Word Zap (GB)

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Word Zap
Word Zap - GB.jpg
Platform: Game Boy
Year: 1992
Developer: Realtime Associates

WordZap is a puzzle video game designed by Michael F.C. Crick, son of scientist Francis Crick. In 1991, it was included with Volume 3 of the Microsoft Entertainment Pack and was later released by Jaleco for the Game Boy in 1992. An updated version for newer editions of Microsoft Windows is available on the game's official website as shareware.

The game has been compared with Scrabble and Boggle; in WordZap, players race to make words proper English words to fill their rack of words, but when one player makes a word already found by the other player, the word is "zapped" from both player's racks. Each round ends when either one player fills the word rack, or time runs out without either player being able to make another word.

In the Game Boy version, players can choose between 3, 4, or 5 letter words. They can also enable or disable hints, allow or disallow plural forms of words and even choose the level of vocabulary used in the game. Each round has a different theme attached to it (e.g., "Any Letter"). Players have a limited time to solve each round before it ends. They also have a choice between the conventional "WordZap" mode and the "WordHai" mode; which permits players to create 3-letter words from a set of 21 tiles. Removing a tile from the screen requires using it; opening up options for building new words. There are cutscenes that are split into four pieces at the end of each WordHai level, completing the piece at the end of the round, to represent where the locations are.

There is a built-in dictionary using a complete list of ten thousand English language words. Two players can compete against other using a Game Link. Only the "WordZap" mode is available for two-player play. All types of skill levels are accommodated in this game from novice players to experts.

The Game Boy version is done by a small production staff at Realtime: which was programmed by Steve Ettinger, graphics by Connie Goldman, music by George Sanger, and produced by David Warhol, founder of Realtime Associates.


Word Zap - GB - Title Screen.png

The title screen.

Word Zap - GB - Main Menu.png

The main menu.

Word Zap - GB - Gameplay 1.png

Playing WordHai.

Word Zap - GB - Timed Turns.png

See the Timed Turrns.

Word Zap - GB - Gameplay 2.png

Time is on!

Word Zap - GB - Gameplay 3.png

Time is now up!


For 1992, Word Zap contains original music that was not found in the PC versions. These songs were written by George Sanger, who wrote it as MIDI files in Performer for the Macintosh. David Warhol then arranged George's original MIDI music in Cakewalk for DOS to play back on the Game Boy through his sound driver. Warhol most likely used the Tandy version's MIDIs as a reference, as it was made for three voices, similar to how the Game Boy has three melodic channels.


# Title ComposerArranger Length Listen Download
01 Title Theme George SangerDavid Warhol 1:36
02 In-Game 1 George SangerDavid Warhol 1:28
03 Game Start George SangerDavid Warhol 0:06
04 Lost George SangerDavid Warhol 0:04
05 Win George SangerDavid Warhol 0:05
06 Intermission 1 George SangerDavid Warhol 0:22
07 Intermission 2 George SangerDavid Warhol 0:09


(Sources: Verification from composer and arranger; game lacks credits.)

This game does not contain credits neither in-game nor in the manual, because there are not enough cartridge space to fit these credits in the game. George Sanger confirmed that in several interviews that he wrote the music for the game, and David Warhol also confirmed in these interviews that he also arranged the music for the game.

Game Rip




Audio Devices

The game uses the DMG-CPU B of the Game Boy. It uses David Warhol's sound driver.


  USA.svg   USA
Word Zap - GB.jpg
Title: Word Zap
Platform: GB
Released: 1992-09-??
Publisher: Jaleco USA, Inc.