Best Word Games
Jeff Siadek
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Hawthorne
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I want to compile a list of the best word games.
I'm starting the list with 5 of my favorites. Please add yours.
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1. Board Game: Scrabble [Average Rating:6.29 Overall Rank:1520]
Jeff Siadek
United States
Hawthorne
California
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I don't play it as often any longer but every game on this list owes props to the granddaddy of all word games.

Point values, multi-word plays, defense, I used to play with my grandmother as a child and now I play with my kids. I don't want to play with my brother any more because I won the last time we played.
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2. Board Game: Boggle [Average Rating:6.19 Overall Rank:1956]
Jeff Siadek
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Hawthorne
California
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Whether you like thinking quickly and making dozens of little words or thinking deeply and finding the one killer word, "Boggle" has something for you. If I'm playing with a large group, I'll just look for that one word that will drop everybody's jaw (and then lose to the guy who made all the permutaions of s,n,e,a,t in a group).
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3. Board Game: Bananagrams [Average Rating:6.35 Overall Rank:1547] [Average Rating:6.35 Unranked]
Jeff Siadek
United States
Hawthorne
California
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This is the first game on the list that might require an explanation.

You're building your own crossword from a group of common tiles. The first player to complete a crossword when the tiles run out wins. I love rebuilding. It is a little hectic but a lot of fun.
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4. Board Game: Word on the Street [Average Rating:6.63 Overall Rank:1455]
Jeff Siadek
United States
Hawthorne
California
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Making words with friends is better than making them alone. This has a surprising amount of tactical value for a word/party game.

There is a neat mechanic here where you move letter tiles toward your control by using them so you are incentivized to make bigger words or words with a lot of the same letter to pull them over.
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5. Board Game: Wordariffic [Average Rating:5.64 Overall Rank:12206]
Jeff Siadek
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Hawthorne
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Players make words an then the last player to get a word down has to be the judge and pick which word best relates to the theme.

I have never played this game without laughter at the table.
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6. Board Game: Word Mastermind [Average Rating:4.93 Overall Rank:14586]
patrick stevens
United States
Los Angeles
California
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And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
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Very different.
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7. Board Game: Quiddler [Average Rating:6.03 Overall Rank:2883]
Exit 191
United States
Buckeye
Arizona
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Look to the past and learn for the future.
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Lets go Celts!
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Beautiful game and a lot of fun (for me if I like to lose to my wife).
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8. Board Game: Tuf-abet [Average Rating:5.62 Overall Rank:12252]
Jordi Cairol
Australia
Brisbane
QLD
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An oldie.
 
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9. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:2210]
Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
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My favorite 18xx game for six players is two games of 1846 with three players each.
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I nominate Vlaada Chvatil's new word game.

There's not much information about it, but it's terrific.
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10. Board Game: BuyWord [Average Rating:6.33 Overall Rank:2937]
EGG Head
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It's Sid Sackson
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11. Board Game: Paperback [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:307]
Larry Rice
United States
Irvine
California
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Dominion meets spelling. Quite an interesting combo.
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12. Board Game: Tisby [Average Rating:7.40 Unranked]
1 Lucky Texan
United States
Arlington
Texas
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cross of Boggle and Scrabble. Difficult to find but very satisfying. 2 games can be combined to play 8.


There was rumors of a computer version being worked on.
 
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13. Board Game: Paperback [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:307]
Steve Oksienik - Cardboard Insanity

Ann Arbor
Michigan
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This is an awesome deck-building word game. I did a review of this one on episode two of my podcast. I think it takes the deck-builder mechanism in a very different way. If you try to play this like Dominion it doesn't work so I like that it makes you think differently about a deck builder.

Lots of variants in the box will help keep this one fresh. Plus the artwork is top-notch.
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14. Board Game: Dexikon [Average Rating:6.32 Overall Rank:6938]
1 Lucky Texan
United States
Arlington
Texas
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I have 2 copies coming from the KS. hoping it's fun.
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15. Board Game: Montage [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:3668]
D a n _ C
United States
Michigan
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I generally hate word games. This one is the textbook example of an exception. It's an excellent and creative blend of mechanisms.... a little Password, some crossword, some area control, Othello, and throw in a little tic-tac-toe (whut!?). So far ahead of it's time - it belongs in the ranks with games like Acquire or Cosmic Encounter in that regard.
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16. Board Game: Spinergy [Average Rating:5.75 Overall Rank:10669]
Gerald
United States
Freeland
Michigan
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This is a very different and fun game for people who love words & story telling. It also has one of the coolest spinners in game-dom.

There are three rings full of words are spun and the 3 words that line up w/ the pointer are noted. All the players but the person spinning write stories w/ these words about a topic selected from a box of cards. The spinner tries to guess words that the writers used in their stories.

If you have a creative group of friends who have known each other a while, this can be a great time.
 
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17. Board Game: Wordsearch [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:6830]
Steve Kennedy

New Hampshire
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I used to have this game and it was not bad. I think I'd have kept it as a good change of pace. Sort of involves moving letters to make words so it has a combo Boggle/Banagrams feel.

Problem is we ended up playing it a lot as it was the only thing we had available during a relocation so it sort of soured. But, the fact that you can still find it suggests that others too love it in moderation perhaps.
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18. Board Game: Konexi [Average Rating:6.27 Overall Rank:6237]
Jonathan Chaffer
United States
Grand Rapids
Michigan
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Dan's already posted my favorite (Montage) a bit earlier, but here's another out-of-the-box entry. While Montage mashes up vocabulary with spatial play/area control, Konexi mashes it up with dexterity. The game in progress is beautiful to the eye, exciting, and quick.
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19. Board Game: Funglish [Average Rating:5.72 Overall Rank:8701]
James Patterson
United States
Utah
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In this one you use word tiles to give clues to a secret word. Kind of like charades with word tiles, but you still can't talk. You place the clue tiles on a board with areas marked for whether the word tile definitely applies or definitely does not apply, thus amplifying the use of the word tiles.

Scoring is kind of fun. Everyone has a partner to help when it's their turn to give the clues and you and your partner score when someone guesses your word. Those who are guessing, however, score individually.

Differs from others on the list in that you're not making words, but is definitely a word game.
 
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20. Board Game: Wordigo [Average Rating:6.28 Overall Rank:8495]
Lisa EP
United States
Illinois
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You build words on pre-set grids. Everyone has their own set of tiles in their own color. It is solitaire-ish except that you can steal others tossed out letters. Fast paced because you're racing the timer and the other players.
 
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21. Board Game: Upwords [Average Rating:5.69 Overall Rank:5739]
Lisa EP
United States
Illinois
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I think this game started my love of word games. Love the scoring method. Great patio game, too.
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22. Board Game: Stinker [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:5038]
Nick Bentley
United States
Madison
Wisconsin
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My favorite word game. But I designed it, so I would say that.

It's a goofy party game. The playtesters often call it Bananagrams Against Humanity.

The game takes place in rounds. For each round, each player has a jumble of letter tiles.

A question or prompt is read off, and each player constructs an answer from their letters.

There are no rules about how to construct an answer. You can make a word, a phrase, a sentence, or something else entirely, and you don't have to use proper spelling or grammar.

When you're done constructing your answer, you declare "Stinker!"

Play continues until all but one player has declared "Stinker!" and that player becomes the judge.

The players present their answers, the judge picks her favorite, and the winner gets points equal to the number of letter tiles in her answer.

Most points after 10 rounds wins.

I wrote a popular designer diary about it, if you want to know more.
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