“Yes, that’s it! Said the Hatter with a sigh, it’s always
DrawLab Entertainment has announced Alice in Wordland, a new party game from designers Chris Darsaklis (When I Dream) and Spyros Koronis. Alice is a family oriented party game, wherein 3-8 players take turns naming items related to a revealed category on a discussion card, e.g. “Items on a sandwich”. However, the evil queen of hearts has decreed that certain letters are banned, so each named item cannot include three forbidden letters on revealed cards. A clever electronic teapot timer gives each player 10-15 seconds to interject their word then hit the button, or else the music stops, that player picks a score card, and is eliminated. Players each take on the role of a famous Alice in Wonderland character, along with a special ability, and these roles are rotated after every round. Once all the players have used each of the characters, the player with the most points is declared the most glib and loquacious polyglot in the kingdom!
Genius Games, the masters of good, entertaining science games, have a new Kickstarter Campaign for the party word game Nerd Words: Science by designers John Coveyou and Eric Slauson. Genius has hit it out of the park in the past with science based board games, such as Cytosis: A Cell Biology Board Game (2017), Subatomic: An Atom Building Game (2018) and most recently Periodic: A Game of the Elements (2019). Nerd Words is a team based word game, in which a clue-giver picks a science term from two given clue cards. Clues must be a single word, and start with a letter from the original word, although the first letter of the original word is off limits until the final clue. Additionally, the clue giver may bet up to 4 points, if they think their clue is really extraordinarily good. I had a chance to look at an early copy of Nerd Words at GAMA Trade Show, and the game continues to succeed at Genius Games’ trademark ability to present real, sometimes complex, educational ideas in an elegant, simple manner. Nerd Words comes with dry erase boards for clue giving and guesses, and additional themed card packs are planned for the future, including Space Science, Earth Science, Medical Sciences, and Advanced Biology. The Kickstarter for Nerd Words: Science continues through April 11, and the game is expected to deliver in April 2019.
Greater Than Games has just announced their new party game Medium, by designers Danielle Deley, Lindsey Sherwood, and Nathan Thornton of Storm Chaser Games. In Medium, 2-8 players pair off into teams of 2, and each player in a team receives 5 word cards. Each player selects one of their cards, then link psychically and try to come up with a single word that ties the two words together. The pair then countdown and say their connecting words at the same time. If both members of a team manage to say the same connecting word, they win. If the pair are not yet mentally linked, no fear – they can draw new cards and try again. Medium is scheduled to come to retail in the second half of 2019.
CGE definitely has their holiday release schedule ready enough as-is, but as they’ve proven within the past few years – there’s always room for more word-based party games. That’s not me complaining, though, because CGE has been knocking it out of the park in that category, so it’s with great pleasure to share with you a few more coming quarter four of this year. The most exciting of the two releases is the all-new Trapwords – a party game inspired by the team vs. team play of Codenames with a slight twist thrown in. As described on CGE’s product page:
“Trapwords is a fun and fast-paced party game for two teams, who simultaneously prepare their lists of trapwords. The simple task of giving clues for your word is made fiendishly difficult by not knowing which words you can’t say. If you succeed, you advance to higher levels with more trapwords and additional challenges. Includes a set of regular words as well as a set with a fantasy theme.”
Codenames, on the other hand, does not need any introduction, but it’s still awesome to also announce that it’s Pictures version is getting the same XXL treatment that the base game has already gotten. There are no gameplay changes at all, just a giant version of the game this time featuring it’s unique and puzzling artwork on much bigger tiles. With this next step it is within reason to expect that Duet will receive the same treatment in the future, but I’m curious if the themed versions, such as Deep Undercover, Disney, and Marvel, will as well. We’ll have to wait and see! In the meantime, if you would like to learn more about these, and other, upcoming CGE releases, be sure to check out their website for updates.
Werewords is a word game designed by Ted Alspach and published by Bezier Games where players are trying to guess a secret word. However, the werewolf doesn’t want the villagers to guess it correctly. One player is the Seer, who also knows the word. If the villagers do not guess the word, the werewolf wins unless the villagers can identify the werewolf. If the villagers do guess the word, then they win unless the werewolf can identify the Seer.
It was originally published in 2017, but today the Deluxe edition launched on Kickstarter.
Why a deluxe version?
The deluxe version has updated artwork, a new narrator for the updated app, and it changes the number of players who can play. Werewords Deluxe is a party game that can be played by 2-20 people. It also has new roles to add to the fun and variety of the game.
Some of the stretch goals include a new custom word list voted on by backers, the ability to turn off proper nouns in word lists so that players with varied backgrounds can stand on equal footing, and many more.
