Bookworm is a word game requiring players to assemble words from a grid of letters provided on screen. By connecting the letters in the appropriate order, players form words of various lengths in order to gain points. When a player forms a word and submits it, assuming the word is accepted, the letters used will disappear. In their place, new letters will appear, dropping down from the top of the screen. In most cases, the longer the word, the better. However, many things effect the value of each word. For example, some letters are worth more points then others. More common letters, such as vowels, do not have high point values. Less common letters, such as Q's, grant the player more points when used to create words.
Bonus tiles also come in handy for increasing one's score. Basic bonus tiles, the green colored bonus tiles, will appear randomly throughout gameplay. Whenever a player makes a good sized word, bonus tiles of greater value will appear. The least of the bonus tiles are the green tiles, followed by gold tiles, up to Sapphire tiles, and finally, the most coveted of all bonus tiles, the diamond tiles. These tiles appear to indicate the players skill in creating longer words. Using these tiles to craft new words will increase the point value of the word created. These tiles also provide extra protection from burning tiles, as they take longer to burn through then basic tiles.
The game has a bonus word for each round of play, and if the player makes the word, they will get bonus points for doing so. This word changes each round, or whenever the player makes the selected word.
Burning tiles will appear in increasing numbers as the player advances. In the beginning, the numbers of burning tiles are manageable, but they become quite the hassle later on. These tiles will burn downwards through other tiles as long as they go unused. If they are unused long enough, they will reach the bottom of the playing board. Once this happens, they will burn up the entire screen, ending the game. It is best to eliminate burning tiles as soon as possible.
If a player finds themselves stuck with the current letters, they can click on the worm to the left to scramble the letters. When they do this, however, it allows all burning tiles to burn down through one letter, as well as setting a few more tiles on fire for each scramble.
Bookworm provides various modes of play for the player to enjoy. The basic mode, called classic, employs the basic rules of the game, described above. The alternative to classic mode is action mode, which runs in real time. In action mode, the game does not wait for the player to craft words to set tiles on fire, rather, tiles will set on fire as time passes on.