Friday, October 13, 2006


The best board & card games involving wordplay...

Also nominated:

For comparison, the top five games in 2002:

Weirdly enough, the Apple Pickers slightly prefer Balderdash as a word game (while, as you saw yesterday, preferring Beyond Balderdash as a bluffing game). OTOH, all but one of the Pickers who voted for Montage/Knock-on-Word preferred Montage.



Blogger mark aka pastor guy said...

I was sad that Razzle & Upwords didn't make the nominations list - both are fun word games.

And I'll be the first to explain to y'all that you should NEVER play Scrabble with four players - it's an excellent 2 player game and that's why I voted for it.

11:38 AM  
Anonymous Patrick Korner said...

Scrabble with my folks is one of the enduring memories of my childhood. I'm happy to see that the oft-maligned 'game of memorization and stupid words that nobody uses' has enough fans to see it make the cut.


1:11 PM  
Blogger Chris Farrell said...

I was all ready with my irate rant if Scrabble didn't make it, so I'm glad that it did :) Of the games that are iconic American games - Scrabble, Monopoly, The Game of Life - Scrabble is the only one that holds up not only as a real game, but as a great game. What Mark says is true, though, you have to play it with 2. Four players is dicey. If you want to play with 4, the best way is as a team game.

I was a little surprised to see Apples to Apples on the list. I mean, it's really not a word game; it doesn't really involve wordplay. The cards have words on them, of course, but you aren't manipulating the words themselves. OK, it's a fine line, I agree.

Pass the Bomb and Thingamajig are also great games. My favorite word games that didn't get a mention are UpWords and My Word! I'm also a casual fan of WildWords, although it's not in the same league as UpWords or Scrabble.

I find the appeal of BuyWord somewhat mysterious.

1:41 PM  
Blogger huzonfirst said...

I didn't fare too well in this category. First of all, let me rain on the Scrabble love-in and say that it's one of my least favorite word games. It always seemed very artificial to me and the things needed to play well just aren't very enjoyable to me. Of the classic word games, I much prefer Upwords and Boggle.

The only winners I voted for were Boggle and Taboo. The former is one of the classic designs and will no doubt outlive us all. And the latter is one of the best party games of all time. Apples to Apples is okay, but it turned out to have a relatively short lifetime with our group. Password is decent, but I always found it a bit dull (both on the game table and on TV); I prefer other gameshow games (nothin' like the Pyramid, baby!).

The big omission for me is Montage, which is one of my favorite games of all time, but since so few people have played it (or even heard of it), I'm satisfied that it even got nominated. If you have a chance to try it, though, please do; it's brilliant. I agree with Chris about Pass the Bomb--it's always a hoot, particularly when the time pressure allows nonsense bluffs to be repeatedly accepted. My fifth choice was BuyWord, which is pretty good, but not a big favorite.

I also nominated those five games, but my other two choices didn't make the first cut. Haste Worte is a fabulous game, one of the best of its kind. But the cards need to be translated in order to play, so very few people have tried it. That's a real shame; here's a game that some enterprising American game company should reprint. The other is Upwords, whose omission I find pretty surprising. The 3D aspect is a truly inspired idea and leads to much clever play. I'm not sure why it missed out; it runs rings around Scrabble as far as I'm concerned.

Of the rest, I've never played Attribut (but I'd like to). Pick Two is good frantic fun, but it hasn't grabbed me like it has so many others. Scattergories? How many times will that ancient gaming chestnut be used? It was creaky even when Facts in Five came out 40 years ago. And Thingamajig is fun at a late night BS session, but it's more of a concept than a game.

2:56 PM  
Blogger Womzilla (Kevin J. Maroney) said...

Scattergories is an actual "word" game as opposed to the "letter" games--Scrabble, Boggle, Montage. It's not as good as Taboo or Balderdash, but it's still quite good.

5:56 PM  
Anonymous estoote langobarden said...

I do like Razzle, Mark, and while I don't think Upwords is as good as Scrabble, it's certainly good enough to play. As for the number of players you want in a Scrabble game, that depends on whether you're playing for fun or to prove your superiority.

My last game of Scrabble was three-handed and ended in a tie. Obviously I had fun.

Oddly I didn't like Montage, since I felt the speed-guessing of clues thing didn't really work very well. On the other hand the "some will guess this, others won't" gimmick is good fun in Thingamajig, where instead of a speed competition everybody writes down their answers simultaneously.

I always liked the $20,000 Pyramid and regard Taboo as a refinement of that game concept and a classic in its own right.

I like Pick Two and Password (preferring the original rules) and Scattergories and Kaleidos. I like Balderdash -- and not the extraneous non-word categories thrown recklessly into Beyond Balderdash. I don't like Apples to Apples and didn't think much of BuyWord.

I've been a Boggle addict ever since the game appeared in the 1970s, and have a secret jones for another Parker Brothers title from around the same time, Fluster.

Recently I played Wordigo for the first time and would recommend it to all who enjoy games of making words out of letters.

Stven Carlberg

12:54 AM  
Blogger Alex said...

Snatch is the best word game that apparently no-one has played. It's a staple with my word-geek friends.

8:37 AM  

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