Letter-by-Letter Word Games

Compiled by Steffan O'Sullivan
This page last updated September 14, 1997 [Yikes! I'm way behind! Folks have been sending more titles, and I haven't gotten to entering them yet - bad me. No excuse. Real Soon Now.]

[Note as of December 24, 1999: no, I never did get around to updating this file. But someone did volunteer to take over! Graham Toal has kindly taken over the task of collating all the notes I had for over two years. The enlarged, updated list can be found at http://www.gtoal.com/wordgames/.

I recommend you head there now, as it contains everything that's in this page, plus much more! He's not only added games, but also information and letter distributions for some of the games listed. He's also interested in computer simulations of word games, and has a whole section devoted to that.]

If you have information to contribute to this project, you should e-mail it to Graham Toal.

The rest of this page has not been updated since 1997.

Back to SOS' Gameviews
Back to Steffan O'Sullivan's Home Page

This is an attempt to list the letter-by-letter word games that have been published, that work with the English language. (And the language of the U.S.A., too, for you UK readers...)

The phrase "letter-by-letter" is used simply to distinguish such word games from word games which use whole words, phrases, sentences, etc. Examples of the latter include Taboo, Guestures, Trivial Pursuit, Charades, etc., all of which can be considered "word games", but are outside the scope of this list. Instead, this list focuses on games in which the basic element is a letter, and words are built up from there. Scrabble is probably the best-known letter-by-letter word game today, so think of games similar to that - at least vaguely similar, at any rate.

This list is not done yet - there have been an astonishing number of such games published. However, I'm burned out on it - I'm no longer seeking other titles of such games, but still am seeking comments for any game listed which lacks them. I'm also asking for corrections to any misinformation below! Send any such suggestions to gtoal @ gtoal.com.

Contributors: Comments are by:

[AM] = Andrew Merritt
[AS] = Alfonzo Smith
[BB] = Brian Bankler
[BB2] = Bryan Bowe
[BF] = Bruno Faidutti
[CK] = Carol Kramer
[CL] = classic@planet.net
[DB] = Dan Blum
[DT] = Daniel U. Thibault
[DW] = David Wall
[JG] = Justin Brent Green
[KM] = Kevin Maroney
[MK] = Michael Keller
[MT] = Mitchell Thomashow
[PE] = Paul Evans
[RI] = Richard Irving
[SA] = Stan Anderson
[SOS] = Steffan O'Sullivan
[TU] = Treesong (ucalegon@aol.com)

My thanks to the contributors above, and to anyone else who responds to my plea to fill in either more game titles, comments, or both.

The games are in alphabetical order, and are numbered merely so I can easily see how many we've been able to list.

Without further ado, the games:

