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Different Types of Word Games: 7 Classics to Rediscover

woman on sofa playing word search game

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Many of your childhood favorites have been revisited, updated or reimagined for modern times. Building blocks, for example, paved the way for games like Minecraft. And many classic word games have been developed into online and mobile games too, making them more convenient (and exciting!) to play whenever and wherever you want. Explore these different types of word games and bring your vocabulary skills into the 21st century.

Scrabble

Scrabble is a perennial favorite among the most enthusiastic of word game players. It combines so many elements into one package: board management, mind games, vocabulary, puzzle solving, and more. To keep your Scrabble dreams going, check out some of these word game options.

  • Upwords: Scrabble is a two-dimensional game played on a two-dimensional board. Upwords is very similar, except it adds the third dimension. Stack letter tiles on top of one another, building upwards as you build words! 

  • Scrabble Slam: Particularly suitable for travel where whipping out a game board and bag of letter tiles may not be ideal, Scrabble Slam is a fast-paced card game. Form four-letter words as quickly as you can by altering the current word with new cards. 

  • Internet Scrabble Club: Perfect for purists who seek the traditional Scrabble game, ISC is home to an online community of players. If you’re not a fan of the flash and power-ups of Scrabble GO or Words With Friends, ISC could be for you.

Boggle

Ho yeah, unleash your inner Peggy Hill! Expand beyond the standard grid of letter cubes from the classic word game. Try your hand at these fresh takes on the core Boggle dynamic.

  • Word Wow: Rather than work with a static set of letters, you literally “dig” your way down, finding words and clearing a path for your worm hero to reach the bottom of the stage. 

  • SpellTower: Enjoy the thrill of puzzle games like Dr. Mario and Tetris? With SpellTower, you must find words quickly before your tower of letters reaches the top of the screen.

  • Wordament: For an experience that’s closer to Boggle, Wordament for Windows, iOS or Android is excellent. Connect letters, form words, and complete daily challenges.

wordament word game from microsoft officewordament word game from microsoft office

Pictionary

Different types of word games tap into different sets of skills, including your ability to draw words without using any words. Set your inner artist free with these modern takes on the classic game of Pictionary.

  • Pictionary Air: No room for a big whiteboard or large sheet of paper? No problem. With Pictionary Air, you literally sketch in the air. Just point the mobile app camera at the illustrator and their drawing appears on your screen.

  • Draw Something: Available for iOS or Android, this social drawing game combines the sketching aspect of Pictionary with unscrambling letters to solve the clue.

  • Skribbl.io: If you like the idea of playing drawing games, but want to do it from the convenience of a web browser, Skribbl.io is a great option. Play with strangers or create a private room to play with friends. 

Crossword Puzzles

A staple of daily newspapers for decades, crossword puzzles challenge not only your word knowledge, but also your general knowledge about all sorts of trivia topics. Fresh takes on these classic word games offer the same kind of satisfaction.

  • Bonza Word Puzzle: Here, you get Tetris-like puzzle pieces of letters that must then be joined together to form intersecting words like a crossword puzzle. 

  • Wordalot: Replace the text-based clues of a standard crossword with a single picture for each puzzle and you’ve got Wordalot. With hundreds of levels, you’ll have hours of enjoyment.

  • Wordscapes: Put your anagram-solving skills to the test. Form words from the provided letters to fill out the crossword puzzle-like layout in each level.

A word to the wise! If you get stuck on a level, head on over to our Wordscapes Cheat and Answers site for full solutions, including bonus words. 

Word Search Puzzles

If you find it, they will come. This isn’t a field of dreams, but rather a large field of letters and you’ve got to search through them to find words. From web to mobile and everything in between, word searches are everywhere.

  • 247 Word Search: Choose between easy, medium hard, and expert levels of difficulty in this browser-based word search game. Can you solve the puzzle in record time?

  • Word Search Pro: Solve word searches with such categories as animals, astronomy and business across three difficulty settings. Blitz and Marathon modes provide an added challenge.

Screenshot of Word Search Pro gameScreenshot of Word Search Pro game
  • Daily Word Search: Get a new word search to play every day in your choice of three different grid sizes. And you can always go back to previous days to enjoy any puzzles you may have missed.

Anagram Word Games

No matter how you shuffle the letters around, these anagram word games will always spell FUN! Ready to mix it up with some modern takes on classic word games?

  • Spellspire: Yes, it’s true that you can even play word games on the Nintendo Switch. In this magical action RPG, you spell words to cast spells and blast enemies.

  • Dabble: Those letter tiles might lead you to think you’re playing another Scrabble clone. You’re not. Dabble is a different kind of board game. Each player races to create 5 words of different lengths using 20 letter tiles. 

  • Make Words: Care to guess what you’re supposed to do in this game? Make as many words as you can with the 7 letters you are given. The list provides clues based on length, and your words are sorted in alphabetical order. 

Make Words screenshotMake Words screenshot

If you need any help unscrambling those letters to find words, our handy anagram solver is the perfect tool for the job. Just enter your letters and, presto-changeo, you’ve got every possible word you can form.

Dungeons and Dragons

One of the most beloved word games is collaborative, rather than competitive, in nature. D&D has always been about great storytelling and the tradition continues with these inspired digital offerings.

  • Knights of Pen & Paper +1: Combine retro pixel art with classic turn-based RPG dynamics, and you get a charming campaign with plenty of dungeons to explore and enemies to vanquish.

  • Baldur’s Gate II Enhanced Edition: Ideal for devices with screens at least 7 inches in size, this role-playing game features an epic journey, unique characters, and hours of enthralling entertainment.

  • Aardwolf MUD: Multi-user dungeon (MUD) games are hugely popular. This free text-based RPG features fantastical elements, challenging puzzles, and 28 classes of characters.

Fun Spins on Classic Word Games

Thinking about trying the new take on the traditional game of Scrabble? Before you download the app to your phone, read our comprehensive Scrabble GO app review. This isn’t your grandma’s word game, for better or for worse, so be prepared for some notable differences!


Michael Kwan is a professional writer and editor with over 14 years of experience. Fueled by caffeine and WiFi, he's no stranger to word games and dad jokes.

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