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Word Board Games

Although online word games are all the rage nowadays, the old-fashioned word board games are holding their own. There's just something about a slightly faded fold-out board, with its worn down pieces that a computer game can't replace. Not to mention the face-to-face combat with a real human being!

Here are the board-based word games that won't be disappearing from shop windows anytime soon...


The Gist
In a game of Balderdash, players have to come up with definitions for bizarre words, and convince everybody else that their definitions are correct.
You get extra points if you actually know the correct definition of a word - but don't expect that to happen very often!

Most of the fun is in trying to keep a straight face while the definitions are being read aloud so that you don't give the game away.

Game Categories
Party Games, Vocabulary Games, Word Board Games
Other Balderdash Games
Beyond Balderdash - extends the game beyond the realm of words to the world of trivia.
Balderdash Junior
More Balderdash Game Info
My Balderdash Review


The Gist
If I had to choose the best of the best word games, it would without a shadow of doubt be Scrabble. I talk enough about Scrabble on other pages, so I don't want to bore you here. Let me just summarize it for you...

Players draw random letters (called tiles) from a tile bag, and take turns at using these letters to form new words on the board, building up a kind of 'crossword' in the process.

The Scrabble board contains premium squares (such as Double-Letter Squares, Triple-Word Squares, etc.) that you try to use to increase the score for each word that you play.

For most people who play this game, the greatest pleasure you can experience is when you play a word that uses up all seven of your tiles to form a single word. Such a move is called a Bingo, or sometimes a Bonus, and it nets you 50 extra points!

Game Categories
Party Games, Vocabulary Games, Word Board Games, Anagram Games, Spelling Games, Strategy Games
Other Scrabble Games
Scrabble Junior
Scrabble Scramble
More Scrabble Game Info
My Scrabble Guide


The Gist
On the surface of it, Upwords looks just like a 3-dimensional version of Scrabble. Actually, though, its scoring and letter-placement rules make it a different game altogether.

Unlike Scrabble, players are allowed to place letters on top of existing letters, as long as they form valid words in the process. The more letters underneath any letter you play, the more you score - so forming high stacks is the name of the game.

Also, the board has no premium squares (Double-Letter Squares and so on), and all letters have a face value of just one point (so you won't be saving up the Z for 10 points!). This completely changes the nature of the game. In particular, anagramming becomes less important, because you get greater rewards for replacing letters in an existing word, than for making a completely new word by unscrambling the letters on your rack.

Which words are you allowed to use? The rules for valid words are the same as in Scrabble, so I recommend you use the Official Scrabble Dictionary.

Game Categories
Word Board Games, Anagram Games, Crossword Games, Strategy Games
Other Upwords Games
Vintage Upwords
More Upwords Game Info
Tips for Solving Anagrams

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