Letter-by-Letter Word Games

Compiled by Steffan O'Sullivan

  1. Ad Lib published by Lowe. A remake of Scribbage (below). [SOS]
  2. Addiction published by Waddingtons. Choosing one die at a time, place them in a 5x5 grid, making as many words as you can, crossword fashion. [SOS]
  3. Administrative Waltz published by Ariel. This is a satirical board game about rising to the top of various bureaucracies (the military, politics, etc.) in the UK, but in some way it incorporates the making of words from letter tiles. [DB]
  4. Alfred's Other Game published by Selchow & Righter. This tile games is for 1-4 players, and is basically solitaire, whether played alone or with others. Each player has three areas: a place where tiles are laid out randomly at start, a place where completed words are spelled, and a place for leftovers. You form words from each line of six tiles - unused letters go to the leftover area, and can be reused later. Not a great game, unless multi-player solitaire is your thing. By Alfred E. Butts, the creator of Scrabble. [SOS]
  5. Anagrams published by Selchow & Righter. 200 tiles, build words from them. You can steal your opponents words if you can add one or more letters to make an anagram of their words. I like it. [SOS]
  6. Bali published by Avalon Hill, 1980. Kind of similar to rummy where you build words as melds and they can be stolen with anagrams. [RI]. A word is built out of the players' cards on a common area; by adding letters from one's hand, one hand can steal the word. Numerous variants exist. [DT]
  7. Bits & Pieces published by Samuel Ward. Some of the dice sides have individual letters, some have letter combinations. Race against time. [SOS]
  8. Boggle (& variants) published by Parker Brothers. Boggle has 16 dice in a 4x4 pattern (Big Boggle, now called Boggle Master, has 25 in a 5x5 pattern). Shake the holder, the dice settle into place with a single side up, and start the timer. You have 3 minutes to find as many words as you can. A word can be spelled by moving from die to die, orthogonally or diagonally, without hitting the same die twice. Each die can only be used once in spelling a given word, but may be used over and over again for each new word. Words must be a minimum of three letters. Very good game. [SOS]
  9. Buzzle published by Fanjos in 1994. This is the German rerelease of Runes (see below). I believe it was nominated for Spiel des Jahres. [KM]
  10. Buzzword(s?) published by ??? -- You roll a cup full of dice and put them on a scrabble like board. Recent game (a few years). Not as good as it sounds. Reviewed in Games, maybe in The Game Report (check out online). I have a copy, so if you bug me about it I can find company and year. [BB]
  11. Campbell's Alphabet Scoop & Spell published by Warren Industries. Scoop piles of letters out of the Campbell's alphabet soup can to spell words. [SOS]
  12. Catchword published by International Games. Consonants on cards, vowels on dice, which are thrown anew each turn. Variations given. [SOS]
  13. Chessword published by Waddington's House of Games, 1972. Played on an elongated chessboard where the white squares have the alphabet on them, and using only the non-pawn pieces. Each player tries to maneuver any one of his pieces onto the letter he needs for his word, whilst preventing the opponent from doing the same. [DT]
  14. Countdown published by Piatnik (Austria), designed by frederic Leygonie, 2-6 players aged 10+, pub March '97. Make words by playing letter cards: longest wins. [PE]
  15. Crash published in the Feb 1971 issue of Word Ways. Related to Jotto, but in this game, you only score crashes: a crash is an instance of the same letter *in the same position* in the target word. Thus shine/canoe scores 1, parse/spear scores 0. This gave rise to a number of variants. [TU]
  16. Cross Cubes published by Baron Scott. 19 letter cubes, 6 black cubes to use as blanks, as in crossword puzzles. Place the black cubes first, then shake the letter dice and start a timer. [SOS]
  17. CrossCheck published by TSR. A crossword game, something like 'Swoggle, but here you are actually answering clues. [DB]
  18. Crossword published by MB, 1978. Nearly identical to Scribbage. [AM]
  19. Crossword Bingo published by Skor-Mor/Samuel Ward. 240 letter tiles. Words must be formed before you can place tiles on bingo cards. Timer, simultaneous play. [SOS]
  20. Crossword Cubes published by Selchow & Righter. 14 dice, you get two to four tosses (as in Yahtzee), forming words in crossword fashion. You can only score one word of each length from 2-8 letters. [SOS]
  21. Crossword Dominoes published by Selchow & Righter. These domino-shaped tiles contain two letters. On one side, they are horizontally adjacent, on the other, the same two letters are vertically adjacent. You try to spell words with them, crossword fashion. Each player must link on to a tile played by a previous player - there's a bonus for playing all five tiles in one hand, but they must all touch each other. Excellent game. [SOS]
  22. Crossword Lexicon published by Parker Bros., 1937. I haven't seen it, but I suspect it is the same as Waddington's Lexcion, below. [SOS]
  23. Crozzle published by Cadaco. Paper in special holders form crossword frames. Letters are drawn one at a time, and all players fill their own in at the same time, one letter at a time. Try to have the most words when the puzzle is full. [SOS]
  24. Dig-It published by Cadaco. 378 letter tiles, many cards with a subject printed on each. Deal out subject cards, players simply dig into the common pile of letter tiles, spelling words relating to their subject. [SOS]
  25. Dixit published by Waddingtons. [Description needed.]
  26. Dizzy Spell published by Gabriel, 1978. The board is 5x5 with holes which are initially covered with reversible O/X pieces, all on the O side. Then a card with letters which align with the holes is inserted in the base. The first player uncovers two letters, making sure his opponent sees them too, then replaces the plugs, X side up. Play continues with the players alternating. After the third pair of letters has been revealed, each player may guess a word every turn. To do so, announce the word, then expose the letters (from the Xs) in the correct order. If correct, the player keeps the pieces removed and those letters can no longer be used. If incorrect, remove 2 points from the guesser's score. Once all letters are X side up, continue the process but flip the pieces back to the O side. Play continues until all the pieces are back to the O side or both players decide to give up. Score 1 point per piece. [DT]
  27. Eureka published by Amigo Spiel (Germany), designed by Haim Shafir, 2-6 players aged 10+, pub April '97. A word is hidden in the mechanism, players roll dice to enable them to open flaps, revealing letters. When they guess the word they score the values of the closed flaps. [PE]
  28. Foil published by 3M, 1968. Players score points for forming one or more words from the hand of letter-cards they're dealt. They then scramble the word(s) and show it (them) to their opponents. The latter score bonus points for unscrambling the word(s) within one-minute. [DT]
  29. Foresight (4Cyte) published by MB. Tiles. [Description needed.]
  30. Four Letter Words published by Lakeside, 1975. Using a 4x4x4 3D tic-tac-toe board, players try to make four letter words. [DT]
  31. Got a Minute published by Selchow & Righter(?). Seven cubes with letters are ecased in a clear cube & with a minute sand timer. You have 1 minute to find as many words using the 7 letters. [RI]
  32. Grid Word published by Waddingtons. Cards with two letters on them, must be played with other cards to make four-letter words. [SOS]
  33. Hangman published by MB. Each player's word is kept hidden from the opponent - simultaneous classic hangman, basically. [SOS] When a player missed, a dial on the case showing a hangman was turned adding another "body part" until you were hung. The only problem is there were far too many misses allowed (something like 12). [RI]
  34. Hearts published by MB (old). Dice. [Description needed.]
  35. InVerse: The Poetry Game, unpublished, written by Stan Anderson. Link to description. [SA]
  36. Ipswich published by Selchow & Righter, 1983. Each of the up to 4 players has a board with crossword spaces on it (4 intersecting word tracks). Each player draws 14 tiles and arranges as many of them as possible to make up words on his board within 10 minutes. Within the first minute, you have the option of trading tiles in for new ones (this costs score). There are bonuses for making words that intersect. After this first round, players retain any 4 tiles of their choice and then pass the boards, with their remaining tiles, to the left. Each player draws 2 more tiles. Repeat for a total of 5 rounds. [DT]
  37. Jarnac published by Chieftain in Canada (also published in France by a different company). An outstanding and heady Anagrams game in which two players build words on individual boards but have the option to steal letters from their opponents. Superb scoring system. [MT] My favorite word game. [BF]
  38. Jitters published by MB. Jitters has dice with letters and cards with crossword patterns. Start the (noisy) timer, turn over a card, throw the dice, and then use some or all of the dice to form a word pattern that matches the card. If you're stumped you can reroll all the dice. When you succeed, you have the choice of stopping the timer or turning another card and rerolling. If the timer goes off by itself, you lose credit for all the cards you finished that turn. Some of the patterns are easier than others. The harder the card, the more points it's worth. [DW]
