Simple games that give your brain a brisk workout have consistently been proven to help people retain information more readily by keeping their minds young, fresh and attentive. But before new classics, such as Sudoku, ever became popular, word searches were a common means for mental stimulation. Now, with iSearchWords by DesaByte, users can carry dozens of word search puzzles with them everywhere.
Users will begin with the main menu, where the Options button will allow them to choose what their word search screen will look like and whether to leave the audio effects on or off. Users may make their puzzle background a simple white or black, or choose the ‘Themed’ variation, which makes every different puzzle’s background a new color.
Once you have set these minor details, return to the menu so you may tap Play. Here, users will see a collection of word search puzzles broken into multiple categories. At the top, users will find three free set lists, with each set containing 15 puzzle apiece. Below, users will see the locked set, which will only become available once you have solved every free set entirely. And, at the bottom of the list, users will find purchasable sets, which currently only lists a Soccer Teams set. This expansion set costs only $.99 and one can only hope that more such themed sets become available in the future, for they are fairly cheap and only help to expand upon an already extensive collection.
While it appears that puzzles increase slightly in difficulty as the puzzle’s assigned number gets larger, users need not start at number one and work their way up. Instead, they need only be on the lookout for words written diagonally, an increased number of obscure words, and even some written backwards. However, don’t let these backwards words trick you. You will still need to start with the first letter of the word and swipe backwards, spelling the word out as it should be. As with all words, users just drag their finger over the word they’ve found, watching as it is spelled out at the top of the screen to make sure the right letters are being highlighted. Once you’ve correctly marked a word, you will see a large, green check mark flash on the screen as the word is removed from the list of those remaining.
Not only does iSearchWords provide users will a clean, electronic version of a classic pastime, but it’s all for free! Of course, users do have the option of paying to expand their collection, but the fact that you can search so many puzzles just by downloading the application is both generous and impressive. When you get so much for nothing, it truly makes you more willing to pay for expansions, which will hopefully become more plentiful as time passes.
iSearchWords [iTunes Link] requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.