This is probably the best word game I've played (not counting that venerable oldie, Scrabble). It's fast, easy, and doesn't play like a typical "spelling" game! The heart of this game is, of course, spelling words. But you really don't have to be a great speller to enjoy and win Bull's Eye.
Each round you get seven new cards, from which you have to form a word of from 1 to 6 letters, determined by a die roll. Everyone plays simultaneously (so there's no down time), and you get however many points your word scores (unless of course you completely fail to form a word). The scoring track has various "targets" to hit, which will give you a draw of a red or black card... since there are opportunities to get your score marker to the "targets", your highest scoring word may not be your best choice. Red target cards are always good for you; black target cards may be good or bad. These "target" cards can also mess with your opponents' scores.
The box itself is very sturdy (stronger than your average game box!), and comes with an great plastic insert that keeps the other components organized. The board is fairly large, folds up into quarters, and seems pretty heavy (probably not prone to warping). The score markers are clever little "darts" (keeping with the theme of "Bull's Eye"). The die is a bit odd... it's non-standard in that 3 is not opposite 4, etc. A small black plastic dice cup makes it easy to roll the die with out it shooing across to board. The cards seems to be of rather flimsy stock, so may show wear quite quickly; and the letter cards are an odd size (2×3½"), making them somewhat cumbersome to shuffle. The game includes a nifty little electronic timer - it sure beats a sand timer, since everyone is concentrating on forming their words!
The Game's Good Points:
- fast set-up and easy to learn, but plenty of re-playability
- simultaneous play (no "down time")
- relatively short game length (maybe 20 to 45 minutes)
- no need to be a great speller, since there's ample opportunity to
turn the tide with clever moves that will get you to a "target"
- includes a "simplified" variation for kids (which also allows
kids and adults to play together competitively!)
- the overall layout of the board is very well thought out
- the Scoring track is in rows of 10, so you don't have deal with
fiddly counting (eg, if you score 12 points, you move your
marker up one, and over two)
- the nifty electronic timer
The Game's Bad Points:
- card quality (I think, maybe they are ok)
I feel like this game could easily become a "classic". After only three plays, I think it has great re-playability, and will appeal to both serious word-gamers, as well as the party-gamer crowd.
My wife and I give it: