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Boost Your Vocabulary With These Fun, Free Games [Android 2.1+]

By Erez Zukerman2012-02-09

android vocabulary appQuick! How many synonyms for the word “awesome” can you come up with, right now? If it took you more than a moment to come up with around ten synonyms, your vocabulary may need some help. Professional writers aren’t the only people who should know plenty of words. Everyone uses language every day, and there’s often a single word that can replace five other words and mean exactly what we want to say. The challenge is to know that word well enough so you can whip it out when the time is right.

There are plenty of flash-card applications around, including the amazing AnkiDroid. But while AnkiDroid is an incredible app, it’s not a game. I’m a big believer in education through games. I think learning should be as fun and engaging as possible, and that the more interested you are, the better your retention will be.  So, if you like your study mixed in with a bit of fun, keep reading for two fine picks from the Market.

Word Jam

android vocabulary app

Word Jam is composed of several different games, all aimed at helping you learn and retain new words. Above you can see “recall words”, a mode that gives you a word and has you guess the meaning. And here’s Match Words, where you stretch lines between words and their meanings:

android vocabulary

There’s also a Hangman game:

android vocabulary

If you don’t know what the word is, you can give up and reveal it (or just “die”, in which case the game would show you the word).

Another game mode worthy of mention is the crossword puzzle:

android vocabulary

There are better crossword puzzle games for Android (which I may cover in a separate post), but Word Jam is not just a crossword puzzle, and can engage you in six different ways. Apart from the four we’ve seen, the game also offers Word Jumble and Word Search.

In Word Jumble, you must reorder letters to create a word. Word Search provides you with a collection of related words around a theme (“Groupings of people or objects”), and then you must find those words on a board. All in all, a fun collection of games with a simple aesthetic.

Wordaholic

android vocabulary builder

Wordaholic is actually two different games: Wordaholic – Free Word Find and Wordaholic – Free Word Search. Pretty confusing (why not make it into one app?) but still fun. Both games let you play a hexagonal board full of random letters, where your goal is to create words. The “Find” variant gives you just the board, and you find any words you already know. The “Search” variant, more relevant to this post, is more like a crossword puzzle. That’s the one you see in the screenshot above. The game gives you a little riddle, and you need to figure out the word first, and then find that word on the board. Pretty challenging, because it involves switching between two different modes of thinking every turn.

Some of the questions are very tricky, such as “???? is an atomic element with the atomic number 10”. This is where the Hint button comes in handy: Tap it once for a tiny hint (“Four letters, starts with N”). If you still can’t figure out what it is, tap it again and the game will reveal the word (“The word is NEON”).

The game also offers an Easy mode, in which the words are already listed at the bottom of the screen and you just need to find them. This mode is still useful for learning new words, because you can tap a word to get its definition within the game:

android vocabulary app

Quite a lovely game for picking up some new words. I like the form factor. Hexagons always remind me of strategy games.

Your Own Favorites?

When it comes to word games on Android, the most popular ones are Words with Friends and Wordfeud. That’s why I didn’t include them in the post (I did include them in the Best of Android list). But do you play anything else that has to do with words? If so, do share in the comments.

Image Credit: ShutterStock

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