  39. Jotto published commercially in 1957 by The Jotto Corporation, later Selchow & Righter. [MK] Basically Mastermind with letters - an excellent game, especially while waiting for your food in a crowded restaraunt - you just need two pieces of paper and two pencils. Here are the rules as I learned them. [SOS]
  40. Kan-U-Go published by Waddingtons. Old (50s, 60s?) card game. Players make words from the cards in their hand, adding them to what's on the table in crossword style. If you can't go you pick up a card, first to get rid of all their cards ends the hand. Score is values of cards left in hand, which count against you. Games ends when someone reaches 100 points and player with fewest points wins. [PE]
  41. Keep Quiet published by Kopptronix. Letter dice with the manual alphabet for the deaf on them. One game is crossword-style, another longest word. [SOS]
  42. Keep Quiet Reword published by Kopptronix. Cards are played four or five at a time to make words, then words can be partially covered up to make new words, as in Up Words. The cards have the English alphabet on the reverse side of manual alphabet. [SOS]
  43. Keyword published by Parker Brothers. Similar to Scrabble, but each letter is 5 points unless played on your color, in which case it's 10 points. There are also keyword squares, which are worth +20 points. And keyword cards, which are turned over one at a time until claimed - if you spell the keyword, claim the card which will add 50 points to your score at the end of the game. The board has four colors of tiles, mostly clumped together in each of the corners. I have fond memories of this game, as it was my grandmother's favorite game, and I played many times with her while growing up. [SOS]
  44. Kontrast published by Matthews & Marshall. 112 cards - empty hand by spelling words. [SOS]
  45. Last Word published by Milton-Bradley, 1985. A 10x10 board is loaded with tiles, randomly. Players then walk their piece across the board, picking up tiles as they go, trying not to become stranded. On your turn, you get to pick up an entire word, so this goes pretty fast. The board is treated as wrap-around (toroidal continuity), which keeps the edges from being traps. Bonus points for isolating an opponent and for being the last to pick up a word. [DT]
  46. Last Word by Sid Sackson, published in the book A Gamut of Games by Random House (1969), Pantheon (1982), & Dover (1992). Pencil and paper game of filling in a 9x9 grid. Start with the middle 9 spaces filed with letters taken from a random sentence, then play one letter at a time in an empty space, adjacent to at least two other letters already played. Score for words formed - you may rearrange the letters, but not skip any, when scoring. [SOS]
  47. Letter Pile publisher unknown. Stylized letters are printed on clear plastic cards. Players gather the letters of their secret words into stacks; opponents try to guess the words by examining the lines and curves on the pile of overlapping cards.[BB2]
  48. Lexicon published by Waddingtons. First published in 1933, this game uses cards, crossword fashion. Cards left in hand when someone goes out count against you - low score wins. Combine two sets to play with up to eight. [SOS]
  49. Lewis Carroll's Chess Wordgame published by Kadon. Played on a chess board, each player starts with a letter in each of his first rank squares. You try to spell words on your fifth rank, moving letters one at a time as if they were queens. You may not stop on your fourth or eighth rank, but may move to your sixth or seventh, in an attempt to block your opponent. Despite the name, it's actually by Martin Gardner, based on a brief mention of the idea in one of Lewis Carroll's notebooks. It's okay - neither great nor bad. [SOS]
  50. Lingo published by Lingo Games. Words are built on a 5x5 grid, any direction, even diagonally. [SOS]
  51. Logomachy, or War of Words published by F.A. Wright Co., 1874. Mentioned in Sid Sackson's book, A Gamut of Games. [SOS]
  52. Montage published by Gamut of Games, designed by Prince Djoli Kansil. You form a word on a board with chips, each color of which signifies several different letters, and give a clue to it; your partner tries to guess it before either opponent can. Whichever side gets it owns those chips. [TU]
  53. My Word published by Gamut of Games (similar to Jotto) [MK]
  54. My Word published by Waddingtons. I think this is a different game than the above - anyone know for sure? [Description needed.] [SOS]
