There are a lot of apps out there, but not many that may also increase our vocabularies as we do it. That is where word game apps come in.

Especially if you’re a competitive person (even if it’s only with yourself) you’ll find that hours melt away when you’re racking your brain for words to use in any one of these word game apps. Just don’t forget to look up from your phone (or tablet) everyone once in a while and remember that there is a real world out there!

Words With Friends

There is a reason that I haven’t started playing words with friends; I’ve heard just how addicting it can be. I mean, come on, Alec Baldwin got kicked off of a plane because he wouldn’t stop playing the game on his phone when the plane was at the gate. If celebrities are that addicted to it, think about the effects on us normal folk.

Words with Friends, at it’s core, is a free version of Scrabble. But you play at your own pace, so if you and your friend are playing each other rapid fire, that’s fair, but you can take days between turns if you feel like playing at a more leisurely pace.

Word Ace

Word Ace is a mash up of Texas Hold’Em and Scrabble. Need I say more? Maybe not, but I will.

The mash-up comes in to play because the set-up of the game is the same structure of Hold’em, but the cards are letters rather than the traditional set of 52. Using your own 2 cards along with the 5 community cards, you want to try and form the highest scoring word.

But – just as any card game, if you have a good poker face, you can bluff your way through and still win. The betting aspect of the game is optional, but there is a Pro version of the game that allows you to buy more chips, or just support the developers.

Word Scramble

Word Scramble is like the Boggle of the app world. Part Jumbline, part scrabble, you’re given a board of mixed up letters and have to find as many words as you can out of that mess in a given time.

I’ve played the real-world version of Boggle – and it’s quite addicting just as a game. But to have a version that you could play anywhere? That could be quite bad news for my social life – not that I have one to begin with, anyway.

Jumbiline Lite

While there is Text Twist and Word Warp, Jumbiline Lite might just be at the top of the heap for the “make as many words as you can out of these letters” games. Why? It’s a bit more intuitive than the others – in this game, when you’re ready to submit a word, you just underline it, rather than having to hit a separate button.

The app is also available for the iPad – so get ready to get addicted to this game.

The best thing about all of these games, though, is that they aren’t absolutely mindless clicking or tapping. You’re using your brain to actively think and engage in these games, and that is something that is actually good for you. Of course – everything in moderation!

Valerie Spencer is a freelance writer who works with Free Book Notes and thinks that everyone should be expanding their vocabulary – whether they mean to or not! She prefers the word scramble games to the others.