Today we're reviewing Wordsy, the clever little word game from Formal Ferret Games. Wordsy is, like most word games, an abstract scenario where players are sitting around a table trying to create words out of a collective pool of letters, but there are a few unique differences to Wordsy that I think you'll find intriguing. So is Wordsy supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, or will it leave you tongue tied? It's time to find out!
Cards - There are letter cards, a set of score cards, and a "no flip" card.
a sand timer
and, of course, a rule book
The setup is quite simple. Each player will take a pencil and a score sheet. Then the score cards are placed in a row starting with the 5 and descending to the right down to 2. Creating four columns. Above each card two letter cards will be dealt out, creating a 3x4 grid.
The sand timer is kept nearby and you're ready to begin the first round.
Once the cards are dealt out, the round begins, and the game play is quite simple!
Players will look at the letters on the table, and then write one single word on their score sheet. The first player do so then grabs and flips the sand timer. The remaining players have until the timer has run out to then write their word or miss out on the round.
Okay, let's pause here for a second and explain how you choose which word to write. There are just a few things you should know. Obviously you can't use a proper noun (a specific person place or thing). Also, get this, you can use ANY letters you like in your word!! There are no vowels in the letter deck, at all. So you have to add vowel to your word to make any word as it is. You only score points for the letters you use that are on the table, (they score depending on which column they're in) but you can use as many other letters as you would like to make a word that uses the most letters on the table, thus scoring you the most possible points.
A few other scoring things to be aware of. If you challenge someone's word and it is in fact not a legal word, then they don't score it. However if they successfully defend the challenge, you take a 2-point penalty. Also if you're the first player to write his or her word, you get the No Flip card, which means you can't flip the sand timer next round. BUT if your word scores the most points, and you flipped the timer, you get some bonus points. Also, if you scored more points than the player who flipped the timer, you get bonus points (the points increase as the game moves along).
Once everyone scores his or her word for the round. The two cards of the number 2 card are discarded and everything slides down a spot, and once two new cards are dealt in the 5 column the next round begins!
Once you finish seven rounds the game is over and the scores are tallied. Most points wins!
Jeremiah--I remember when I first saw this game at Origins a year ago. I thought, Hmmm this is pretty cool, not being tied to whatever cards are on the table... And now that' I've played it a bunch I can tell you it's VERY cool!
Firestone--It is very cool. Not having to only use that letters on the table just elevates this game. I also appreciate that there’s almost no downtime, since everyone is working for the same thing at the same time.
Jeremiah--There have been few word games that have come along in the last decade. We took a look at Ker-Flip a few years ago, and it's fun. Besides that, there are a bunch of Boggle and Scrabble variations. Wordsy is one of the most unique word crafting mechanics I've ever seen. It's simple yet so effective! This one is a REAL winner!
Firestone--This is where I admit that, even though I have an English degree, I can’t stand Scrabble. So I went into Wordsy with a great deal of hesitation. My fears were allayed quickly, though. This game surprised my with its fun gameplay, depth, and room for cleverness.
Jeremiah--I can't state it enough. I love the way not being tied to the same pool of cards makes this game accessible to everyone, everyone. My wife is an English major, and works as an editor. Most people shy away from playing word games with her. But anyone we've played with has really held their own. Everyone can bring in their own vocabulary to the game without worrying if they've guessed that the strange grouping of letters they use is a REAL word or not. It's fantastic!
Firestone--Yeah, I’ve played this with players of all ages and abilities. Someone with a larger vocabulary still has an advantage but it doesn’t seem to be NEARLY as large a gulf in, say…Scrabble. And everyone still has FUN. That’s not true when you’re on the losing end of a game of Scrabble.
The one downside is that, even though it says 2 players on the box, this just isn’t very fun with 2 players. The more the merrier here.
Firestone's Final Verdict--Wordsy was able to overcome my aversion to Scrabble and become a game I genuinely enjoy. It’s accessible. It’s fast. It’s clever. And it’s just plain trrfc!
Jeremiah's Final Verdict--I've been enjoying this game for some time now. It is exactly what a word game needs to be: accessible to all gamers. This is my new favorite word game! Wordsy is Fantastic!
Theology of Games would like to thank Formal Ferret Gamesfor providing review copies of Wordsy. This in no way affected our opinions of the game.
What do you think? Have you played Wordsy? Let us know your thoughts in the comments. And thanks for reading!