WWDC24 SALE: Save 50% on all my Swift books and bundles! >>


This is the first challenge that involves you creating a game. You’ll still be using UIKit, though, so it’s a good chance to practice your app skills too.

The challenge is this: make a hangman game using UIKit. As a reminder, this means choosing a random word from a list of possibilities, but presenting it to the user as a series of underscores. So, if your word was “RHYTHM” the user would see “??????”.

The user can then guess letters one at a time: if they guess a letter that it’s in the word, e.g. H, it gets revealed to make “?H??H?”; if they guess an incorrect letter, they inch closer to death. If they seven incorrect answers they lose, but if they manage to spell the full word before that they win.

That’s the game: can you make it? Don’t underestimate this one: it’s called a challenge for a reason – it’s supposed to stretch you!

The main complexity you’ll come across is that Swift has a special data type for individual letters, called Character. It’s easy to create strings from characters and vice versa, but you do need to know how it’s done.

First, the individual letters of a string are accessible simply by treating the string like an array – it’s a bit like an array of Character objects that you can loop over, or read its count property, just like regular arrays.

When you write for letter in word, the letter constant will be of type Character, so if your usedLetters array contains strings you will need to convert that letter into a string, like this:

let strLetter = String(letter)

Note: unlike regular arrays, you can’t read letters in strings just by using their integer positions – they store each letter in a complicated way that prohibits this behavior.

Once you have the string form of each letter, you can use contains() to check whether it’s inside your usedLetters array.

That’s enough for you to get going on this challenge by yourself. As per usual there are some hints below, but it’s always a good idea to try it yourself before reading them.

  • You already know how to load a list of words from disk and choose one, because that’s exactly what we did in tutorial 5.
  • You know how to prompt the user for text input, again because it was in tutorial 5. Obviously this time you should only accept single letters rather than whole words – use someString.count for that.
  • You can display the user’s current word and score using the title property of your view controller.
  • You should create a usedLetters array as well as a wrongAnswers integer.
  • When the player wins or loses, use UIAlertController to show an alert with a message.

Still stuck? Here’s some example code you might find useful:

let word = "RHYTHM"
var usedLetters = ["R", "T"]
var promptWord = ""

for letter in word.characters {
    let strLetter = String(letter)

    if usedLetters.contains(strLetter) {
        promptWord += strLetter
    } else {
        promptWord += "?"

Save 50% in my WWDC sale.

SAVE 50% To celebrate WWDC24, all our books and bundles are half price, so you can take your Swift knowledge further without spending big! Get the Swift Power Pack to build your iOS career faster, get the Swift Platform Pack to builds apps for macOS, watchOS, and beyond, or get the Swift Plus Pack to learn advanced design patterns, testing skills, and more.

Save 50% on all our books and bundles!

Buy Pro Swift Buy Pro SwiftUI Buy Swift Design Patterns Buy Testing Swift Buy Hacking with iOS Buy Swift Coding Challenges Buy Swift on Sundays Volume One Buy Server-Side Swift Buy Advanced iOS Volume One Buy Advanced iOS Volume Two Buy Advanced iOS Volume Three Buy Hacking with watchOS Buy Hacking with tvOS Buy Hacking with macOS Buy Dive Into SpriteKit Buy Swift in Sixty Seconds Buy Objective-C for Swift Developers Buy Beyond Code

Was this page useful? Let us know!

Average rating: 3.5/5

Unknown user

You are not logged in

Log in or create account

Link copied to your pasteboard.