Game review by
Christopher Healy, Common Sense Media
Bookworm Game Poster Image
Well-made and fun word-search game.

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The game not only exposes players to new words, but teaches them to revere words and language. It sends the message that words are fun and interesting and that building your vocabulary can be beneficial.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The player, as protector of the library, is a lover of words and must be an avid learner, taking in new vocabulary words that s/he can use to perform better in successive rounds of the game.

Ease of Play

There's no time limit, so players can peruse the board for as long as they want until they find a word. The flaming tiles add an element of urgency and suspense, but without them, the game could grow boring. It would have been nice to have a hint mechanism for younger players, but that's a nitpick complaint.


Flaming tiles appear on the gameboard that will "burn down the library" if they are allowed to reach the bottom of the screen. If this happens, flames spread across the bottom of the screen, the bookworm's glasses break, and your game is over.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the downloadable DSi word game, BOOKWORM, does not offer a lot of variety of gameplay. There is one basic task throughout the entire game -- finding words on a board of tiles by connecting adjacent letters. However that one element is presented very well, and for the five-dollar price tag on the game, certainly provides one's money's worth. Still, parents should be aware that children averse to wordsearch-type puzzles won't be interested.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 12-year-old Written byuazdcffvngv January 14, 2010
love it

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

What's it about?

BOOKWORM is a downloadable wordsearch puzzle game for the Nintendo DSi. Players need to look over a board of letter tiles and connect adjacent ones to spell out words. When those chosen tiles disappear, new ones fall in to take their places. As play goes on, special tiles come into play: bonus tiles that will multiply the number of points for a word, and fire tiles that must be used before they reach the bottom of the screen (or else the game will be lost). The titular worm, who stands at the side of the gameboard, often defines words the player has just spelled.

Is it any good?

Bookworm is a fantastically fun word game. While the gameplay is simple and doesn't offer much variety, it is a great example of the kind of quick-and-easy casual gameplay that can be wildly addictive without loads of bells and whistles. If word games are what you're into, the five-dollar price tag on Bookworm makes it an incredible bargain. It's also great that you can stop your game at any moment and come back to it exactly where you left off. This potentially allows one single game to go on for days, weeks, or longer, but eliminates any need for cries of "But I can't turn it off now, Mom, I just need to finish this level so I can save!"

Talk to your kids about ...

  • The game can lead to the discovery of many new vocabulary words, any of which can be a topic of discussion for families. Parents can ask children what words they were able to create in a round of play, and what new words they might have learned. Why is it important to expand your vocabulary? What advantages are there for someone who is a good speller?

Game details

  • Platforms: Nintendo DSi
  • Price: $5
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: PopCap Games
  • Release date: December 8, 2009
  • Genre: Puzzle
  • ESRB rating: E for (No Descriptors)
  • Last updated: August 31, 2016

Our editors recommend

For kids who love puzzle games

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

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.

Learn how we rate