Word games can expand your vocabulary skills in all sorts of exciting and creative ways. Because of this, both the iOS App Store and the Google Play Store are awash with word games, making it hard to differentiate between good and bad titles. This is especially troublesome if you're looking to purchase a game, as everyone hates to waste hard-earned cash.
To help you decide which word games are worth buying, we've compiled a list of the best options available for both iPhone and Android. The rules for making this list were simple: Games needed to have at least a four-star rating in both app stores, and the iPhone games needed to be 64-bit, since iOS 11 abandoned support for 32-bit apps. That said, here are our picks for the best paid word games for any phone!
An oldie but still definitely a goodie, Jumbline 2 is a simple word game where you form words from jumbled lines of letters. The premise is straightforward: Rearrange the scrambled letters into words and underline them with your finger to score points. Finding the largest word gets you the most points and advances you to the next level.
At first, gameplay seems simple — there's an untimed mode for a more relaxing experience and a timed mode that really puts your skills to the test — but there's way more to Jumbline 2 than meets the eye. Jumbline 2 also includes two mini-games that give it a leg up in terms of replay value.
The first mini-game is "Cloud Pop," and the goal is to pop as many clouds as possible by crafting words out of random letters contained in each cloud. "Star Tower," the second mini-game, has you build up a tower by forming words out of an infinitely-scrambled line of letters as it sinks to the ground.
If all that content weren't enough, Jumbline 2 features over 20,000 puzzles of five to seven letters each in its classic version, in addition to its collection of mini-game puzzles. The game also features its very own built-in dictionary to help you look up and learn new words. And best of all, you can choose to use an advanced wordlist ("Expert Words") akin to Scrabble's official tournament and wordlist.
Much like fine wine that gets better with age, Jumbline 2 is truly a gem of a game that's sure to keep you entertained for hours on end. You can actually play this game for free on Android or iOS. It's the same exact version of the paid version listed below, only with ads. The ads are pretty annoying, which is why we recommend you "coff" up the cash.
Note: The paid version of the game is called "Jumbline 2+" on iOS, but it's functionally identical to the "Jumbline 2" paid listing on Android.
If crossword puzzles have become too stale for your liking, Codeword Unlimited + will bring the excitement back to your gaming routine. Like crosswords, codeword puzzles provide a grid of words, but the similarities end there. Codeword Unlimited + provides no clues, just like any other codeword or cipher crossword, only giving you hints in the form of randomly placed letters to build on. The boxes in the grid are all numbered, and any letter you place in one will automatically fill in all the other boxes with the same number.
To help make the game (a little) easier, selecting a square in the grid will highlight all places the same letter is used in that grid, letting you see if your potential selection makes sense across the board. There is an unlimited number of codewords that you can decipher in thanks to the game's built-in wordlist and generator engine that ensures you'll never play the same game twice.
You can also choose the size of the grid in the game's settings before you start playing, anywhere from three to 20 rows and columns. This makes the game easier or more difficult depending on your deciphering skills. And you can choose between nine different word difficulty levels, ranging from "Early Leaner" to "Expert." The difficulty level also determines how many letters you can see at the start, but you can adjust this manually as well. And this is just a sample of the customizations available in the game's settings.
Codeword Unlimited + has a built-in dictionary to define completed words, and can be played in 26 different languages: Arabic, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, English, Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian (Latin), Serbian (Cyrillic), Slovak, Slovene, Swedish, Turkish, Ukrainian, and more coming with future updates.
Just like Jumbline, you can play this game for free on Android or iOS. The only thing different about the free version is that it has some pretty annoying ads, so we recommend spending a little if you want to get serious about this game.
If you're a newcomer to the exciting world of word gaming, W.E.L.D.E.R., or Word Examination Laboratory for Dynamic Extraction and Reassessment, should be on your shortlist. Despite its age, this game is still arguably one of the best word games out there thanks to creative gameplay that blends elements of Bejeweled, Boggle, and Scrabble.
In W.E.L.D.E.R., you form words by moving letters around and "welding" them together to rack up the most points. Instead of time limits, you have a set amount of swaps that you need to use wisely to amass points and earn more swaps.
The W.E.L.D.E.R. machine consists of a 64-tile grid containing metal letters and wooden blanks that can be stamped with any letter. Like Scrabble, the machine contains bonus point spots that help you max out your score.
The goal is to form words from a chain of letters that are at least four letters long by swapping adjacent letters — similar to playing Bejeweled, but with an end result more like Boggle. To add more excitement, the game also lets you earn perks like Group, Reverse, and Jump Swaps that you can use to get out of a tricky situation while scoring more points.
The game has an incredible feature that shows you the definition of any of the words you've "extracted" and "reassessed" simply by tapping on them. You can even look up a particular word prior to forming it to make sure it's legit and avoid wasting a swap. W.E.L.D.E.R. has a wordlist that's mostly drawn from the Enhanced North American Benchmark LExicon (ENABLE, for short), along with selected additions from the English Open Word List and user suggestions.
