Free word search games – worth the money?

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You’re stuck at home.

You’ve been through Netflix.

You’ve watched every box set there is.

But your brain needs something more, something to keep you sane during these dark Covid days.

Tried doing a word search or other online word game?

Well you’re not alone! Searches for word games and mind puzzles have rocketed over the past year. So here at Gnews we’ve decided to take a look at what free word search games are out there and give them a review for you. We’re so kind…

As part of what might turn out to be a series, we thought we’d start our review of free word games with word searches.

Word searches, remember them? 

Now, many of you might remember word games from school, or maybe seen them in the papers but word searches online are a whole different thing.

Gone are the days of just having a word search on a page. Now there are so many sites with word searches as part of their puzzle selections you can afford to be choosy. Pick a site where you can customize your word search by difficulty, subject, or racing against the clock. But which site to pick?

Ah, the reviews

The first site we’ll look at is coolmathgames.com. Now many of you might know this site already and let’s be honest, it’s pretty iconic. Known originally as a free site for flash games, it’s now HTML5 happy so don’t worry about Adobe any longer supporting Flash. But never mind that, lets get back to the word searches…

WORD SEARCH DIFFICULTY

As you’d expect from Coolmathgames, their word searches are pretty good. There are four difficulty levels (easy, medium, hard and maniac mode) and 21 themes for your puzzle – from crowd pleasers like pizza toppings and baseball teams to the more unusual Hindi and French language words.

Wordsearch pets

You can customize the game further using the Beat the Clock button, which counts down from one minute. To make things even harder you can hide the words you are supposed to be looking for. This is a bit harder if you’re looking for French words and your language skills aren’t quite ‘ooh la la’ if you know what I mean…

Downsides?

Well, unless you mute the puzzle, the annoying doorbell style ringing will drive you mad. Select a game *bing*, find a word *plink*, you get the idea. The colours and the graphics are a bit basic but the game isn’t impacted too much by that. In fact like much of the site, its basic style is what makes it fun to use and, lets be honest, iconic.

What else is good?

If you’re after a more intense word search experience, then you should definitely try thewordsearch.com.

The clue’s in the name. This isn’t just for wasting 5 minutes, this is a site dedicated to intense and single minded word search obsessives. There are 25 categories, with each category having up to 209 subjects within them. So if you have other obsessive hobbies – maybe pop music – you can double the fun because chances are your favorites are there. Taylor Swift anyone?

The settings are pretty good. You can customize the puzzle to having only lower case letters, or change the game font. This might be handy if this is more than a hobby. Maybe you’re playing to improve your dyslexia? Well there’s an open dyslexic font to make things clearer. Changing the font color might also help stop those letters swimming past your eyes.

It sounds perfect…

True, it sounds perfect. But this site just isn’t for me. There are too many choices – too many subjects, options, fonts, colors. Maybe it’s just me, maybe I’ll never be a fully fledged member of the word search gaming community.

Go on, what else is out there?

Our last comparison is 247wordsearch.con. Ok, it’s another basic site but at least – unlike thewordsearch.com – it at least has some instructions.  We all know the rules but it’s nice to be talked to – we’re not word search robots y’know.

Anyway, there appears to be really only one generic game with difficulty options. There’s the all important mute button and to be honest not much else. There are a few subject themes based around times of the year – I’m just guessing but this has to be the one of the only Cinco de Mayo game word searches out there…

Feeling the love?

So it’s basic, it does what it says and there are some limited subjects. But the main issue with this site is – if you’re filling out a Valentine’s Day word search, you need to maybe re-think your life a little.

But…

…I’m a traditionalist at heart and word searches are a traditional game.

I just like the basic games with a few tweaks, not TOO many options, but just enough to give you a bit of a choice. Word searches have a purpose and that is to fill up a few quiet minutes while you’re waiting. Maybe you’re waiting for an appointment, or picking up your kids from soccer practice, or trying to make your brain de-stress. Too much choice takes away from the whole point of them, it turns the puzzle into something more intense and serious. Don’t be that person, enjoy the game for what it is and don’t take things too seriously.

The winner…?

For that reason Gnews is going with these word searches from Coolmathgames. It’s a classic, and I can’t help it, that site is my favourite way to lose minutes of my life. There’s not much else to due during Covid now is there…