Wordle Alternatives, Word Game Apps and Lettered Fun

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It is difficult to find an answer to the question: how many five-letter words are there?

The free dictionary lists 158,390 of them. Seniority, obsolescence, technical or scientific specificity, etc., make most of them rare or even extinct in common use. A programmer discovered that there were 12,972 usable letter combinations to match the Wordle puzzle. Breaking down the five-letter words further, there are approximately 9,000 acceptable board games in the Scrabble dictionary. At one word a day, those nine thousand provide about 25 years of daily words.

It sounds more intimidating than exciting. Even with repeated play, there is redundancy that leaves users thirsty for more letter-based action. When the yen hits, here are six Wordle alternatives that can keep begging brains busy.

Rob Friesel

Get ready for the best Wordle alternatives to satisfy alphabet appetites.

Scrabble Go

When you don’t know where to start, go back to the beginning.

Scrabble was the original branch descended from the American word game tree. First Created in 1931, the board game has graced millions of tables over the past nine decades. The advent of handhelds now allows people to compete against friends, strangers, and AI.

Launched in 2020, Scrabble Go is an all-out assault on the traditional Scrabble game. Arranged on a traditional board and aligned with the official Scrabble dictionary, users can play several different games and styles at once. Multiplayer modes, random matches, match of the day, and various quests keep players in enough action to satisfy even the strongest competitive word cravings.

This painting is on fire! What words 🔥 would you add? pic.twitter.com/FkYv4wlSIU

— ScrabbleGO (@ScrabbleGO) July 3, 2022

Really the biggest challenge in Scrabble Go is how to disconnect from the action. The game is a free purchase in the Android and Apple app. If that’s not enough, check out The Poo List for words considered too offensive for the game.

Spelling Bee, The New York Times

The New York Times Spelling Bee began in the newspaper’s print spin-off, The New York Times Magazine, in 2014. As legions of fans grew into loyal hordes, the online game launched in 2018 and has been a resounding success since then.

The game arrives in a honeycomb – six gray letters surrounding a seventh yellow letter in the middle. The goal is to create as many words as possible (four letters and up) that contain the middle letter. The ticklish challenge not only resulted in subscriptions, but created a crowd of daily followers.

Some waking up at 3 a.m. to reach Queen Bee, an easter egg level reached only when a player finds all the words on the day’s list while others will say on social media that “Dominican” is a acceptable word. (It’s not–it’s a proper name.)

Seriously @NYTimes. #spelling Dominican is a word. pic.twitter.com/48GI7A0Iuh

— Dr. Jermaine McDonald (he/her) (@revjmmcdonald) August 1, 2022

The only problem with Spelling Bee is that the app requires an NYT subscription, but users can play online for free (up to a capped level).

Wordscapes

Speaking of addiction, Wordscapes is one of those apps that makes people turn around in the middle of the night for a dopamine hit.

Wordscapes reached the diff at 4:32 😉 pic.twitter.com/rbcpy3eWKn

—Rere (@rewaothmann) July 27, 2022

The game features a crossword grid above a circle of six letters. The goal of Wordscapes is to fill the empty bubbles with words that match the crossword puzzle. The action may seem easy after a few tries, but the challenge escalates quickly. And like a crumb of food stuck between the teeth, the sight of a missing word can drive users crazy.

Luckily, the game isn’t timed, so there’s no penalty if you take some time to consider different combinations. The really stuck can even start filling in guesses because Wordscape doesn’t deduct points or coins for ridiculous attempts.

Launched by PeopleFun in 2017, the game remains a dominant download for iOS and Android systems, with over 120 million downloads, 4.5 million daily active users and 14.8 million monthly active users in 2021, according to an interview with the company on App Lovin. Part of that is the nearly endless puzzles to complete. With 6,000 levels to clear before leveling up to Sublime, expert users can unlock more Master levels.

Crossword with friends

Those looking for more tongue-in-cheek action would do well to nod to the game genre’s roots – the 1920s enthusiasm for crosswords.

(To call the invention of the crossword a “craze” might seem like a stretch, but, as Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader points out, a bored world apparently lost their minds when the new game hit the streets. his fiancée when she wanted him ‘t help him solve a puzzle and another man left behind a crossword suicide note.)

A YouTube screenshot of a crossword pattern explainer with friends.
Youtube

Crosswords With Friends combines the challenge of word clues with the thrill (and frustration) of collaborative and competitive play with family and friends (and future enemies).

The app game works the same as any other printed crossword game. Clues appear below the board and a keyboard is available to try to solve them. Solve alone, against or alongside other players. Better yet, get a group together and check the leaderboard to see who can finish in the fastest time.

There will be some ads, but the app is free for Android and iOS users.

spell tower

For faster competition, try the Tetris-style SpellTower. Play alone or with friends to fight your way through the tower of blocks before the tiles are smashed on top.

Once users match a word using adjacent letter plates, the pieces disappear and the remaining tiles fall down to fill the freed spaces. Like Tetris, matching rows change the layout of the board. Advanced players can anticipate to create situations for higher scoring combos several moves in advance.

Attention because the game stirs in a small chaotic zest to the best designed plans. Players are rewarded for matching longer words, but the game removes adjacent tiles, which can be helpful…or fatal. Additional twists include unusable empty tiles and blue tiles that only disappear if an entire row forms a nine-letter word – a difficult goal, if there ever was one.

Along with the scrolling action, a cool option arrives in the form of word challenges. During a word challenge, SpellTower will look up a digital dictionary to confirm acceptance of the word. Winning a challenge adds the word to the game database.

I regret to inform you that I have added "tea bag" at SpellTower

— faster than lime 🌌 (@fasterthanlime) July 29, 2022

SpellTower requires a staged route through levels to unlock more complicated and diverse modes. Tower Mode unlocks Puzzle Mode and Ex Puzzle Mode, which adds an element of danger as new lines appear to replace found words. Rush mode might as well be called Tetris mode with lines cascading from the ceiling as a timer ticks down. Multiplayer gameplay raises this bet by inserting a missing line on the opponent’s board.

Spell Tower is free with ads and $5 without in the App Store and Google Play.

PictoWord

PictoWord brings a bit of visual and spatial reasoning into literary action. Instead of solving a puzzle, the app asks players to combine two words to form a third word, unrelated by definition. Think: a picture of an ear plus a ring equals…? Yes, earring.

A correct guess will reveal the word under a picture, giving users at least half of the word. The game is a marked departure from other word apps, requiring a different part of the brain. Wordsters may find the game not as easy as putting letters together. A picture of flames means “hot”? I suppose…

The pictograms are repeated and always mean the same thing. A cloud of rain will always mean “rain” and flames will always mean “hot”, so there’s a chance the game will get old. There are thousands of words available, so there must be a lot of gameplay before that happens.

Bonus slang words provide a bit of spice, awarding players extra points for discovery, and bonus rounds offer timed challenges. There are, however, no opportunities for opponents, so the game remains more of an occasional distraction than a constant action. It is available in the App Store and Google Play.

Applications vary from brain draining to refreshing. Besides Wordle, these word games can be an entertaining break in the day and a great brain exercise. Like everything, consume in moderation.

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