  55. Nexus published by Lodestone Games. Contains many games, some similar to Anagrams. Some tiles have letters, others syllables, the latter scoring more points. [SOS]
  56. Option published by Parker Brothers, 1983. A crossword game using prisms. Play includes flipping prisms already on the board to switch them to the alternate letter. Players score extra if the word is all in one color. Why they didn't use all three sides of the prisms is a mystery. [DT]
  57. Overturn published by Pressman. The letters are printed right on the board in this game. The board for a single game is made up of 9 small squares, each with four letters on them. There are 18 squares included - rotate and shuffle them after each play, and you'll get a different set-up each time. There are circles (green on one side, silver on the other) which fit over the letters. Spell a word as in Boggle and claim those letters by placing circles around them, your color up. The next player must use at least one new letter and one used letter, flipping any circles around letters used to his color. Very good game. I have an article on three-player Overturn. [SOS]
  58. Palabra published by Kondrick. Seven-card hands. Two or three stars on some cards serve as multipliers so you can score 2*2*3*3*3 times the base score if lucky and careful. Player interaction is minor. [TU]
  59. Pass the Bomb published by Gibsons Games, 1996 (box text: "Invented by Los Rodriguez and licenced by Weekend Games; Made in Austria by Piatnik, 1994"). Like Hot Potato, you don't want to be the one holding the bomb when it explodes. In order to pass it to the next person, however, you must first say a valid word containing a given sequence of letters (or, since bluffing is encouraged, make people _think_ you did...). [BB2]
  60. Perfect 10 published by Smethport. Identical to Anagrams (above), but with only 100 tiles. [SOS]
  61. Perquackey published by Pressman. Players roll 7 dice, then rattle off all 3+ letter words. You can only get points for the first 5 words with the same # of letters (5 3 letter words, 5 4 letter words). Point scoring is based on number of words of each type. Once you are vulnerable, you add a few red dice (with more obscure letters) and must start with 4 letter words. Solitairish (take turns, race point score). [BB]
  62. Phlounder published by 3M, 1962. Letters are fed randomly through chute-like troughs; players try to make words out of what comes out. [DT]
  63. Pick Two published by Tah Dah. Form words with cards as quickly as possible. When you form one the other players have to take two more cards and continue. [RI]
  64. Play On Wordz published by Milton Bradley, 1986. It has a plastic case with 9 dice (called a dice roller). There are 6 dice in an outer circle and 3 dice in the middle. Each die is in a cavity and can't be removed. A player rubs his hand over the dice, rotating them, and places the game on the table for everyone to see. The object is to use the letters shown to make words of 4 or more letters. Letters do not have to be adjacent. First player to make 10 words says STOP and players compare lists. Duplicate words are eliminated. Each remaining word counts one point. Words with more than 4 letters get an extra point for each letter over 4. We like it a lot, and adjust the rules for younger players or poor spellers as needed. [CK]
  65. Probe published by PB. Word guessing game like Hangman. [RI]. Sort of simultaneous Hangman. [DT]
  66. Pronto published by Selchow and Righter in the late 1970's or early 1980's. A letter dice game, where you receive credit for various combinations. Similar to word yahtzee but with different scoring possibilities. Excellent solitaire. [MT]
  67. Quadtriple published by Eltron. [Description needed.]
  68. Que published by Knots. Cards with letters - some have one letter, others two-letters, and there are two wild-cards. Many variants given. [SOS]
  69. Quibble published by Just Games. Ten wooden sticks have 10 letters on each edge. Randomly place them to make a 10x10 square of letters. Some variants require finding words in a given row, others in the whole array. [SOS]
  70. Quizzle published by Copp Clark Games, Canada, 1978. There are four plastic crossword grids, a supply of cardboard letter tiles (also wild blanks and black squares) and a special die marked (1 1 2 2 3 *). On a player's turn, he rolls the die and places that many letters of his choice on the grid (other players simultaneously draw the same tiles but place them on their own grids as they choose). A Joker (*) counts for either 3 tiles or the replacement of an already-played tile. The game ends once the grid is filled. Only completed words count for score. [DT]
