For Teachers

For Parents


  • Android, iPad, iPhone
  • Free
  • age 5+
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About Pictoword

Pictoword is an exciting puzzle game with an addictive premise, where two related picture clues must be connected together to find the right word. For every right puzzle, you can win coins, so in-app purchases can be avoided. The puzzles can be shared on Facebook, so you can seek help from friends if needed.

While Pictoword is much more of an entertainment app, it does offer players a chance to test their logic and problem solving skills with each puzzle. There is also a spelling component that provides good practice for players as they must spell each word correctly in order to complete the puzzle.

Teacher Review

In Pictoword Free, kids identify words based on two photos that are shown -- and choose from a list of letters to submit a guess. You've probably seen puzzles in magazines and newspapers where you need to form a single word from a pictorial representation of two other words. This mental exercise is the essence of the Pictoword app's challenge.

You might wonder just how many of these puzzles exist within the richness of the English language and the answer, judging by the number of levels in Pictoword, is very many indeed!  Each level is made up of one of these puzzles, illustrated by two clear and well-shot photographs.  The answer is selected from a jumble of letters at the bottom of the screen.  Not all of the letters shown are needed and this adds to the challenge.  

The only clue, to begin with, other than photographs, is the word length that needs to be made.  Other clues and assistance can be gained by spending the in-app currency.  Unneeded letters can be removed, needed letters placed, and photographs translated into the correct words.  These can be very useful if you've struggled long and hard but your brain just refuses to look at the puzzle in the right way.  On the other hand, they can let the player move on too quickly.  What prevents this happening too often, is that the in-game currency is limited.

The currency is earned through reaching certain achievements in the game or by buying it with in-app purchases.  In its free format, the app contains advertisements and uses in-app payments for currency purchases.  It makes sense to pay the fee to remove the advertisements as this improves the game's flow immensely.  The hints, however, can be a form of pay to win and, as you still get some currency just from playing the game or opting to watch an advertisement (even in the ad-free version), sticking to these gives the game the right level of challenge - and it is a fun and useful challenge.

It is interesting to note while playing the game how often the first translation of a picture into a mental phrase is not the correct angle to take.  It is here that the challenge often arises as it is often difficult to get one's mind to relinquish its first assumption.  Often it is not the noun being shown but the verb. Hence a picture of potatoes in a colander with water cascading over them is looking for 'wash', to make up 'carwash', rather than the variation on potato, chip, peel, etc, that the brain can be locked into investigating.  This does teach the player to keep an open mind and try to look at a problem from other, less obvious angles.

The puzzles are not always based on a literal interpretation of the image shown.  Sometimes the word represented by a picture is a homonym rather the word itself.  'Sandwich' is made up of sand and the green-faced wicked witch from the Wizard of Oz.  This encourages a bit of creative thinking and a recognition of the alternative spelling.

Inevitably with any word-based game, there will be words and phrases that are not frequently used in some locations.  For example, while North American-based players might quickly work out 'jump rope', UK-based players will be at a loss as they more often use 'skipping rope'.  Such difficulties are far from the norm, though, as the vast majority of solutions will be known to all speakers through common use or exposure to international television and movies.  As a plus, this will help players to expand their understanding of phrases used in other places.

The app's look and feel is one of high polish.  All of the graphics are clean and smoothly animated and the sound is full of encouraging jingles.  The achievements and awards in the app are easy to access and playing the main game is simplicity itself.

Families can talk about screen time. How much time should they spend playing app-based games, even if they offer some educational benefits such as practicing verbal skills? How much time each day is too much?

The components of each puzzle are easy to remember so it is common to find yourself pondering the last unsolved puzzle even while the app is closed. As it is so quick to open the app and see another level, it is quite possible to keep the challenge in mind even while doing other things.

Pictoword is not an app to use for direct help with the teaching curriculum as it is not designed for this. It does promote thinking skills and reinforces spelling knowledge so it will provide indirect assistance.  As an entertaining app with all of the trappings of a game, it will encourage children to play it and it is certainly a better use of their time than other more mindless entertainment apps.

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App Details

Teacher Ratings


Android, iPad, iPhone




Thinking & Reasoning


In-App Purchases - Yes

In-App Advertising - Yes - 3rd Party



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Screenshots for Pictoword

  • PictowordPictowordPictowordPictowordPictoword


Pictoword – a simple yet addictive word game where you “read” a series of pictures that combine to create a word!

Picture Guessing Games for every level of player
  • Word challenges come in varying difficulty packs

  • Guessing games are fun for kids in Easy mode

  • Put your brain to the test with Hard picture packs

  • Brain training gets even more fun, addicting and intense with the extreme difficulty picture pack!

Fun addicting word puzzles in tons of picture guessing categories
  • Test your knowledge unscrambling words from pics of historical figures, landmarks & countries

  • Guess the word from pop culture photos of celebrities, characters, movies & brands

  • Classic word games come free – unscramble over 300 word puzzles in the free classic pack

  • Puzzles are updated all the time! New addicting categories like food, games & more!

For example, you’ll see a picture of SAND and a WITCH. Combine the two to solve for SANDWICH – a lunchtime favorite! When you’re stumped, try saying the words out loud or asking a friend!

You’ll be delighted by the challenging and fun picture-word game Pictoword!

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