow up with some offscreen Mad Libs to have some laughs and practice parts of speech.

  • Once you complete an achievement, choose a favorite poem or passage and find the complete text to read in full. How do you like the piece when you read it in full, or outside of the game?

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love word games and classic literature

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