Bananagrams, Inc., the makers of the popular word game Bananagrams, has announced a new version with larger, high contrast letter tiles. Big Letter Bananagrams was designed specifically to help bring the game to people with low vision, who may otherwise have trouble seeing the letters. Bananagrams has even teamed up with the American Macular Degeneration Foundation, and is donating a portion of the sales to help research this common visual disease. Macular Degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss in the elderly, and affects over 10 million Americans. Additionally, when Macular Degeneration hits, so many aspects of peoples’ day to day life are affected that depression, stress and cognitive decline tend to follow. Active play in the elderly has been shown to stave off these consequences of vision loss.
Spy Tricks is a new edition of the 3-4 player Japanese game Trick of Spy (2016) by designer Susumu Kawasaki (Traders of Osaka). Spy Tricks is essentially a trick taking card game, but players must use the information they gather to deduce the identity of the “secret document”, a face down card from the deck. Players then bet on what the secret document might be, trying to reserve guesses before the other players. Play rounds equal to the number of players, and highest score at the end wins.
In Letter Go!, players write words on their whiteboards, using letter cards available to all. However, the players only score their words under two conditions: They must claim letter cards before their opponents, and they must follow the rules on the changing “random ridiculous” rule cards. Letter Go! comes with 6 whiteboards, 26 double sided rule cards and 96 letter cards.
Fightin’ Words from designer Mike Elliot (Dice Masters, Thunderstone) is a variant of Texas Hold ‘Em Poker, in which 2-6 players bet on who can make the largest word. Five face up cards are common to all players, with a secret two card hand held in reserve. Cards also have western themed “suits” which can be collected for tokens and bonus points. The first player with seven or more of one token type triggers the end of the game, and the most coins wins the game. Humorous “Wanted Posters” dictate special scoring for each round.
Shadow Blocks has players putting together three dimensional tetris like pieces, trying to create an object which matches the printed shadows as seen from two angles. Challenge cards with shadows come in three different difficulties, and the game contains enough blocks for 4 players. Shadow Blocks comes with 20 blocks, 72 challenge cards and 4 player boards.
Zircles is an abstract game in which players put magnetic triangular pieces onto a board, trying to complete circles of their color. Complete you own circles or sabotage an opponent; the most points from completing circles wins the game. Zircles comes with both solo and two player rules.
In 2016 Codenames won the Spiel des Jahres, popularizing word based spy games. In 2018 Iello will release Decrypto by designer Thomas Dagenais–Lesperance, and artists Fabien Fulchiron, NILS, Manuel Sanchez. Decrypto places two teams pitting against each other to correctly interpret the coded messages their partner is trying to send them while at the same time cracking the code of the opposite team.
In Decrypto two teams face off against each other. Each player has a screen with places for four words, numbered 1-4. A single word card is placed by each number. Players on your team see your four starting words, while the opposing team does not see your words.
In round one, each of the teams has one team member that takes a code card that shows a three digit code made up of a non-repeating set of the 1, 2, 3, 4 digits from the starting screen, e.g. 4-2-1. Only the one team member with the code card creates a three word code to get their team to try to guess the code. “For example, if the team’s four words are “pig”, “candy”, “tent”, and “son”, then you might say “child-mouth-tail” and hope that your teammates can correctly map those words to 4-2-1.” If your team does not guess correctly they get a black mark of failure. Two black marks and the team loses.
Following your team guess, the opposing team will note what the clues were for the opposite team and what numbers they corresponded to. In future rounds the opposing team will also have a chance to guess your numbered code without the advantage of seeing the original words under the screen numbers. If they guess correctly they receive an interception token. Two interceptions and a team wins.
The game continues until either a team has missed guessing their own clue correctly (losing the game) or intercepts twice (winning the game). The game plays with 3-8 players aged 12+ in around 30 minutes.
Box contents will include:
2 super cool screens
48 Code cards
110 Keyword cards
4 Interception tokens
4 Miscommunication tokens
50 Note sheets
1 Sand Timer (30 seconds)
Decrypto will hit stores frequented by spies and game-players in the first quarter of 2018.
“What the deuce?!” A Family Guy party game you say? Well this Christmas is the release date for this opportunity to “Offend friends and family” in what seems to be a Family Guy themed take on a “Cards against Humanity” style game.
“This next release from Gale Force Nine games is a side-splitting, fast-paced word game of questionable social value…..not really suitable for anyone”
Comes complete with a spinner as you race to earn martinis but definitely not suitable for minors as the warning on the box indicates there may be some adult Family Guy shenanigans involved.