Every Player

Every player must download and run the free Word Hunt program.

  • Word Hunt is a game for Windows computers; it will not run on other devices.

One Player

One player (the host) must also download and run the Word Hunt Server program.

Download the free evaluation version of the Word Hunt Server program (limited functionality):

  • Play with 1 - any number of players
  • Play as many times as you want and as long as you want
  • Make sure it works on your computer
  • Decide if you like the game
  • Limitation: does not shuffle the cards
  • Learn more

$15 to Register to unlock full functionality:

Host Name: (required)

The Host Name will be displayed as the host for all the Snakes players.

You do not need to have a PayPal account to pay with a credit card through PayPal.

Word Hunt

1 - any number of players. Play online with family and friends, over the internet or across a home network

Word Hunt is a timed word game. Each player receives the same 5 x 5 grid of letters. The object of the game is to find as many words as possible in three minutes. After three minutes, each player receives points for any words they found that their opponents did not find. Longer words are worth more points.

Start the Game

Before you can play the game, one player, the host, must start a game. Learn more about hosting this game.

After the host has started the server, each player should start the Word Hunt game on their own computer and enter the port, IP address, and player name exactly as instructed by the host.

The Timer

As soon as all players join the game, the game will start. All players will be presented with the same 5 x 5 grid of letters and "Start!" will be displayed in the message box. You will have three minutes to find as many words as you can.


Drag you mouse across consecutive letters in any combination of directions: vertical, horizontal, or diagonal. However, you cannot use the same letter tile more than once in a single word. As soon as you release the mouse button, the server will check the dictionary to ensure it is a valid word. Messages are color coded:

  • Green = success. It is a valid word. Word Hunt will add the word alphabetically to your word list.
  • Yellow = warning. It is a word you already have in your list. Word Hunt will not add the word to your word list again.
  • Red = failure. The word has fewer than 4 letters or is not in the dictionary. Word Hunt will not add the word to your word list.

Words must be four or more letters long. Note, the Qu letter counts as two letters.


Longer words earn more points.

  • 1 point for 4-letter words
  • 2 points for 5-letter words
  • 3 points for 6-letter words
  • 5 points for 7-letter words
  • 11 points for words longer than 7 letters


When three minutes are up, everyone's scores and word lists will will be shown. Words that are in more than one player's lists will be crossed off and you will only recieve points for words that no one else found.

Next Round

The game continues with another 5 x 5 grid of letters after everyone closes their score card. Be ready to start playing as soon as the new letter grid appears.


The game ends when any player reaches 100 points. The winner is the player with the highest score.


  • Look for prefixes and suffixes that you can add to words: "s", "er", "ing", "est", "re", etc.
  • Look for sequences of letter combinations that often go together in words "mble", "str", "nch", etc.
  • Try a word even if you don't know if it is a real word. You don't lose any points for invalid words. The dictionary used in this game, enable1.txt, is the dictionary used by Words With Friends.
  • Would you like to customize this game or learn to write other multiplayer games? Complete instructions for writing this Word Hunt game and several other multiplayer games are provided in our Do-It-Yourself Multiplayer Java Games book.
  • You can play this game without conversing with other players, but you may find it more enjoyable if you use some other form of audio or video communication while you play this game. For example, Zoom, Discord, or phone.
  • If one person leaves the game early or loses their internet connection, the game will automatically end for everyone.
  • If anyone leaves the game and others want to play again, the host must stop and restart the game server (click Stop then click Start) or close the server and start it back up again.

More Games

We have more games available for Windows computers.

Learn to Write Your Own Computer Games

Click the book image to find the book on Amazon.

Do-It-Yourself Java Games: An Introduction to Java Computer Programming

More Do-It-Yourself Java Games: An Introduction to Java Graphics and Event-Driven Programming

Advanced Do-It-Yourself Java Games: An Introduction to Java Threads and Animated Video Games

Do-It-Yourself Multiplayer Java Games: An Introduction to Java Sockets and Internet-Based Games

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