Word Cracker combines elements of other word games into an addicting game. Word Cracker provides you with the consonants and leaves outs the vowels. The objective of the game is to add the vowels to create the word. Seems easy, right? But is pretty challenging. I considered myself a pretty good "word cracker" (when it comes to word games) before I trialled this app, but I have to say my scores didn't reflect that. Word Cracker has several options to accommodate the skill level of the user. The standard music and sounds on/off options are available. It also offers a hint options for when you need an extra hand. Word Cracker also offers various levels (Easy, Hard, and Random for game levels allows you to build up your skills), game durations (1,3,5 minutes and no time limit), and how the words are displayed (space holders or no holders).
In preparation for this review, I also had my husband play around with the app. He is totally opposite of me when it comes to word games. He is NOT a fan. After playing a little and messing around with the settings, he settled with the "no time" option with the spaces displayed. In the end, he said it was a pretty good game and he thought it would help with learning the "rules" of spelling/reading (such as i before e). He also thought the game was pretty challenging and he wished there was an option of categories so that he had a reference for what the word could be. Lucky for him, Word Cracker just updated to include themes! The user now has the option of the classic game which provides various random words or users can select a theme, such as the human body, living things, and sports terms.
As with my reviews, I always have to view the app through an educational lens. Can the app be beneficial in the classroom? Is it appropriate to use with students? How can it relate to the curriculum. Honestly, before the update, I was struggling to see how Word Cracker would fit into the scope of classroom apps. It was limited to spelling/reading for older students. I couldn't see students under 10 years old being able to completing the words, even on the easy level. With the addition of the "themes" through the update, I can see this app being more classroom friendly. Students (and adults for that matter) often need a reference point when discovering new words. The addition of the "themes" helps provide that reference and allows the students to access prior knowledge in order to solve the word. Word Cracker could provide a opportunity to review vocabulary terms within the themes. It could also provide a guide for explore new vocabulary terms.
Word Cracker can provide a fun and engaging way to practice spelling or review classroom vocabulary through using the "themes" option. As a intervention specialist for students K-2, this app would not be appropriate for my students as they are focusing on learning single letters or simple 3 letter words. Word Cracker would be most appropriate for students 4th grade and beyond. It would be also great for adult who need to brush up on their spelling rules. As an educator, I also always look for app customization. Word Cracker provides the option for themes, but what would be even better would be the ability to input custom lists, such as targeted spelling or reading words. The customization option would allow it to be used with a more diverse user base. Lastly, the one thing about Word Cracker that I worry about is the connection to the game center. For school use, I think this could be an issue as administration could view it as a "game" versus educational; however, for personal or home use, I think that viewing it as a "game" can motivate students to practice when they don't realize they are practicing.
And l_cky f_r y_u.......
Word Cracker is FREE today (Tuesday, 8/28/2012) to celebrate the new update of 9 themes and over 1,300 new words. When you download and play, be sure to stop back and let me know what you think!
Click below to download!