  71. Qwink published by Selchow & Righter. [Description needed.]
  72. Rätsel Turm, a game by Heinz Meister, published by FX Schmid, 1992. The aim of the game is to build towers with coloured blocks, the lowest block representing the first letter of a word, etc. There are blocks of different colours: green means A, B or C; yellow D, E or F, etc. Five different games use this basic system. For example, each player on his turn builds a tower, and the first other player who finds a corresponding word scores 1 point. Another example: The first player chooses a block, and each player on his turn must add a block on the top of the tower, or accuse the former player of bluffing when he cannot name a corresponding word. [BF]
  73. Razzle published by Parker Bros. Try to move a carriage towards your opponent. The carriage has six letter dice which rotate when the carriage is moved. First to find a word formed with the letters showing moves the carriage towards his opponent, which then rotates the dice to reveal different letters. [SOS]
  74. Red Letter published by Games Gang. Like Scrabble, except all letters are worth 1 pt. Letters can be either upper or lower case allowing proper nouns, bonuses for using all red letters (especially in the red zone -- outmost 5 rows/columns of the board) and bonuses for using words that fit a category listed on a card and with so many letters. [RI]
  75. Rondo published by Ravensburger/FX Schmidt (Germany), designed by Abrahami/Netz, 2-4 players aged 12+, pub 97. Stand holds letter cards and can be extended as the length of the word increases. Players make words by adding, changing or blanking out a letter in the word that's already there. [PE]
  76. Royalty published by US Games. Similar to Word Rummy except you only score if no one can steal your word in one round. [RI]
  77. RPM published by Selchow ↦ Righter(?). The board is round and it winds up and revolves. You spell words with wood letter tiles as the board rotates into your area. [CL]
  78. RSVP published by Selchow & Righter. You have an upright grid, in which letters can be placed from either side. A letter placed shows on both sides - but if one reads "BY" on one side of the grid, it reads "YB" on the other. Object is to score more words than your opponent, taking turns placing one letter at a time. [SOS]
  79. Runes published by Eon. The basic component of this game is actually the letter element: a small straight, a large straight, a small curve and a large curve. Each player's board lists each letter with the one legal way to create the letter using the letter elements. Think of a secret word (five or six letters, determine before starting), and the others try to guess first what elements compose a given letter, then which letter it is, then which word. Excellent game with four players, a bit lacking with less. Longer review. [SOS]
  80. Scoring Anagrams published by Selchow & Righter. Similar to Anagrams, with a scoring system instead of final goal. [SOS]
  81. Scrabble designed by Alfred E. Butts, published by Selchow & Righter, later MB. Originally published in 1931 as Criss Cross. 15x15 board with 104 tiles. The letters are given a value (not always in keeping with their frequency - "H" is worth far too much, for example - Alfred got his original distribution by counting letters on the front page of an issue of the New York Times!), and some spaces are special: double-letter, double-word, triple-letter, triple-word scoring spaces. We play with the official Scrabble Dictionary, and are allowed to look up words before we play. Other Scrabble players find this practice blasphemous, but I suspect they haven't tried it - it makes it a better game, at least from our worldview. This is definitely the classic wordgame - one of the best. R. Wayne Schmittberger has a Scrabble variant with no luck involved: you lay out the tiles at the beginning of the game, randomly, face-up, around the board, so that there are two distinct ends to the line of tiles. After you play, you may draw from either end - but all letters taken in one turn must be from the same end. [SOS]
  82. Scrabble Duplicate published by Selchow & Righter. 7 cards were displayed in a rack. Each player using their own scorepad (with Scrabble board on it) would write in the word they used. And then 7 new letters would be displayed. This way everyone would get the same rack on every turn. [RI]
  83. Scrabble for Juniors published by Selchow & Righter. Actually the side of the board where you could make your own words would count as a legitimate game. [RI] (I had originally requested no pure children's game, listing this game as an example, but Rich Irving rightly points out that it should be included.) [SOS]
