Parents and Teachers

Cotton Word Games

Every game includes nine words lists: Middle English, Shakespeare, Shakespeare with Contractions, British, British with Contractions, American, American with Contractions, General and General with Contractions. See Game | Word Lists.

The two General word lists do not contain offensive words. You may want to restrict your children and students to using only these. See Offensive Words.

The game Early Word was designed for beginners. The players form words crossword-fashion on a 15x15 board. There are no bonuses or penalties: calculating word scores is easy. In addition two features of the other word games have been removed: (1) the players cannot modify the tile sets and (2) they cannot play with backward words.

You can save a game and resume play at a later time. Thus, you do not have to complete a game in, for example, a single class period.

The games can be played by a single human player (except Meum et Tuum), two human players or a human player against the computer (except Asa's Blocks, Anna's Train and Kinsey's Slide).

The computer player has four levels of ability. At its two lowest levels ("Average" and "Advanced") it tries to maintain a score roughly equal to the other player's. This is appropriate for young people, ESL students and others with limited vocabularies because it doesn't try to win and it doesn't try to lose. The better the human player plays the better the computer plays (within limits); sometimes it wins and sometimes it loses.

All Cotton Word Games (except Asa's Blocks and Anna's Train) have a Suggest page that can be used to list all of the words that can be formed using the letters on the board and/or the current player's tray. Thus, you can find the most valuable word that can be played or similar words of the same value. It can also help when you are unable to find a word to play.

All Cotton Word Games have a Search page that can be used to find words in the current words list -- for example, all words beginning with "pt", or ending with "kly" or starting with a vowel and ending with "ly." You can also use the Search page when doing crossword puzzles, creating palindromes and other activities.

Every game has an Info page that shows the count of each letter, its value, the number remaining to be played and other useful information. Each game includes a letter counts and points table formatted for printing.

You can print the board and a list of all moves made during a game or after a game has been completed -- a hard-copy record of each child's achievements.

Each game has a number of options -- game levels, board/tile sizes and colors, font sizes and colors, etc. -- that enable you to configure the games to your preferences. You can even design your own tiles.

The extra-large tiles/blocks and the options to set font sizes enable those with limited dexterity or vision to play.

Each game's help file includes several useful words lists (Q-words without U, all-vowel words, short Z words, and so on).

All games use the same familiar Windows user interface (menus, buttons, etc). Playing a different Cotton Word Game requires only learning its rules not a different layout.

Words games may promote memory and vocabulary development and language and arithmetic skills. See Benefits of Word Games.

See also

General Features

Cotton Solitaires

Using the A to M, N to Z and Decimals decks while playing some of the simpler solitaires can make learning letters, numbers and simple addition interesting. For example, in Macushla the goal is to arrange the cards in four rows (by suit) with the cards ascending in face value from the 1st cards (left) to the 13th cards (right) by simply exchanging pairs of cards.

Some games work especially well with the Decimals deck. Clock helps children learn numbers and how to use an analog clock. Five Piles, Fourteen Out, Pyramid (28), Three Peaks, Thirteens, Betsy Ross and Golf involve simple addition. Accordion involves simple matching of face values and suits.

Press the button with a downward triangle on it on the left side of the status bar to display the 13 face values of the current deck (cards front ).

Use the menu item "Game | Hint" whenever the player is unable to find a valid move.

Set the menu item "Options | Delay" to a high value so hint lines remain visible for a long time.

Set the menu item "Options | Hints | Lines" to Direct which give the clearest indication of which card can be moved to a foundation.

See also

General Features

All Games

The games are nonviolent, unless you consider Hoodwink (capturing letters) a form of violence.

The games are silent except for the usual Windows sound (such as when a window pops up) if you have such sounds enabled.

There is no commercial advertising in the games, their installers or on our Web site. See commercial advertising.

All of our games are free. No strings attached. If you use them you can contribute to their continued maintenance and development but you don't have to.

You can install the games on as many individual computers with as many users as you need or install them on your school's server; there are no restrictions. See License.

You do not need an Internet connection to play any of the games. Download, install and play. Each game comes with a complete help file. No Internet connection is need to play or get help.