Hang Genius – a cute game of hangman, if a game about hanging someone can be cute.

So, I don’t really know how the game of hangman came up and as I was describing it to my son the other day, I realized that there were a lot of questions about the game’s origins that I didn’t know and didn’t really want to talk about with him. So we just focused on the game. It’s super convenient, because it can be played on the back of a placemat with a few crayons.

I was only slightly surprised, while picking up Peg Genius the other day, that the same company had a Hangman game as well.  I thought I’d pick it up to give  it a spin.

They’ve again, done a very nice job visually.  You’re playing the game on a legal pad and the gallows and man being hanged are cheery looking enough – when he’s hung, he actually kicks the bucket.  Cute right?  It is a such a strange children’s game!

The words aren’t that bad actually – easy enough for children to enjoy it.  Vegetables, basic words, things that go, cars, presidents…the list of categories are pretty nice and one can see how it can stay interesting for a child as their vocabulary grows.  And schooling progresses: there is an SAT category too.  (Yes, I lost.  That’s how I found out the guy kicks the bucket.  But “visage” is a pretty tough hangman word.)

The lite version is free and pretty good for the younger set.  The basic words category is in there, as well as the vegetables (our son loves olives, which is why I took this screenshot).  You can actually enjoy the lite game quite a bit and still grow a toddler’s vocabulary and game playing confidence.

It would be nice if one could create a custom word set – I know that my son’s got a particular set of interests and would like playing a game with those words in it too (Pokeman, Spiderman, Wolverine, Darth Vader, Angry Birds) but given the extensive set of categories that they do have, I still see this as being very entertaining for him.  There is a ‘define’ button once the game is over, that will define the word.  I’m guessing we’ll learn a few words that way too.

We’ll just save the “Luke Skywalker” clue for the back of the placemat games.

Hangman Genius HD: $.99

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