If you have Frankenword on your phone, you’re in for an awesummer (that’s “awesome summer”)

Do you know what an “Alarmadillo” is? Well, it’s more or less what it sounds like: an armored mammal with an alarm clock in its belly (and it presumably makes a watery, strangled “BRAAANG” when it’s hit by a car). Unfortunately, the Alarmadillo has not been seen by sober eyes, so if you play its species name as a word in Scrabble or Words With Friends, you’re bound to get thrown out on your butt. Maybe it’s time to consider an iOS word game that doesn’t play by rigid rules laid down The Man. Maybe it’s time to give Frankenword a try.

In Frankenword, you are tasked with cobbling together words that technically don’t exist, but strangely enough, almost make sense. Each of these words is actually composed of two others that have been spliced together like a pigeonrat. For instance, when “Nougat” and “Attorney” fall in love and have a baby, you get “Nougattorney”—a delicious, candy-filled lawyer.

You’re not expected to smash words together blindly, of course. If you’ve played any tile-based word assembly game, then you shouldn’t have a problem jumping into Frankenword. Each stage issues you a handful of tiles, and two hint words that are supposed to help you assemble your new hybrid word. Extra tiles are thrown into the mix to make sure that you don’t guess the word too easily.

When you’ve correctly identified the word at hand, you’re offered a delightfully nonsensical definition, or you’re invited to make your own and post it on Twitter or Facebook.


If you like to label words with flavors and colors, then you’re certain to have a good time with Frakenword. Most of the hybrids you create meld together beautifully and are fun to read and pronounce.

Frankenword is more of an interest piece than a game, however. It’s not challenging on a mind-bending level, though you will probably still put a dent in your allotted hint supply. Oftentimes, the words you need are staring you right in the face, and when you use a hint, you may well end up slapping yourself on the forehead. On the other hand, there are instances where the hints you’re issued aren’t very good. In one example, “Evil spirit” was supposed to translate into “Goblin,” but that old-world association isn’t popular for those of us who became familiar with the creatures through Dungeons & Dragons and Tolkien’s works.


Frakenword’s presentation is bare-bones, too. Granted, there’s not a whole lot you can do to trick out a tile-based word game, but the graphics and sound effects in Frankenword barely rank above a text-based adventure.

But the bottom line is that you have nothing to lose by picking up Frankenword. The first fifty word puzzles are free, and you can purchase hundreds more for a low fee. More free puzzles are coming in August, so if you decide to hold on to your cash, you can be assured that an update is on the way. You can’t lose—unless you neglect to remember that a goblin is actually a malevolent spirit and not a pony-gobbling under-dweller.