It used to be that the crossword puzzle was the one game, the sole form of entertainment in the daily newspaper. Something we’re losing, as more and more people turn from print to the internet for the news. But with this app, reading the news online becomes a game itself!
You can view a tutorial before starting, but the game is very simple to figure out, and the app provides little tips as you progress as well. Choose from which section you’d like to read: Top Stories, International, National, Business, Sports, Entertainment, Technology, or Health. You can also choose to play in classic or timed mode, and also pick a difficulty level (easy, medium, or hard).
When the game begins, a news source (CNN, USA Today, BBC, etc.) is given at the bottom of the screen, with the opening sentence of the story. At the top is the headline, but with letters missing (how many depends on the level of difficulty you’ve chosen). The missing letters are scrambled in the middle of the screen, waiting for you to tap or drag them into their correct place.
It’s easy, particularly in the beginning, to solve each puzzle, because the app will highlight the word and the letters it’s missing. However, the advanced level offers a bigger challenge, since the majority of the letters are missing from the headline. To give you a little help, the spaces that require vowels are marked with a little “v”.
However, if you’re bilingual or enjoy language study, Guess the News has one more fantastic feature that I wasn’t expecting. On the main menu, you can choose from one of eleven countries for news stories:
- Canada (English or French)
- New Zealand
- United Kingdom
- United States
I lived in Brazil for awhile, and I found that reading the local paper or magazines was a great way to keep up my Portuguese. I was really excited to see that Guess the News streamed in the Brazilian news in all of the same categories (National, Sports, etc.) and even includes the proper accents that are not present in English – in other words, no entering an “e” when the word needs an “é”.
Of course, just reading the headlines isn’t the best way to get your daily dose of news. So once you’ve completed a level, be sure to tap on “Read Articles”, and Guess the News will take you directly to the full published story.
Overall, I think this app is a great way to have a little fun while reading the news, not to mention the opportunity to get a little extra language practice in! Definitely worth the dollar.
Guess the News requires the iPhone OS 2.2.1 or later and is compatible with iPhone and iPod Touch.