Word Games
Game Guide

Word games challenge the mind and can help to improve one's vocabulary if played often enough. There are many games to be enjoyed and this type of skill game is universally popular.

Players appreciate games like Boggle, Scrabble and Hangman, just to name a few. Most people like to do word searches, crossword puzzles in magazines and newspapers plus cryptograms as well. Other people enjoy watching them on television like the famous Wheel of Fortune.

This word games glossary allows the game player to develop a richer, more intense vocabulary and to improve upon his or her understanding of words and how they relate to one another. An improved vocabulary has much to do with the way one experiences and understands the world around them.

Crossword puzzles that offer hints to other meaningful words, if played regularly, can allow the puzzle solver to add new words to his or her vocabulary.

Game play requires the player to possess a set of skills included but not limited to a keen mind, a high intellect, a great vocabulary, speedy thinking processes, critical thinking skills, a firm hold on one’s native language and great spelling skills too. Word games can be enjoyed for leisure and some offer prizes. Among the choices based on popularity, we can identify arrangement and pencil word games of all varieties.

Classic & Popular Word Games

Click on one of the classic word games below to read more about it.


Scribbage makes use of thirteen dice that have different letters on them and are rolled. Every letter has points assigned to them that are determined by how often the letters are used in writing or language. The player then arranges these dice in a vertical or horizontal fashion to create words while being timed. Words must be adjoined much as they are in a game like Scrabble.


Upwords is a another game similar to Scrabble, but this game allows for players to place letters on top of other letters already on the board instead of just nearby letters. Upwords makes Scrabble look like gaming three-dimensional and gives word gamers more diversity


Jumble is an arrangement word game where a player is offered some letters in a set that must be un-jumbled to spell out valid words. An example of this might be something like “rweot” which is rearranged to spell “tower.”


This word games name may be abbreviated to Acro and referred to as Acromania. Acrophobia is a game that has multiple rounds in it and is available online for enjoyment. A bot controls the game play. In every round, the player is presented with an acronym which is generated randomly. The goal of the player is to create as many sentences that work in an allotted time span.

After time runs out, players vote on what the best acronyms generated are, but not their own. An example of a created acronym would be something like L.O.V.E. that can stand for “Long Our Values Endure” or “Let Our Violence End.” The key to making good acronyms is that the statement must be meaningful.


Anagrams involve the act of taking one word and creating a new word out of the letters in the original word.

For example, a popular anagram can be created out of the word Listen. By rearranging the letters in the word, Listen, you can create the word Silent.

The key to creating good anagrams is identified by creating words that are somehow related to each other in terms of meaning. The more intensified the meaning, the more powerful the creation.


This game is one that uses the well-known square tiles identified in another popular game, Scrabble. These tiles are placed face down on a floor or table. Whenever a player chooses to do so, they can call out a word that contains a minimum of four letters. This word can then be created from a collection of letters or from adding a single letter to a word that already exists.

If all players agree that the word is legitimate, the person that chooses the word takes up the letters and puts them down in front. One rule in this game is that when creating a word, the root of the word must be altered. Therefore, an unacceptable word choice would be something like Die to Died. However, Die to Diet would be an acceptable word change. This game challenges players to come up with new words quickly and in innovative ways.


The word games, Acrostics has every letter in the beginning of a word as the first letter of a word. For example, a famous mnemonic for music explains the Treble Clef notes rather aptly. The lines are represented as E, G, B, D, F, and this can be remembered with the saying Empty Garbage Before Dad Flips or Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge.

Each letter representing line notes in the Treble Clef are remembered by a single word for each note. These words are then strung together in a sentence for easy recall. Acrostic puzzles allow the gamer to create acrostics, unveils acrostic phrases, or identifies jumbled acrostic phrases.


Bananagrams is based on the use of anagram creations. Players are challenged by having to arrange a variety of tiles as quickly as possible and to be the first to use up a collection of letters before other players. This game has proved tremendously popular since its creation and many people like to play the game on the go or while traveling.

Alpha Blitz

A game that challenges players to create words by utilizing a series of letter cards which are laid out on a table. Alpha Blitz is much like Boggle, where the player must be able to arrange a set series of letters into a word.

For example, the player might receive the letters Sadden that can later be arranged into Sadness or Sanded. This particular game comes complete with a set of 98 cards with letters on them as well as 10 cards that have lightening on them known as blitzes. Blitzes wipe out letters and change how arrangements are made.

Word Link

This game consists of a word puzzle where the player is challenged to create as many word creations as possible by combining letters. New letters are presented to make the game even more challenging and longer words earns the player unique tiles.

Word Battle

Word Battle is a popular word game where as many as four players attempt to spell out 3 words. The game involves four rounds in all, and all rounds contain new letters to work with. Gold colored tiles offer secrets to players that can lead to winning a game.

Most Popular Word Games Worldwide

Crossword Puzzles

Crossword puzzles, also considered pencil games, are found in magazines, newspapers, coloring books, and some magazines are solely dedicated to offering easy, intermediate, and difficult crossword puzzles.

These puzzles are sometimes themed, as those identified in TV guides that focus on hints to words related to television shows, while other crossword puzzles offer hints to random words, names, phrases and objects.