As far as fast-paced word games go, Word Streak: Words With Friends has a simple premise where you connect letters to form words by dragging your fingers in any direction. As simple as it sounds, there's a time limit, and depending on which mode you choose, a competitor on the other end that you have to beat. These elements together make for intense, fast-paced gameplay that's sure to suck you in.
Formerly titled "Scramble with Friends" (and just "Scramble" before that), Word Streak offers different game modes to keep you hooked. As the name implies, Head-to-Head mode has you do word battles consisting of three rounds against rival players. There are Daily Challenges that you can also play and complete to win rewards.
With Tournaments, you can join a live tournament to test your vocabulary mettle against seven other players and earn prizes for climbing to the top. To hone your skills and prepare for future challenges, you have the option to play Solo to train with the Coach (offline or online) to make sure you're ready for whatever comes.
Word Streak shares the same developer as the famous Words With Friends and has almost the same wordlist that's drawn from ENABLE. As a cross-platform game, Word Streak With Friends lets you play with anyone, regardless of if they're using an iPhone or Android device.
To further widen the pool of gamers you that you can potentially play with, the game lets you compete with players that have Boggle With Friends installed. So if you'd like to join in on the fun without being annoyed by ads at every turn, you need to check out Word Streak: Words With Friends!
SpellTower is a Tetris-like word game that has you form words from a grid of letters as you score big and stave off inevitable doom for as long as you can. Strategic planning is important while making words, as more tiles rise from the bottom of the screen, with the game ending once any letter makes it to the top row.
To keep things interesting, SpellTower gives you five modes of gameplay. Tower Mode is the simplest if you're new to the game, letting you play at a leisurely pace as you rack up points by forming all the words you can out of a board of 150 letters. Puzzle Mode and Extreme Puzzle require a bit more skill, as more rows of letters are added as you form words, with the latter having the added difficulty of a minimum word length.
Rush Mode is similar to Puzzle Mode, with the key difference being that letter rows are added over time instead of after a word is formed. So if you've mastered both puzzle modes, try Rush Mode out and put your word skills to the ultimate test. If you're feeling competitive and want to pit your skills against another player, Debate Mode will let you challenge friends and loved ones directly.
SpellTower's wordlist is as legitimate as they come, comprised of words sourced under license from Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Edition, and Webster's Third New International Dictionary. All in all, SpellTower has more than what it takes to scratch your word gaming itch, so give it a try if you haven't done so already!
A great alternative to Words With Friends and Scrabble, Aworded Crack has the added advantage of featuring no intrusive ads for a more straightforward gameplay. The game is also a cross-platform app, which means you can play with friends and loved ones regardless whether they're using an iPhone or Android device. To make things more interesting, Aworded Crack awards you with an extra 40 points on top of the word you formed if you use up all the letters on the rack in one fell swoop.
There are several aspects of the game that set it apart from other Scrabble-type games out there. First, Aworded Crack has a nifty feature that lets you to view a word's definition on the go thanks to its built-in dictionary. The game also features several modes of gameplay to help you pick a pace that's right for you — from a Classic Mode that gives you up to seven days to make your move, to a Fast Mode which cuts it down to just five minutes.
Aworded Crack can be played in 16 different languages: English, French, Catalan, Italian, German, Russian, Portuguese, Swedish, Dutch, Basque, Brazilian, Spanish, Norwegian, Galician, and Danish. The language can be set at any time, regardless of which language you picked when you first installed the game. Aworded Crack's dictionary is stored server-side for instant modification to make sure its always up to date.
Billed as the "world's most popular drawing game," Draw Something doesn't really strike you as a word game, per se, but if you're on the guessing side of a doodle, it most definitely is.
When drawing yourself, your challengers will take wild guesses as to what you're doodling by forming a word from a jumbled table of letters to match your artwork. A great aspect of the game is that drawing skills are not a requirement, so anyone can feel right at home with the game — especially if doodling stick figures and basic shapes are your specialties.
Draw Something offers multiple modes of gameplay depending on what you're in the mood for. To scratch that competitive itch, there's "Draw & Guess" mode where you challenge friends in a quick match, taking turns stumping each other with sketches to see who wins. For a more relaxing gameplay, you can opt to play "Guess Something" mode instead, where you take a crack at sketches from artists the world over.
Draw Something can be played in 14 languages, including French, German, Italian, Spanish, Korean, and several more. While the game comes with no built-in dictionary or specific wordlist to give you an estimation of how many words can be formed, this is largely offset by its draw-and-guess nature. So if you're into a word game that doesn't take itself too seriously and is a blast to play, give Draw Something a try!
Like some of the other games on this list, you can actually play for free on Android or iOS. It's the same exact version of the paid version listed below, only with ads. We hate ads, especially when they really slow down the game, so it's worth the $3.
In many ways, word games are the perfect compliment to a busy life. They're fun and easy to play on the go, and the fact that they give your noggin a much-needed workout is particularly satisfying — especially after a mind-numbing day.
Word games tend to be the slowest of all the gaming genres out there in terms of new releases. This may be due to the genre's simplicity premise-wise, but we'll still be sure to update this list as more interesting word games come our way. In the meantime, share your thoughts and word game recommendations in the comment section below!