Cowboy Programming Game Development and General Hacking by the Old West

July 23, 2008

CheckWord Reviews

Filed under: Game Development — Mick West @ 9:49 am

My Scrabble word checker “CheckWord” for the iPhone has got a surprisingly large number of reviews and comments for such a simple application. I think this is probably because it was a launch app, the the early adopters are just going through every single app they can get their hands on. Also early-adopters tend to be a bit nerdy, and hence more likely to play Scrabble.

Currently there are three video reviews, one of which is in Spanish, which almost makes me want to do a Spanish version of CheckWord.

And the Spanish one:

The third video review is on

There are also lots of web posts, most of which seem to be cut and paste from each other – probably mostly automatically in some kind of click mining operations.     I’ve tried to get the original sources below:

I make the top ten free utilities for the iPhone on this list, coming it at #8,2845,2325378,00.asp

Find out if a word is acceptable in games like Scrabble. CheckWord makes it fast and easy to find out if the word somebody is trying to use is real or if they made it all up. Don’t be cheated when playing Scrabble put CheckWord on your iPhone today.

CheckWord is a simple application that allows you to check whether or not words are good or bad in games like Scrabble. I love the developer’s description, “Quicker than using a dictionary, easier than using a computer.” See, now that is why we love our iPhones! […]This application is great for those of you who like to play Scrabble the correct way

CheckWord is a Scrabble player’s dream app

A new favorite app. CHECKWORD is GOOD

CheckWord (free): Very simple, very cool little app that simply tells you whether a word is good or bad in Scrabble. It uses the TWL (Tournament Word List) as opposed to the consumer dictionary, so “FUCK is GOOD”, which is just as it should be.

Overall, CheckWord is a valuable resource while playing games like Scrabble, whether you’re on your iPhone/iPod Touch, or you’re playing actual board games.

I also got some nice reviews on the App store, although several people there seemed to miss that point that this was a Scrabble word checker, and not a dictionary.



  1. May I send you some money for this? Paypal or other form?

    Sounds silly to ask, but I couldn’t find a “pay” or “donations” link on your website. Wanted to make sure you don’t have some moral objection :)

    Comment by Lee — July 30, 2008 @ 6:36 am

  2. Why, thank you very much. I’ve added a PayPal button in the top right of this page.

    Comment by Mick West — July 30, 2008 @ 7:01 am

  3. Done :)

    I hope this doesn’t get you in trouble with Apple though. They want get 30% of the gross from iPhone application sales, and we just did an end-run around them.

    So if anyone asks, the $ was for something else… um, … web site maintenance fund, maybe?

    Comment by Lee — July 30, 2008 @ 8:01 pm

  4. Wow, I’ve been checking every day for Checkword 1.1 and it finally showed up on App Store and…

    I am LOVING IT! Seriously, when the iPhone SDK came out, this was the one app I was sooo hoping someone would create… and version 1.1 is EXACTLY what I have been waiting for. THANK YOU, thank you, thank you!

    This is by far my fave app since the launch. You rock!

    Are you continuing development on this and creating v1.2? Though, at this point, the only changes I can suggest are cosmetic and UI related… the functionality is pretty much flawless in v1.1

    Congrats on an amazing app :)

    Comment by Chris — July 30, 2008 @ 9:31 pm

  5. Thanks Lee! Contributions are earmarked for “future” developments, nothing to do with this version :)

    Comment by Mick West — July 30, 2008 @ 9:54 pm

  6. Chris, thank for the praise, I’m glad you like it.

    I’ve got a few more pots on the stove, but I’ll probably do a 1.2 at some point. At the moment the only features I’m think of are:

    1) Landscape mode – with the bigger keyboard, so more accessible for the older crowd.

    2) Speed improvements – complex patterns or patterns that return a lot of results can take a long time. I’d like to at least get a progress bar up there, or fix it so the delay is minimized.

    I’d be happy to hear of any other suggestions people might have.

    Comment by Mick West — July 30, 2008 @ 10:00 pm

  7. … any other suggestions people might have.

    Minimum and maximum length for Makeword.

    Sometimes I don’t want to know EVERY word I can make out of a set of letters – just some of a certain length.

    Comment by Lee — July 31, 2008 @ 3:54 am

  8. Lee, you can do that to SOME extent with the patterns. Enter a number of dots to specify a word length, and add an @ to make it a minumum:

    .... = Four letter words only
    ....@ = Minimum four letter words

    (enter the above in addition to your letters)

    No maximum yet though. Maybe 1.2. I did want to keep the interface clean, but maybe I can figure out something. The pattern method might confuse some people, even though it’s fairly powerful.

    Comment by Mick West — July 31, 2008 @ 7:05 am

  9. Ah, thanks. That works fine for minimum and I don’t really need maximum.

    I’ll RTFM next time :)

    Comment by Lee — July 31, 2008 @ 8:05 am

  10. That’s pretty cool app. I gotta get a iphone now…we love to play scrabble, and just got the pocket edition. It’s just such a hassle to carry a dictionary around.

    Congrats on launching an app for apple!


    Comment by Kelly — December 24, 2008 @ 3:34 pm

  11. Mike,

    Great interface, BUT it seems that you have some kind of hybrid OSPD that still has words removed in current (Fourth) edition such as jew and cunt, but have added the new words such as za and qi. As any real Scrabble player, I need the real Forth Edition. Any chance of a fix please?



    Comment by Stan R. — December 4, 2009 @ 10:07 am

  12. I’m using the Tournament Word List, and not the OSPD. The TWL has the offensive words left in, as well as the new words like ZA.

    I might do OSPD in the next update, not a huge demand though.

    Comment by Mick West — December 6, 2009 @ 1:17 pm

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