Meet “Word Jumble”, created by 7y old Sophia.

It’s a sunday afternoon, and my Xbox just decides to freeze up. So I turn to the internet for entertainment. What I didn’t expect, is that I’d be playing a game built by a seven year old girl, named Sophia. And yet here we are, reviewing “Word Jumble”.


Word Jumble: Challenging, educational... and written by the 7-year old Sophia
Word Jumble: Challenging, educational… and written by the 7-year old Sophia

When I review video games, I am usually judging the story, the gameplay or the graphics of the game. Rarely do I think “developing can be hard, give these guys are break!”

Today, however, I reviewed “Word Jumble”, a browser based game. It’s got no story, graphics or gameplay to dissect. An sich, it’s not that complex a game. You are presented with a word which is “jumbled” and you have got to guess the right word, and enter it.

But if you know the backstory of this game, you can’t help but look at the game in your browser, and think: “That’s pretty impressive!”

 Developing for personal development

Why call it impressive? Because Word Jumble is the work of the seven year old Sophia, who recently started to code in PHP.

Sophia started developing last year, and there is little doubt that she has learned a lot from her father, who is a member of Joomla’s core development team.

Coding is, however, not something that is forced upon her. She wanted to build a game of her own after her father built one for her, some time ago.  Matt, her father, challenged her to make it an education an game she could share with her class, and helped her code in certain areas that are too complex for her – for now.

Whether Sophia has got plans to continue developing in the far future, is uncertain. She is, however, a good example for children everywhere. Learning to code can help childrens’ development as it requires them to apply logic, plan ahead – and obviously have to learn a programming language.

Review: Word Jumble

Word Jumble is a browser-based game. The goal of the game is to guess which word has been “jumbled” on your screen. So Word Jumble is fundamentaly a simple game, but that doesn’t mean it’s boring or pointless. During our testing sessions, we had to stop a good few times to let our brains run at full speed, to figure out what word we were trying to guess.

Perfect for your children

Word Jumble, with it’s library of nearly 300 1st-grade level words, is a fun, educational and challenging game for your child(ren) to play. The game also keeps score, indicating what % of words you got correct.

If you’re stuck with a word, you can ask for a hint – but be warned, that will cost you some points!

While not a first-grader we enjoyed testing Word Jumble. We didn’t do too badly either, scoring a neat 52 out of 70.  Think you can do better? We challenge  you to give the game a try, and leave your score in the comments. No prizes, just the satisfaction of knowing you beat my high score and helped test the work of a talented 7-year old.

You can find Word Jumble here


  1. maskitto said:

    Nice! First comment on one of Steven’s blog posts :]
    Well I tried the World Jumble game and as I already tweeted I couldn’t help trying to raise my score. So here it goes. I guessed 106 out of 151 words with barely a 70% score, due to the hints I needed.
    Although very simple the game showed itself to be very addictive as well.
    My kudos to Sophia and her proud dad Matt who happens to be a colleague from my days at the Joomla! Bug Squad, and one of the many people who helped me improve my programming skills back then.

    February 10, 2014
  2. Matt Thomas said:

    Thanks for the wonderful review! Sophia was thrilled to read it this morning and is very enthusiastic about working on it some more.

    I do need to clarify that I have helped her with some of the code. She is key to the core fundamentals of the game play and logic, but there are a few areas that are a bit too complex for her… at least for now.

    We will likely next refactor the procedurally written code as something more object oriented, which will be another great lesson for her.

    Stay tuned as she has a few ideas for improvements, such as harder levels, to come.

    February 10, 2014
    • Hello Matt,

      I’m looking forward to how she can expand upon the game. I assumed that she had gotten some help from you, but that doesn’t make it less of an achievement, as far as I’m concerned.
      Let us know when Word Jumble 2.0 arrives and we’ll be back to test it again. And tell Sophia to keep up the good work!

      February 10, 2014

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *