Spelling Bug Hangman

Quality
Education
Entertainment
Value
Child Friendly
Summary
Spelling Bug Hangman is a fun version of the classic game that comes with nearly 100 built-in word lists for early elementary students as well as the capability to add individualized practice word lists.
4.8

App Info

Price: $2.99
AppStore User Rating:

Download on the App Store

Overview

Spelling Bug Hangman provides over 900 built-in spelling words and the capability to add your own words to a hangman game. Users can play alone or with a friend. Players also earn coins to use to purchase hints and other helps to improve their play.

Features include:

  • Over 900 words provided in three categories
  • Capability to add words with recorded voice clues
  • Choice of three levels of difficulty
  • Earn coins to purchase various hints
  • One or two players

Quality

Spelling Bug Hangman is a high quality app that is versatile and easy to use. The app includes options for several levels and over a hundred different word lists, as well as the capability to add words of your own choosing. Game play is rewarded with coins that can be used to purchase various types of hints to use as the game gets more difficult.

Developers should consider improving navigation through the app. There should be a way to return to the main page and a way to exit games that are not yet completed. As it stands, there are several places where users cannot return to the starting point if they wish, and if a user accidentally begins a game with an incorrect level or word list, the round must be played through.

There are some minor glitches in the program, as well. There are times when the animation of the hatching cocoon (the reward for correctly-chosen letters) shows two stages at the same time, which some children may find a bit confusing. The instructions about game play could be made much more clear; I had to do a lot of experimenting to discover just how to use each feature. And finally, developers should clean up the errors in the parents area and in the app’s description online. There are some grammar mistakes that a bit of proofreading would eliminate, and in the parents’ area, reference is made to the words being presented in phonetic families “such as ‘one, done, gone and none.’” These words are actually in two different phonetic families due to the differences in their pronunciation, though they do have similar spellings, and are definitely not the best example of the phonics principle.

Education

Spelling Bug Hangman is an outstanding app for basic spelling practice. The game is motivating, and it’s wonderful that parents or teachers have the capability of entering individualized spelling lists and recording the spoken cues as desired. This really extends the app’s usefulness. The included words are all from the early grades of elementary school, and with this feature, more challenging words could easily be added.

The game is played like the traditional paper-and-pencil hangman game, but has a few unique twists of its own. The goal is to hatch a cocoon into a butterfly. Incorrect letter choices cause a hungry bug to munch on the leaf holding the cocoon, and correct letters help the caterpillar to grow until it finally hatches and flies away. The levels of difficulty seem to affect the number of incorrect letter guesses allowed. Correctly spelled words (or even attempts!) earn coins that can be exchanged for various types of hints including a spoken version of the target word, picture clues, additional guesses, and more.

The game includes access to a “casual” list of easy words (14 levels with ten words each) and phonetically organized word lists from first or second grade curriculums (40 lists of ten words each at each grade level). When combined with the capability to add individualized word lists, the app is quite versatile. It also keeps minimal records for students, showing which word lists and which levels have been accessed and accomplished.

Entertainment

This app is quite entertaining, especially for the target age group of young elementary students. The use of purchased hints will be a great motivator for most students. It would be nice if additional hints, changes to the avatar bug, or other rewards could be unlocked after many points are accumulated; it is quite possible to build up lots of coins with nothing interesting to use them on.

The leaf-munching bug that endangers the cocoon on each turn might get a bit mundane, as well. Developers may want to consider adding a few other scenarios where the main character is in jeopardy from incorrect letters and freed or empowered by correct letters just to liven things up a bit.

Value

Spelling Bug Hangman is an excellent value. It is $2.99 in the App Store, and will be very useful for general spelling practice, phonics review, and individualized spelling practice for young elementary students as well as those with special needs or students learning English as a second language.

Child Friendliness

This app is very child friendly. The parent area is protected by an effective parent gate.

  • Protected parent area (contains external links, social media, and rating)
  • NO 3rd party ads
  • NO in-app purchase

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