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Most Popular Word Hunt Games of the 20th Century

26 Mar 2024

Word hunt games have been around for centuries, combining mental challenge and entertainment. In the last 100-150 years several daily word puzzle games have become classics. One thing they all have in common is that they are free word games, or at least were free at the moment of their release. Here is our list of the most popular word hunt games of the 20th century.


Scrabble stands as one of the most iconic word hunt games presenting a unique blend between strategy and vocabulary. Created by Alfred Butts in 1938, Scrabble challenges players to form words on a game board using letter tiles worth varying point values. With its simple yet addictive gameplay, Scrabble has become a go-to daily word game in households around the world, inspiring countless tournaments, clubs, and online communities.


Boggle burst onto the scene in the 1970s, offering a fast-paced word hunt game experience that kept players on the edge of their seats. In Boggle, players shake a grid of lettered dice and race against the clock to find as many words as possible within a set time limit. With its dynamic gameplay and emphasis on quick thinking, Boggle became a hit among families and word game enthusiasts alike.

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Crossword Puzzles

Crossword puzzles have been a must for newspapers and magazines for decades, entertaining readers with their clever clues and grid-based challenges. The 20th century saw the rise of crossword puzzles as a popular daily word game, with publications like The New York Times and The Times of London featuring daily crossword puzzles in their periodic issues. Crossword puzzles became synonymous with mental stimulation and intellectual prowess. Most of the time crosswords were free word games found in free or cheap press which made them even more appealing to the people.

Word Search and Word Hunt Games

Word hunt games gained popularity in the late 20th century, offering players a relaxing yet engaging word puzzle experience. In word search games, players must find hidden words appearing horizontally, vertically, or diagonally within a grid of letters arranged in a random pattern. With themes ranging from nature and animals to movies and sports, word search games appeal to a wide audience and provide a fun and relaxing way to pass the time for players of all ages.


Hangman quickly became a classic word game. In Hangman, one player selects a word and draws a series of blanks to represent its letters. The idea of the word hunt is for the other player to guess letters to reveal the word. With each incorrect guess, a part of a stick figure is drawn, culminating in a hanging man if the word is not guessed in time. Hangman's simple yet suspenseful gameplay has made it a popular choice for classroom activities, road trips, and leisurely gatherings and gained its fair place among other free word games.

We really hope that our Smartle daily word puzzle one day will be listed in the list of the classic word games of the 21st century. What are your favourite “oldschool” free word games?

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