One month every year, I take a break from social media. No scrolling, no posting, and, minus a force of habit, click here and there, not even opening the apps. It’s good for me since I tend to get sucked in, swiping through TikToks long past when I should have been asleep. This month, I try to find other ways to keep myself entertained, which sometimes proves harder than it seems. I read a lot, sure, and watch movies and exercise, but sometimes, when I’m craving a small thrill, I play free word games.
Games, I’ve decided, are allowed for my no-social media month! They’re fun and entertaining, and they challenge the brain differently than scrolling my social media feeds. They add some creativity to my life, which is something I always enjoy. They give me something to click on when my impulse to check out my feeds gets to me, especially in waiting rooms, during in-between moments, and in awkward social encounters. I play all kinds, but some of my favorites are word games! Especially free ones!
If you’re in the mood for a word game or two, check out these ten of the best free word games! While some do offer in-app purchases to enhance the games, the base games won’t cost you a thing!
In this game, you’re given a grid with four words, but they’re scrambled around. Each letter of the scrambled words has a match or multiple matches you can swap to create the correct missing words. Once you complete a word, it will turn pink, so you know you’ve got some of the letters in the right place. There are daily puzzles and 4×4, 5×5, and 6×6 grids to keep testing your limits.
Stop – Categories Word Game (IOS)
This is a riff on a virtual game of scattergories! Each round, you’ll get a list of five categories and a letter. As quickly as you can, you have to fill in words starting with that letter in each category. You can either play against a random stranger or, for more fun, with a family member or friend!
Words collide in this game of letter rearranging. Whether you play alone or with someone else, you’re given a set of letters to make a word. Your opponent then uses their letters to build more words into what you’ve played. It’s sort of like Scrabble if you could shift your opponent’s words around to make room for some of your own!
Letter Lattice (IOS)
In Letter Lattice, you’re given a starting word and an ending word, and your job is to change just one letter in each row in order to get from one to the other. For example, as the app uses in its tutorial, get from DOG to CAT by forming DOT, then COT.
Cryptogram: Word Brain Puzzle (IOS)
If you’ve never tried a cryptogram before, you’re in for a treat! A quote or phrase has been hidden with the letters masked by a numeric code. For example, the number 26 may indicate where an E belongs. Your job is to figure out how to decode the whole phrase!
Tiler More (IOS)
I recommend doing the tutorial on this one before you jump in! Essentially, it’s a game where you combine tiles to make an assigned list of words. It’ll take some brain power, especially in the harder difficulties, to keep the disparate parts straight.
This is a word finder game but on something like a Rubix cube. As you form more words, cubes from the playing field disappear, revealing even more underneath! There are daily challenges you can choose to do, timed or unlimited, depending on how much you want to challenge yourself.