Think back to the last time you had to spell something quickly. Feel that mild sense of panic? You’ll be happy to know that Cursed Words, the competitive word game from iWin, inspires none of that feeling since you’re not racing the clock.
Instead, you’ve got to plot each word you spell carefully. For starters, you’ve only got eight letters from which to choose, and you have to spell something. But you don’t want to give your opponent too many opportunities to spell long words of their own, or else you’ll lose in this game of head-to-head racing via spelling.
If all of this sounds intriguing, it’s because Cursed Words is a clever reimagining of word/spelling games you’ve played before. Because it’s competitive, you’ll want to be at your best as quickly as possible, which is where our Tips, Cheats and Strategies come in. We’ll spell it all out for you now, and we’re not even sorry about that pun.
Why Did the Chicken Spell? To Get to the Other Side
Okay, so there are no chickens in Cursed Words. But there’s one nugget of truth in this section’s header, and that’s the fact that the goal of each match is to reach the star tiles on the right-hand side of the board by spelling a word into that column before your opponent.
Even if you’re the best speller around, you can’t make it there in one turn. You get just eight letters with which to spell your words, though like Scrabble, you can spell them both horizontally and vertically. Also like Scrabble, each letter tile has a value, and there are squares on the board which can double them, but that’s only for earning coins and doesn’t affect who wins a match.
Why would you want to spell vertical words if you’re trying to get from left to right? There’s one very good reason: you have to spell at least one word every turn, and you forfeit the match if you don’t (with one exception we’ll get to shortly). Sometimes that’s only possible by going up and down instead of left to right.
It also could be a strategic gambit on your part, because the letters you leave on the board become the ones your opponent can use to spell their words. The closer you get to the star tiles, the more careful you need to be — especially since you don’t know which letters your opponent has in their tray for the next turn.
Bonus Tip: Not sure if you’ve laid down a legal word or not? The color of the tiles is your guide. If the tiles are red, you’ve either not spelled a word or you’ve used one that’s less than three letters. If the tiles are blue, you’re good to go.
Power-Ups Are Your Friends
Sometimes there are simply no ways out of a sticky spelling predicament. Before you hit the play button and forfeit the match, consider using a power-up instead. Cursed Words offers six of them, each helpful in its own unique way.
- Blocker – Blocks any one space on the board and prevents your opponent from using it next turn. Costs 10 gems.
- Lock Letters – Looks like a rope and locks two of your opponent’s letters for next turn. Costs 15 gems.
- Skip – The most straightforward power-up allows you to sit out this turn without making any words. Costs 20 gems.
- Extra Letter – Floats down one extra letter of your choice into your tray. Costs 25 gems.
- Swap All – Replaces all eight letters in your tray with new ones. Costs 30 gems. More or less a nuclear option.
- Swap One – As the name suggests, allows you to swap out one tile in your tray for a new one. Costs 5 gems.
Except for the swaps, which you can activate with the orange button on the bottom of your screen, the other power-ups have their own tabs on the right-hand side. You can buy them mid-game if needed.
How to Get More Gems
Because as noted, those power-ups aren’t free. You’ll need gems, and you can earn them in several ways.
- Hit those treasure chests – Completing a word that incorporates a space with a treasure chest grants you a reward at the end of your turn. Some of those chests contain gems.
- Work your way up the leaderboard – If you tap the trophy icon on the main game screen, you’ll see the current weekly challenge and where you stand versus other Cursed Words players. You score points for every tournament round you win, and if you can claim a top-3 spot, you’ll win some gems.
- Play every day – The daily login rewards include gems on certain days, so check in at least once a day if you plan on playing regularly.
You can also buy gems for real money, of course. Tap your total balance of gems inside a match or the shop icon on the main screen to see your options in that regard.
(Other than the fact that ‘miscellaneous’ is a killer word in Cursed Words … )
- It might sound obvious, but don’t forget you can use the existing words on the board to help you out. Maybe you don’t have the right letters or space to spell a whole new word, but you can make one that’s already there plural or throw a prefix or suffix on it. That still counts as word for your purposes.
- You can also lay out multiple words in one turn. Your turn isn’t over until you hit the blue play button, so experiment a bit until you’re satisfied before passing play to your opponent.
- The yellow button next to the Swap power-ups simply rearranges the tiles in your tray in random fashion. It costs you nothing to use, so if you’re stuck, tap on it and see if looking at your letters differently helps spark some word ideas.
- If you can use all eight letters in a single turn, you’ll score an ‘Epic Move’ that gives you a coin bonus. Plus you’ll see the big purple letters on the screen and just feel so good about yourself inside.
- Consider connecting to Facebook, because it makes it easier to challenge friends to games. As long as they connect to Facebook too, of course.
Cursed Words is published by iWin, which also owns Gamezebo. iWin did not contribute or otherwise have any input into the content of this article.