I love playing word searches but the newspaper edition has gotten a bit too small for my eyes. Is there a computer version of word search for my Windows computer? Ideally with nice big letters…
There are thousands of different games available for your computer, whether you’re running Windows, Mac or even Linux. One of the more popular puzzle games is word search, and it’s a type of game that’s ideal for computers. Not just because you can fine tune the interface and user experience to match your vision needs, but because programs that can automatically generate a word search from a list of words aren’t particularly difficult to write. In fact, years and years ago I wrote a program that not only let you create word searches, but let you specify a pattern or shape for the puzzle so you could do circles, rectangles, diamonds, whatever you wanted.
But you don’t want my rusty old code, you want a bright, cheery windows game that works great on your Win PC. Fortunately there are hundreds of them in the Microsoft Store, and probably another few dozen that are in other software archives (though I always counsel that you don’t get software straight from Web sites for your security). As with so much in Microsoft Windows, it all starts in the Microsoft Store.
Launch Microsoft Store and click on Games…
Lots of really fantastic games, but just about everything that’s advertised on the home page is going to be a pretty expensive commercial offering, and few puzzles ever make the big time. Instead, click on the small “Search” button on the top right and type in ‘word search’:
You can see that the suggestion engine has already offered up a half-dozen options, but press Enter and you’ll see all the search matches. There are a LOT of them:
145 matches for “word search” just in the games category. Now, to be fair, not all of them are actual word searches in the circle-words-hidden-in-a-grid-of-letters variety, but you can see that at least the first three are just what you seek. Get it? You “seek”? 🙂
Let’s check out Simple Word Search. It has the two criteria I seek in online stores: lots of reviews, and a really good rating. A click and lots more info shows up:
1255 reviews and 4 1/2 stars. Impressive. And that glorious “Free” on the top right. Looks good, but scroll down just a bit so you can sneak a peek at a few screen captures to ensure the game looks good to you (because it’s not quite what the icon suggests):
The word list might be a bit hard to read on the left, but that’s okay. It certainly looks good enough for an install and test, and being free it’s easy enough to uninstall it without any expense other than time!
And so, a click on the blue “Get” button…
It’s a small program so shouldn’t take very long at all to install. Once it does, pay attention to the lower right of your screen, because this will flash up for a few seconds:
I suggest you “Pin to Start” so that it’s easy to find in the future…
So let’s launch the darn thing already! Easy as you’d hope, and a new word search shows the simple, but functional interface to Simple Word Search:
I tend not to pay attention to word lists when I’m solving word search puzzles, so I just jump in and start finding words. The interface is easy: Click on the first letter of the word and drag along the rest of the letters that make up the word. After a bit, you’ll end up a very colorful board and a very small word list:
Now where is the word “GEN”? Hmm….
I bet you’re looking for it right now, aren’t you?
Notice also the gold star “Masculinity”. That’s a bonus word and gets you extra points in the game because it wasn’t in the word list. This particular game has extra bonus words that it tosses in for fun. A neat idea, even if the bonus word was ridiculously easy to find along the bottom line 🙂
Anyway, if this isn’t the best interface for you, there are plenty of other options to explore. Now you know how to search the Microsoft Store, evaluate possible choices, download one, and try it out! Good luck.
Pro Tip: I’ve been writing about Microsoft Windows for years. Please check out my extensive Windows help area for lots and lots more tutorials on a wide variety of topics. Thanks!