eTABU Word Search is a word search game with a twist: Instead of working to find words from a given list, players must find words associated with one main category word. There are four keywords to find in each puzzle, clued by single letters and blanks that show how many letters are in the word. Points are awarded for completing the puzzle, with extra points given for completion within the time limit.
Hundreds of puzzles and thousands of keywords
Three levels of difficulty
Optional connection to Game Center for competitive play
Clear directions in the “settings” section
Play in any of ten languages
eTABU Word Search is a high quality app. Developers included clear rules and directions to help new players understand the game play. The app works reliably and well. One minor concern is that there are some blocks of text that overlay others, making some areas a bit difficult to read. One example of this is the time/score display after each round.
eTABU Word Search is an excellent tool for building fluency and vocabulary for older students. The app includes three levels of puzzles. The lowest level gives clues to the keywords based on initial letters. The words seem to run horizontally and vertically. The second level incorporates words running diagonally, and the clues show the ending letter of each word. At the hardest level, the words run in every possible direction, including backwards diagonal. The keywords are clued with a letter from the middle, making it very challenging, even for most adults.
The game also includes rich vocabulary in both the primary puzzle words and the keywords. Words such as “realm” and “anesthetized” pop up regularly. There are a few tenuous connections between primary and key words, such as “Batch” having “parking” as a keyword. The game will definitely strengthen most people’s vocabulary, as well as their ability to scan letters quickly to find target words. The ability to change the game play into any of ten languages is also a huge plus- this would be a great game to use when learning a new language or if you wanted to brush up on vocabulary in a different language.
This app is highly entertaining, and includes optional connection the Game Center. That makes it perfect for more mature players who like a bit of competition. The rounds are very quick (a minute or two, unless you get stuck), and you will receive points for finishing the puzzle even if it’s not within the time limit, which is highly encouraging.
This app is free on the App Store, which makes it an incredible value, particularly for older players. It’s a fun way to improve word recognition, vocabulary, scanning, and many other skills. Since you can play in any of ten languages, that makes it all the more valuable.
However, parents should be aware that this app is not particularly child-friendly. There are no parental gates on sensitive areas, such as social media and Game Center connections, and there are numerous outside advertisements, including for slot machine apps and dating services. An ad is shown between each round, and there are constant running ads on a billboard at the top of the screen even during game play.
eTABU Word Search is a fun way to build reading, word recognition, vocabulary and mental flexibility skills. You can even use it to sharpen your languages skills. The app is entertaining and highly-engaging.