Bookworm Game Tips & Tricks

By Andrea Reuter
Red tiles, the game, Bookworm

"Bookworm" is a flash game created by PopCap Games in 2003. It received the Editor's Choice Award from "Computer Gaming World" magazine, and versions of the game have been released for the iPhone, Xbox Live and Nintendo DSi. The object of the game is to connect letter tiles to form words and feed the words to Lex, the bookworm.

Game Basics

Bonus tiles, the word score

Letter tiles can be connected vertically or diagonally, and each tile can only be used once. Tiles that are used to form words are removed from the board, and more letters fall from the top of the screen to take their place.

The lower-right corner of each letter tile has one, two or three dots. These dots show the value of the letter, with more dots representing more points. Form words combining as many two- and three-dot letters as possible.

A bonus word appears under Lex. If you are able to form the word on the board, you'll receive bonus points. The points will increase with each bonus word you complete.


Each word must consist of at least three letters, but longer words will generally earn more points. Create words with five or more letters to receive bonus tiles. Green, gold and blue bonus tiles act as multipliers, and they add even more points when they're used together in a word.

Sticking to three-letter words will earn you fewer points, but there are other drawbacks. Flaming red tiles will appear at the top of the board when you use too many short words. After you form a word, the red tile will burn through the tile beneath it, falling lower on the game board. If the red tile reaches the bottom of the screen before you use it in a word, it will burn up the library and end the game.

Creating too many short words will also leave you with a board full of vowels and limited choices for using them. Try to use the letters in any vowel clusters that may develop. Use double-vowel words like "meet" and "food" to get rid of the vowels. You can click on Lex to shuffle the letters, but red tiles will appear. Shuffling will also remove any reward tiles you have on the board.

Increase the value of your words by adding suffixes and prefixes, such as "-er" and "un-." Identify these combinations on the board and examine the areas around them for words.

"Bookworm" has no time limit, so there's no rush to form words. There is no penalty for forming words that aren't in the game's dictionary, so you can experiment with the tiles to find high-scoring words.

About the Author

Andrea Reuter has a Bachelor of Arts in liberal arts from the New School. She has worked as a magazine writer and editor for such publications as "Diversion" magazine and "Original Logic Problems." Reuter currently writes articles about video games and consoles, board games and card games for various websites.