Available for Windows 10 PC, and in part for Windows 10 Mobile, this free game includes Crosswords, Jumble and Wordament. Ultimate Word Games also includes Xbox Live integration so you can share your achievements, daily challenges, multiple themes, and more.
Microsoft Ultimate Word Games has been available in the Windows Store for some time, but it recently crossed our radar with the addition of Wordament. The Boggle-style game has been a staff favorite for years and only adds to the game's appeal. Overall, if you are in the mood for a challenging word game, Microsoft Ultimate Word Games is just what the doctor ordered.
The collection opens up to a primary menu that has options to launch any of the three gaming titles, view your achievements, check out your game statistics and choose a theme. Themes include a small range of wooden tabletops that allow you to add a dash of customization to the game.
The primary menu for Microsoft Ultimate Word Games also includes Store links to other popular casual games from Microsoft Studios such as Microsoft Treasure Hunt, Microsoft Jackpot and Microsoft Jigsaw.
The three games included in this collection are:
- Jumble — An addictive word game in which you are given a rack of letter tiles that are used to create words. Think of it as Scrabble, but with specific word goals in mind.
- Crosswords — A traditional crossword game with multiple board sizes and difficulty levels. The user-interface is simple but you may find yourself scrambling for a dictionary to help solve these puzzles.
- Wordament — A highly addictive word game where you are provided a four-by-four grid of letter tiles that you need to find words from. Connect three or more letters vertically, horizontally and diagonally to build as many words as possible. The multiplayer mode pits you against other Wordament players to see who can score the most points in a timed game.
To play a game, you just tap or click on the tab to open a secondary menu that lays out options for the various game modes available. These modes generally include a daily challenge, quick play and multiplayer modes. Each game has a slight variation of these modes, but each includes a level-based, single player mode that changes each month.
The levels in this mode challenge you to match performance objectives to advance to the next level. For example, Jumble challenges you to identify a number of words and bonus words before advancing.
Each level has three objectives to meet, each earning you a star. To advance to the next level, you need to earn at least one star. You should pace yourself with this single player mode, but the previous two months' worth of levels are available should you finish things quickly. Should you be at a loss, each of the level-based games includes a hint button to nudge you in the correct direction.
If you had to pick one word game …
If you ccould only have one word game, Microsoft Ultimate Word Games shouldbe it. The game collection offers a challenging range of word puzzles and the variety of modes gives the game a good bit of depth. A depth that prevents this Windows 10 game from growing stale too quick. On top of the entertainment value each game offers, the design is clean and looks sharp.
While a very appealing game, it is not without a few downsides. First, Microsoft Ultimate Word Games is ad-supported with video advertisements that appear in between games. You can opt out of the ad support but only through a subscription. The Premium game runs $1.99 per month or $14.99 annually. I would rather have seen a single cost to remove ads instead of a subscription.
The other knock I have with Microsoft Ultimate Word Games is the Windows 10 Mobile option. The game is available for Windows 10 Mobile but only includes Wordament. Crosswords and Jumble are not available for Mobile, so you end up getting an incomplete collection that lacks the design of the PC version. In a nutshell, installing Microsoft Ultimate Word Games for Mobile is an alternative way to install Wordament. Microsoft should step up and offer the full collection for Mobile or not at all.
While there is room for improvement, all in all Microsoft Ultimate Word Games is a fantastic collection for your Windows 10 PC, and it plays especially well on a Surface tablet. Any of these three games are great options when you need help passing the time or are in the mood for more lengthy gaming sessions.
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George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.