  84. Scrabble Overturn(?) published by Selchow & Righter. The letters were on cylindars which could be rotated to change the color of the player getting credit for it. Different than the Pressman game. [RI]
  85. Scrabble Up published by MB. Build words up a rack while the letter come sliding down another track. [RI]
  86. Scribbage published by Lowe. Archetypal game of shake the dice, roll them out, you have X minutes to create words in a crossword pattern using as many dice as you can, pass the dice and cup to the next player, etc. The dice in Scribbage have both letters and a value for each letter on the faces - many dice games have just letters. [SOS]
  87. Shoot & Spell published by Tiger Games, 1989. Letters are shot out of dispensers at each corner of the boxing-ring-like board. Players must make a word as quickly as possible from the displayed letters. [DT]
  88. SI (Sports Illustrated Words) published by Parker Bros. I own this, but no rules, so am not 100% certain that what follows is correct. There are 30 dice, each side a letter, and a number of cards. The cards are specific to a given sport, and have Bonus Words on them. I'm assuming you draw a card, roll the dice, and have X minutes to form as many words as you can related to the sport - scoring extra if you can spell the Bonus Words. [SOS] [Description needed.]
  89. Skirmish published by KDS Industries. Battleship with letters. Really. You make a word using pegs to form the letters, and try to hit the other player's pegs and guess the word. [DB]
  90. Speed Scrabble, unpublished, uses Scrabble tiles. Heath Haley sent me the rules, but does not know who wrote them. I'm reluctant to post them without being able to credit the author. Anyone know who wrote this variant of Scrabble which is played without the board, simultaneously, to your own crossword-shaped words in front of each player?
  91. Spellbinder published by Mattell. [Description needed]
  92. Spellbound published by Lakeside. Letter dice fall into an upright stand which shows letters vertically, on four different sides at once. Each side requires players to find a different type of word formation. Timer. [SOS]
  93. Spellwell published by Value Wargames. Mostly a table using a percentile dice - roll the dice X times, make words. Then make sentences with your words. [SOS]
  94. Spill & Spell published by Parker Bros. 15 dice, timer, make crossword-type words, longer words score more; variants included. [SOS]
  95. Sum-Words published by MPH Games. [Description needed.]
  96. 'Swoggle published by Chieftan Products (Canada). One of my favorite games and good to play with just two players. One problem is there's a little too much luck for my taste. On your turn, you roll one die and whatever you roll is how many letters (of your choice) you can add to the board. If you roll a one you're really screwed. The best house rule we found to fix this is to just let the player roll again and add it to the 1. [JG]
  97. Take A Letter published by Rainbow Games, 1985. The board is a 17 x 17 grid with two corners taken out, with a variety of markings on it. There is also a track going around the board featuring letters and a few other squares. Players strive to make words of certain lengths or containing specific letters, as designated by their Word Play cards. The letter track is used to garner the required letters; Word Play cards also allow letters to be stolen from other players. [DT]
  98. That's Incredible published by MPH Games. Actually nine games, only the first one, Zenith, is a word game. Using 81 letter cards, build a 9x9 crossword puzzle. [SOS]
  99. Tiles published by Ways with Words. Detailed review in The Game Report
  100. Tuf-abet published by Avalon Hill. [Description needed.]
  101. Tug of Words published by Letterguys. Move letters across the board to spell words on opponent's starting spaces. You can capture letters and bring them on as your pieces, as in Shogi. In the four-player version, you hand captured letters to your partner, who is facing your opponent's partner on a separate board. [SOS]
  102. Upper Hand published by Selchow and Righter in the 1970's. Game combines Bridge and Scrabble as letter tiles have suits. Players bid to score the highest amount of points in their suit by placing their tiles on a scrabble like board. The board has various bonus squares on it. Better game for 4 than for 2. [MT]
  103. Upwords published by MB. Spell words, you can place tiles on top of previously placed tiles to create new words. [SOS]
  104. Verba Volant, Scripta Manent, unpublished game designed by Bruno Faidutti. Here are the rules, with Bruno's permission. This game requires cards with letters on them, such as can be found in Word Madness, below. [BF]