Crossword puzzles consist of white and black squares arranged in columns and rows. The beginning of every column and row are numbered and the numbers reference hints to words that fit inside the white boxes. A single letter is placed in every white box. Words must be spelled correct if all words are to fit appropriately.


Parker Brother's has trademarked the game of Boggle that challenges players to create words after analyzing a series of lettered blocks. The letters must be adjacent to one another and the players have an hourglass that notes the end of a round. The player that creates the most legitimate words wins the round and the game begins again.


Chicktionary is a game made available from Microsoft and involves the use of anagrams. Players are presented with a rack of eggs containing three, four, five, six, and seven letter egg sequences. Chickens are at the bottom of the rack with seven letters. Players then use the mouse to choose a chicken and to click on it.

The chosen chicken drops into a box. Clicking on several chickens allows the player to create words. The words must be valid in order for egg racks to be filled up correctly. The aim of the player is to fill up the egg racks with words by creating words within a specific amount of numbers and points are earned for doing so.


Scrabble is arguably, the most popular of word games where a player uses tiles to create words and to earn as many points as possible. Players then use tiles placed on the board to create new words for more points.

Wheel of Fortune

This popular word game, based on the TV version, is available online and off and allows players to choose consonants and vowels to figure out phrases. A wheel is spun to give player prize amounts/ points. The first player to solve the puzzle wins and the big winner of all rounds gets to play a bonus round.

Pencil Word Games

There are plenty of pencil type games to enjoy. Not all pencil games have to utilize a pencil as some have been translated into online gaming options where the player uses a keyboard and mouse instead. Let's take a look at some popular games that are presently available both online as well as land-based.

Cryptic Crossword

These types are popular in the UK and other regions of the world. There are two primary kinds of cryptic crosswords; one where the word gamer is given hints that are entered into the crossword grid and another where the hints lead to answers that must be rearranged before written into the crossword grid. The latter forces the gamer to discover the pattern in order to solve the entire word puzzle.


These puzzles are constructed based on a code that the player must figure out. Each letter represents another letter in the text. Once the code is solved, the player can then determine what the phrase or sentence is. Sometimes the phrase or sentence is yet another clue that gives the player a hint at the solution.


Imangi has sliding columns and rows that contain different letters that are used to create words, much like a crossword puzzle.


Hangman is a game available offline as well as online and challenges the player to figure out the letters to a blank phrase before a hangman’s noose hangs a stick figure.

Players are given a chance to guess consonants and vowels in order to figure out a phrase with these word games. Another player keeps tracks of hits and misses. Misses result in a piece being added to the drawing of a hangman. If the hangman drawing is completed, the game ends and the player loses.


These popular word games allow two players to choose a five-letter word that remains a secret to the player. Proper nouns do not count and the word must be a valid word selection. Each player then tries to guess the other player’s word by calling out guessing words. Example, a secret word might be something like Grace and the player guessing at the word might guess the word Grape.

The player who is guessing is then advised that there are 4 letters that match the secret word. The letter arrangement does not matter in this game. The guessing continues until the word is solved. The first player to figure out the other player’s secret word wins.

Word Search

Word searches look like a series of jumbled letters but rely on a grid of letters with words hidden within them diagonally, horizontally, vertically, and sometimes both forward and backward.

The player receives a list of words to find, and he or she can do this at their leisure or in a timed manner to make the game challenging. Some word searches are themed while others are merely a list of random words.

Word Games Glossary

Puzzles where the solver finds that each letter in the beginning of a selected word is part of the solution. An example of an acrostic is "IRS" = "Internal Revenue Service."
These word games involve taking the letters of one or more words and rearranging them to create new words from the same letters. The new word that is formed must illuminate the word from which the letters are derived. Example: "Debit Card" is an anagram for "Bad Credit."
Describes the thin black line that appears between the squares within a crossword grid.
This puzzles word games term describes black cells within a crossword puzzle grid.
Describes the black cells within a crossword puzzle grid.
Used to describe the white/empty cells within a crossword grid that assists in forming more than a single entry.
This puzzles word games term refers to the creator of a crossword puzzle.
Describes the creator of a word search or crossword puzzle.
Describes a crossword designer.
Used to describe any filled in/black cells within a crossword puzzle.
Definition Puzzle
This puzzles word games term is considered a puzzle that is in direct opposition of a cryptic puzzle; clues provided for this are clear definitions of what the answers should be.
Vertical/horizontal, empty/white fill-in cells where a puzzle solver places his or her answers to clues in.
Used to describe the crossword puzzle pattern where entries are placed. This term can also be used to describe a Sudoku board.
The white/empty cells within a crossword grid that assists in forming more than a single entry.
Any empty/white cells within a crossword puzzle.
Rotational Symmetry
Describes a specific kind of grid that looks the same at 90° and 180° angles.
The creator of a crossword puzzle or word search.
Anyone who is trying to solve a puzzle.
A straight is a type of definition puzzle.
This term describes an unchecked letter or crossword puzzle or it is a letter that is only part of one entry in the puzzle.
The term uncrossed is used to describe the white/empty cells within a crossword grid that assists in forming more than a single entry.