Game Play


Score points by responding to a “Starter” word using one of five card categories.  Categories and values are:  Rhymes (R) 1x = same end sound, Antonyms (A) 2x = opposite meaning, Synonyms (S) 2x = same or similar meaning, Homonyms (H) 4x = sounds the same/different spelling – two, too, to.  Or spelled the same/different pronunciation – tear (rip) and tear (cry) plus Wildcards (W) 1x.


 Choose beginner, intermediate or advanced level and select play mode.   For Solo or Pass and Play, set up player name(s).  For Online play, use a Game   Center account at the Apple Store to play friends or random opponents.  The game ends in Solo play when all cards are played.  In competitive play, if one player runs out of cards and there have not been an equal number of turns, the opponent gets one last play.  The higher score wins.


Check the Tutorial section in the App for quick help.   When the “Starter” word appears, choose a card category.  Only one-word responses are allowed; no proper names, symbols, or contracted words.  Be sure spelling, tense and context are correct.  Some common usage slang is included.   A word with the same meaning or context cannot be repeated.  Example: the last word played is “shut.” The response “close” played as (S) Synonym establishes meaning/context.  In later plays, if the current word is “nearby,” the word “close” (rhyming with dose) as a (S) Synonym is acceptable because it is a different meaning/context and pronunciation.


Possible plays for Starter word “Right”

Category      Response     Score

 Rhyme        (1x) “light”       5

Synonym    (2x) “correct”   14

Antonym    (2x) “wrong”    10

Homonym  (4x) “write”    20

Wildcard    (1x)  any category


In Solo play after two unsuccessful attempts, a new word is generated and a card is added to the stack. In Online play and Pass and Play after two unsuccessful attempts, a card is added to the stack; and the opponent responds to the same word.  If also stumped, a new word is generated; and a card is added to their stack.  A “pass” option allows a player to skip the word, but another card is added to the player’s stack.  In Solo play, there is a 5 point penalty every time a “pass” is used.

An “Exchange” can be used in all play modes and levels if the available categories seem unplayable.  Note all cards will be removed and the same number of new cards is randomly dealt and a 10 point penalty is assessed.


The most recently played words and card categories are displayed in Word History. Tap the screen to see the full history.  A new starter word is indicated with a black star.  Black letters display all starter words and successfully played words by player, category and points.  Red letters show failed words, player name, and category attempted.


Rhymes & ‘Nyms™ is for fun and learning.  Our most important rule is get help.  We have four suggestions:  1) Our latest update added a quick linking feature to Merriam Webster Dictionary.  Tap the red book icon displayed in the “current word” box for definition, pronunciation, synonyms, antonyms and more.  Tap “done” to return to the game.   2) Download a free dictionary application which can work inside the game but requires more steps.  Once installed, choose a category and type in the current word in play or the word you want to play.  Hold a finger on the word until the “select” entry shows.  Tap and several choices appear including “define.”  Tap and the definition will appear if the word is spelled correctly.  Tap again to go back to your play screen, check your category choice and type the response word. 3) Additional help is available at the opening game screen.  Choose “About” then “Credits” and select Merriam Webster, Rhyme Brain (good for rhyming), Wordnik or Big Huge Thesaurus.  You must then re-enter the game.  4) For a more tactile and leisurely experience, locate a hard copy dictionary (some even have pictures) to search out words.


Each player will experience “failed” words during the game.  Most commonly errors occur because fingers hit the wrong keys or words are just misspelled.  Often the wrong category is chosen; a synonym when you meant antonym, etc.  Tense and plural errors are frequent.  If the play word is plural (pigs), the correct synonym play word is hogs (not hog).  If past tense is used in a play word (walked), the response must be past tense (strolled) not strolls or strolling.

Sometimes a word pair fails and a player is quite confident the definition is correct.  This can be frustrating and we share this frustration. The English language according to one source has over one million words.  There is no existing data base source able to check every correctly spelled word and all its tenses and uses.  Our developers tell us this will only be possible when we have “artificial intelligence” which is many years out for general availability. This is one reason there is no other game like Rhymes & ‘Nyms™.

The dictionary data bases available to us are limited.  That is why we are literally building our own dictionary based on player input and analysis of failed word pairs. This is a time consuming process.  But the more you play, the more word definitions will be submitted; and we will continue to grow our dictionary.  We love new word pairs!  Reach us at


Homonyms:  Same sound – different spelling:

To, two, too

Week, weak

Same spelling – different pronunciation:

Tear/tear   (to cry or to rip)

            Lead/lead  (a metal or in the front)

Synonyms:  Same or similar meaning:



Antonyms:  Opposite meaning:

Strong:   weak, powerless, frail

Simple: hard, difficult, complex


If you enjoy the game, be sure to let your Facebook friends know about Rhymes & ‘Nyms™ .

© 1995 Joan C. Berry

©2012 BerHen, LLC

All rights reserved

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