Word games can save you from the unending bouts of boredom and can also be a great way to bond with people. They’re challenging, engaging and put our verbal abilities to test. They’re also really good for your brain in a lot of ways. They help build concentration because a lot of them require focus. They activate the parts of your brain that take part in short-term and long-term memory processes. So playing word games regularly improves your memory over time. Further, when the game lies just at the edge of your abilities, it helps you improve your cognitive function and vocabulary. So let’s look at some of the best word game apps 2022 has to offer.
Thanks to tech, a lot of our favourite word games are now available online. There’s endless scrabble boards, crosswords and word searches contained in our singular devices. There are also so many clever variations of these classic games to try out! And then there are word game apps that build on familiar concepts to create something entirely new and unique. I’ve tried every single game recommended here (which means I was playing games on my phone in the name of research for about a week!). Every last one of them was quite fun and possibly improved my brain function. So I’m not complaining. I hope you like them too!
The best word game apps: 2022
1. Wordle (Browser)
Whether you have hopped onto the train to Wordle station or not, you’ve probably heard its siren. This word-guessing game is everywhere. Each player gets six attempts to guess a five-letter word. The colour of the tiles changes indicating the correct letters and positions in the word-to-be-guessed. If that isn’t challenging enough for you, you can also turn on “hard mode.” This involves using all the previously revealed letters in all your subsequent guesses.
There’s a few reasons why this word game’s hype hasn’t died down yet. The simplicity of the game makes it easy for anyone to understand how to play it. The one-word-a-day strategy ensures that people don’t get bored of it. And, trying to guess the same word on a given day with millions of people creates a sense of community. Considering its popularity, The New York Times bought Wordle for a seven figure amount. As of now, the app is still free. There are also a lot of similar apps that let you play Wordle in different languages.
2. Scrabble Go (Android, iOS)
As the name suggests, this is really just Scrabble on-the-go. It’s super fun with the additional layers of customization and rewards that tech can bring. You can compete against your friends, strangers on the internet or the AI. Something I particularly enjoyed was being able to play multiple games at the same time. Don’t want to patiently wait for the other person to type in their word? I don’t want to, either! I think my personal sweet spot is competing with three individual players at once. Having three separate boards to compete on kept me thoroughly engaged the entire time I was playing.
Scrabble Go follows the Collins Official Scrabble Dictionary. It’s free with in-app purchases. Also check out ‘Can You Play The Word Fart In Scrabble?‘ to gain insights into the history of the Scrabble dictionary.
3. USA Today Crossword (Android, iOS, Browser)
Here’s what a fellow Contributor Isabelle Popp has to say about this word game:
“We are truly living in a golden age of crossword puzzles. This daily crossword, available via apps in the Apple App Store or Google Play, as well as playable on the USA Today website and in the paper itself, is the best in the biz. With truly fresh entries and clever cluing, people who’ve avoided crosswords for fear of fusty language and arcane trivia will find lots to love.
“Editor Erik Agard has made huge strides in diversifying not only the content of the puzzles but the constructors themselves. Women and people of color construct the majority of puzzles appearing in the USA Today now. If you’re ad-tolerant, play for free, otherwise subscribe for that extra smooth solving experience.”
4. Pictoword (Android, iOS)
This word game app involves both unscrambling and identifying pictures. You gotta guess the word based on the visual cues given and type it using the letters provided. It’s free with in-app purchases and quite fun!
5. Cryptogram (Android, iOS)
A cryptogram is a puzzle that uses encrypted text. You solve the puzzle to reveal the message. The ciphers used in this game were created to encrypt military or personal messages. When you solve the cryptogram on this word game app, it reveals a motivational quote. Sometimes, solving is easier if you’re already familiar with the quote. The video below shows how the game is played. It’s free with in-app purchases available.
This word game involves finding words within the spell tower to clear the tiles. The tower keeps rising and the game is over if it reaches the top. It has three different modes: Puzzle Mode, Tower Mode and Rush Mode. This word game is free with in-app purchases and definitely worth checking out.
7. Wordscapes (Android, iOS)
This is one of the most popular word game apps so you’ve probably played it, come across it, or at least heard of it. It involves building words from a combination of letters. Some of these words end up filling up the spaces provided on the screen. It’s free with in-app purchases. The game Word Cookies! also has a very similar concept with a different user interface.
8. Word Search Puzzle (Android, iOS)
Why mess with a classic? This word game app is free with in-app purchases. It involves searching words arranged vertically, horizontally or diagonally. It has different difficulty levels and you can choose the one that intersects with your abilities. One of my friends said, and I quote, “I can just feel my brain getting smarter every time I play this.” At its best, it might do the same for you. At the very least, it might save you from boredom!
9. Typeshift (Android, iOS)
This is a really cool anagram puzzle. You shift letters vertically to create meaningful words in the mid-horizontal row. The puzzle is complete when all the letters on the screen are used in at least one word. This usually happens when you all use the core words that the puzzle is made of. You also end up finding a bunch of extra words in the process.
This word game is built by the creator of SpellTower and shows up repeatedly in lists of Word game apps that keep the brain sharp. It is free with in-app purchases.
10. Four Letters (Android, iOS)
This word game involves building words using four letters (yes, it’s right there in the name!). To get a high score, you build these words as quickly as you can. You can play this game for as long as you can before the time runs out. This app is free with ads. You can pay to remove the ads.
11. Bonza Word Puzzle (Android, iOS)
This word game app is like a deconstructed crossword puzzle. You get one clue about the theme of the crossword. The letters are arranged in horizontal and vertical patterns. You can drag them to make words that are relevant to the theme. This is quite easy with a few words and a familiar theme and gets tricky as the number of words increase (trickier if you’re not very familiar with the theme).
It has two puzzle packs that are free along with the daily puzzle. The rest can be accessed through in-app purchases.
If you liked this list of the best word game apps 2022, also check out 18 of the Best Word Game Apps in 2021, 12 Great Games for Word Nerds, 10 of the best manga reader apps and sites, and 5 book apps for people who love reading.