  105. Verbatim published by Lakeside, 1985. There are 26 tiles, one for each letter of the alphabet. The first player selects a letter. Each player does the same until they each have at least 5 letters (no score for words less than 5 letters long). Players may pass if they see no possible word...or they may bluff, risking a challenge. When a player successfully adds a letter, he has one minute to make as many words of 2 or more letters by rearranging them. Another player writes them down as he calls them out. These extra words are worth 5 points each. The main word (using all the letters) is worth 0 (for five letters), then 25 - 75 - 175 - 375 - 675 - 1175 - 2175 points. The 2175-pointer is 12 letters long! [DT]
  106. Vice Versa published by Hallmark Games. This is a Scrabble-like word game with the difference being a word played is color-coded so the letters are that player's score. Words can be stolen by adding a letter to either end and changing one letter within the word. The letters from the stolen word are thusly subtracted from the victim and added to the prepetrator.[AS]
  107. What's My Word published by Waddingtons, 1964. Jotto, using letter tiles to from guesses with. [AM]
  108. Wheel of Fortune published by Tyco. Just like the game show without Vanna. [RI]
  109. Word Madness published by Perfect. Actually called "Webster's New World (TM) Word Madness". This game has 110 cards, each with a letter and number, and the hard ones with a bonus notation. Everyone is dealt ten cards, then must spell words of four letters or more (three for children) in a two-minute time period, all simultaneously. Then you take turns with the leftover cards, preceded by a "Go Fish" phase - asking other players for certain letters. Draw from the draw pile if you get a negative answer. Round ends when someone goes out; scoring is based on word length. Letters left in your hand count the value on the cards against you (so easy letters have high numbers in this game). [SOS]
  110. Word Mastermind published by Invicta. plastic letters (similar to Jotto) [MK]
  111. Word Rummy published by Gabriel. Similar to Bali. [RI]
  112. Word War published by (???). It involved building word in such a way to build a bridge across the board. Opponent's words could be attacked by crossing them. [RI]
  113. Word Wise published by MB. Similar to Scrabble, but some tiles have a simple picture on them, which you can use in a word. For example, if a tile shows an ape, you can spell "SH[ape]" using just three tiles. You are allowed to use just the sound of the pictured word, ignoring its spelling. For example, you can spell SH[ape]ING or CR[ape]. [SOS]
  114. Word Yahtzee published by MB. The goal here was to simply form words of certain lengths for the upper section and verious letter combos (such as all vowels) for the lower section. [RI]
  115. Word-Whiz, a game by Hajo Bücken, published by Editrice Giocchi, 1996. Three cards, each with one consonant, are placed face up. The first player to find a word which contain these three consonants moves his vowel markers one square for each vowel in the word. One of the consonant cards is then replaced. The goal is to be the first to move all your vowel markers through the board. [BF]
  116. WordHound published by Professional Marketing Group. Detailed review in The Game Report
  117. Wordmaster published by Invicta. Blank black tiles are included to delimit words, as in crossword puzzles. [SOS]
  118. Words Worth published by Invicta, 1975. Mastermind with letters, mostly. [DT]
  119. Wordsearch published by Pressman. Start with grid of letters (with a few empty spaces in the middle) on round disks and form words by sliding the letters along straight paths. Remove the letters you score, which opens up the board for future moves. [RI & SOS]
  120. Wordspin Scramble published by Geospace. Each player was a number of wheels with letters on them. He must arrange them to form as many words simultaneously as possible. [RI]
  121. WordThief published by Faby Games (Canada), designed by George Yemec, ? players aged 9+, pub 1996? Lay letter cards to make words and score points according to the value of the letters. You can also steal other people's words if you can make word(s) from them + cards in hand - the player who lost the word loses the score for that word! [PE]
  122. Wordz published by MB. [Description needed]
  123. Wrdz published by WRDZ, Inc. Detailed review in The Game Report
  124. WW-III published by Genco (?). [Description needed.]
  125. Zig Zag published by Xanadu Leisure (similar to Jotto) [MK]

Back to SOS' Gameviews
Back to Steffan O'Sullivan's Home Page