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Game Settings & Options

'Tile stacking'

This game mode lets you drop new tiles over old ones (e.g. change SCRAMBLE to SCRABBLE). The new letter must be different from the old one.

'Timer'

If you like a little extra pressure, turn on the timer and set its length. When the timer expires, you get a 10 point penalty and the timer restarts. To pause the timer, simply exit the board screen (e.g. by tapping the player scores).

'Hints'

You can allow yourself as many hints per game as you like. When you tap the 'hint' button, the computer will suggest a word you could make. How it displays the word depends on the type of hint you've selected on the Options menu:

  • 'Position Only' - you are shown where to place tiles, but not which letters to use.
  • 'Full Word' - you are shown the full word and your tiles are placed on the board.
  • 'Position + Word' - you are shown where to place tiles (but not the actual letters), and then if you still need more help, given the option of viewing the full word (choosing both costs two hints).

Note: the computer won't always recommend the highest scoring word. Sometimes, it will suggest another word that is strategically better instead.

'Avoid rare words'

All languages contain many obscure, archaic and unlikely looking words. Select this option if you would prefer the computer to stick to the more common words, both when taking its own turn and when suggesting 'hints'.

'Flexible vocabulary'

Not everyone agrees which words should be allowed, so this option lets you override the default vocabulary. If you try to play an unknown word, the computer will ask if you want to allow it anyway. You can also disallow words which are played by the computer (but not those played by another human). Banned and added words are cleared at the end of each game.

Obviously, if you can't resist deliberately cheating, don't use this option.

'Instant spelling check'

If you select this option, the pop-up score bubble that appears as you place tiles on the board will turn red if there are any misspellings. There's no point in selecting both this and the 'Penalize errors' option.

'Penalize errors'

If you attempt to play a word that turns out to be invalid, and you've selected this option, the word's value will be subtracted from your score. You then re-take your turn.

'Tile allocation'

This setting determines which tiles are drawn from the bank when a player's rack is re-filled:

  • 'Random' (best for hardcore players) - tiles will be allocated entirely at random. This can be challenging as you will sometimes get lots of vowels or lots of consonants.
  • 'Balanced' (recommended for average players) - the computer will try to issue a good mix of both vowels and consonants. However, it doesn't take your existing tiles into account, so you must still choose your words carefully to avoid accumulating too many letters of the same type.
  • 'Helpful' (best for newbies) - the computer will help your luck by choosing a mix of letters that complement the tiles you already have. Your rack will have fewer duplicates, and a more consistent mix of vowels and consonants. When swapping, you will also be less likely to re-draw tiles with the same letters.
'Rack sorting'

This option determines the order in which tiles are arranged on your rack at the start of each turn. Many players find it helpful see identical letters grouped together alphabetically. It can also be helpful to see your tiles separated into vowels and consonants.

'Show opponent's tiles'

Turn this option off to hide the tiles on your opponent's rack. If two humans are competing, each player will be asked to confirm they are ready before their rack is revealed.

'Auto-zoom'

This option determines whether or not the board will expand for a close-up view when tiles are placed. If this option is disabled, you can still manually zoom the board in and out by double-tapping it (or on a touch screen, pinching it).

'Board layout' vs 'Board style'

The board's 'layout' refers to the size of the board and the arrangement of its bonus squares. CrossCraze PRO has a choice of 28 different board layouts, ranging in size from from 15x15 squares up to 21x21.

The board's 'style' refers to the 'look' of the board (the visual design of the board and its squares). CrossCraze PRO provides 12 different board styles.

'Non-personalised ads'

Android users in the European Union who are playing the FREE version can choose between personalised and non-personalised ads. Personalised ads will be more relevant to your interests, and they also contribute a little more money to cover our development costs. See our Privacy Policy for details.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why isn't my word recognised?

A common mistake is trying to play names, such as for months, days of the week, countries, cities and brands. Almost any combination of letters could be the name for something or someone, so names are not allowed. If a word can only be spelled using a capital letter, you can't play it (German nouns excepted).

That said, if you want to be able to override the game's default word list and play whatever words you believe are valid, just select the 'Flexible vocabulary' option.

How can I shuffle my tiles?

Double-tap your rack.

How do I resign?

Press the Android 'back' button or the Windows 'Esc' key. You'll be returned to the main menu where you can either start a new game, or resume the one you just left.

How can I skip my turn?

Press the 'swap' button, then 'pass' without selecting any tiles.

How can I see word defintions?

Just swipe along any word on the board to view its dictionary definition. See here for more details.

Why does the computer keep the best tiles for itself?

It doesn't. Tiles are allocated in exactly the same way for both human and computer players. The aim was to produce a fun game, not an unbeatable opponent, so giving the computer any unfair advantage would have been entirely counter-productive.

The computer can find every possible word on the board in a split second. This alone makes it stronger than 99.99% of human players so it has no need for any unfair trickery. In fact, only the top-level opponent, with 'Avoid rare words' disabled, uses the computer's full strength.

Part of the game's challenge is to manage your rack so as to avoid accumulating too many difficult tiles. The computer is quite good at this, but you can improve your own strategy by following our Top Tips. Alternatively, just select the 'Helpful' tile allocation method and your luck will magically improve.

How many tiles are there?

It depends on the language and board size. The total number of remaining tiles is shown at the bottom of the screen. Tap this to see the totals for individual letters.

How can I see previous moves and other statistics?

Press the scores area in the bottom-left of the game screen.

The PRO version also records statistics for previous games. First, create a named player, then select that player when starting a game.

How can I change the menu language?
How can I reduce battery-drain?

If you're using a mobile device, the screen is usually the biggest drain on the battery. With certain screen types (e.g. AMOLED), you may be able to significantly reduce power-usage by selecting one of the darker board styles available in the PRO version.

Game Rules

Start SquareStart Square / Double Word Bonus
Double Letter BonusDouble Letter Bonus
Triple Letter BonusTriple Letter Bonus
Double Word BonusDouble Word Bonus
Triple Word BonusTriple Word Bonus
  1. At the start, all tiles are held in the 'Tile Bank'. Each tile is marked with a letter and its value, except for two blank tiles, which can represent any letter. Each player is randomly allocated 7 tiles from the Bank. One player is chosen at random to start the game.
  2. Players take turns to place their tiles on empty board squares to form new words. The tiles must be in a straight line without any empty squares between them. At least one of the new tiles must be on a start square or next to an existing tile.
  3. If 'Tile Stacking' is allowed, new tiles can also be placed on top of existing ones so long as they represent different letters.
  4. Words must be at least two letters long and can be formed either horizontally (left to right) or vertically (top to bottom), but not diagonally or backwards.
  5. Most words found in a standard dictionary are allowed (including inflections), except those requiring a capital letter, hyphen, apostrophe or full stop. See the Vocabulary section for details.
  6. If you attempt to play a word that turns out to be invalid, and you've enabled 'penalties', the word's value will be subtracted from your score. You then re-take your turn.
  7. Moves are scored by adding up the tile values for all the new words formed. If a tile is placed on an empty Double or Triple Letter Square then that tile's value is multiplied accordingly. Similarly, the scores for all words covering a Double or Triple Word Square are also multiplied.
  8. Players earn a 40 point 'bingo' bonus if they play 7 new tiles at once.
  9. After each turn, the player is allocated new tiles from the Bank.
  10. Instead of placing a word, a player can pass or swap tiles on their rack with random tiles from the Bank.
  11. The game ends when a player has used all their tiles and the Bank is also empty, or when both players have passed twice. Any tiles remaining on a player's rack are deducted from that player's score.
  12. The winner is the player with the highest score.

Vocabulary

CrossCraze's vocabulary has been compiled from many different sources. As there is no definitive guide to any language, it's inevitable that there will be some disagreements as to which words should be allowed.

Words which can only be spelled with capital letters or punctuation marks are not allowed. This rules out names and other words such as 'TV', 'Thursday', 'July', 'London', 'Pepsi', 'Sarah', 'ex-wife', and 'etc.'. Abbreviations are only allowed if they can be spelled without punctuation (e.g. 'phone').

All languages contain many obscure, archaic and unlikely looking words, which strong players love to exploit (e.g. 'aa' is a type of lava). If you don't think they should be allowed, don't play them. If you don't want the computer to play them either, select the 'Avoid rare words' option.

If you want to be able to override the game's default vocabulary, select the 'Flexible vocabulary' option.

Special cases

Obscenities

The vocabulary does include some lewd, offensive and derogatory terms. Like it or not, these are a part of all languages. Where possible, these words have been isolated to prevent the computer from playing them, but you can still use them yourself if you want.

Top Tips

✽ Less applicable if you're using the 'Helpful' tile allocation option.

Technical Support

Need help running the game? Select your operating system:

Help us make CrossCraze even better

Spotted a bug or got a suggestion. Your feedback is always welcome. If you're fluent in any of the game's non-English languages, please let us know what you think of the game's vocabulary, good or bad. Perhaps you'd like to see the game's menus and prompts translated to your language too? See our feedback page.

Why Go PRO?

If you enjoy CrossCraze, please show your appreciation by purchasing the full 'PRO' version. Your contribution will help fund further development and you'll get access to all these exclusive features:

Support an independent developer!