Word Based Word Games
Vince Londini
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In a recent series of Geeklists, I offered some suggestions for categorizing letter-based word games by their predominant mechanic. You can find those lists on my Metalist at http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist.php3?action=view&listi...

Actually, it wasn't until I was nearly finished drafting the ideas, that it occurred to me to specify "letter based."

The other type would obviously be "word based" word games. At least two categories come to mind.

1. Games requiring players to state a word, given some kind of clues: charades, drawing, sculpting, words related to that word (Password, Pictionary). However, let's stay away from games that are more about trivia than words.

2. Games that call on players to recall a word, given a letter which must/can't be in that word (Word Jam).

David Meredith has thought more about how to categorize these kinds of games. See his geeklist at...
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist.php3?action=view&listi....

Word Based Word Games:
What games require players to name a word, but not build it from its constituent parts? These games can require the stating of a word from a clue created by another player, or from given letters.
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1. Board Game: Password [Average Rating:6.11 Overall Rank:3504]
Vince Londini
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This may be the most basic form of trivia game, since the mechanic is word-association to guess a word, but you might argue you're really guessing a topic or object (which is of course named with a word) rather than eliciting the word as a word...does that make sense?

Since the answer is a word, we'll treat it as a word game and start off with it.
 
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2. Board Game: Balderdash [Average Rating:6.42 Overall Rank:1492]
Gary Pressler
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West Lafayette
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This was the first one that came to my mind.
Although I think bluffing and humor are why we love this game, we try to glean snippets of etymology from high school memories when we can to craft plausible definitions.
 
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3. Board Game: Huggermugger [Average Rating:5.18 Overall Rank:14998]
 
George Kinney
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Bellefontaine
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Sure you get to see the 'secret' word one letter at a time, but all the rest of the game involves whole words.
 
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4. Board Game: Quick Wit [Average Rating:6.78 Unranked]
Lourdes Tallet
United States
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From the game entry description:

"A pack of 52 cards bearing all letters of the alphabet (except X and Z) in the center and classifying words at the top and bottom is used to test the quickness of each player's wit. A classification is read from one card and a letter is then quickly exposed on another. The first player to call a word in that classification beginning with that letter wins a card. When the pack is all used the player having the most captured cards Wins the Game."

This 1938 game has been fun every play. As I commented on another list, the categories aren't particularly exciting, but you do have some 'dealer's choice' cards where you make up your own category, and people's creative responses can be very funny. It's fast and portable and has no downtime.

University Games' ASAP sounds like a very similar game.



 
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5. Board Game: Articulate! [Average Rating:6.53 Overall Rank:2673]
Vince Londini
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From the game description...

Try to get your partner to say as many words from a particular category written on the cards within the thirty second time limit, you may only pass once. Move your team pawn forward a number of spaces on the board equal to the number of words you got correct.
 
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6. Board Game: Buzzword [Average Rating:5.73 Overall Rank:7031]
Vince Londini
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From the game description...

On your team's turn, one member attempts to give clues to 10 words. The cards state its "buzzword". Other team members must solve each clue by saying the phrases that includes the buzzword
 
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7. Board Game: Last Word [Average Rating:5.38 Overall Rank:14588]
Vince Londini
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Rattle off as many words as you can that BOTH fit a given category AND start with a given letter!
 
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8. Board Game: Word Jam [Average Rating:5.91 Overall Rank:9034]
Vince Londini
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Word Jam is a fast-paced party-game for 5-12 players where you have to think of a word that starts with a certain letter, and doesn't contain other letters, that is precisely so-many letters long. You can check out Tom Vasel's review on the game's page. He liked it!

Since the game requires recall of a complete word, even though given the letter constraints, I thought it belonged here.
 
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9. Board Game: LEGO Constructionary Game [Average Rating:4.57 Overall Rank:13946]
Vince Londini
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"The LEGO Game of Charades" -- It is Pictionary, except you build your clues with LEGO pieces.
 
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10. Board Game: Scattergories [Average Rating:6.14 Overall Rank:2111]
Vince Londini
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Each player fills out a catagory list with answers that begin with the letter rolled on the die. If no other player matches your answers, you score points. After 3 rounds a winner is declared.
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11. Board Game: PDQ: The Pretty Darn Quick Word Game [Average Rating:6.35 Overall Rank:8722]
Vince Londini
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From the game's description:

Quick! Try to make a word out of the letters SMP. Sound SiMPle? How about PTR. Get the PicTuRe? In this lightning fast party game, it's an all-out race to be the first player to shout out a word using all three letter cards in play. Each round starts with a different set of letters - it's up to you to fill in the blanks. Whoever has the most cards at the end of the game is the WNR!
 
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12. Board Game: Oxfurd Bluff [Average Rating:5.30 Unranked]
Vince Londini
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This rare game has players choosing from possible definitions for osbcure and not so obscure words. The theme seems kind of hokey, but it was fun! Kind've like Balderdash, but using pre-selected definitions instead of making up your own.
 
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13. Board Game: Pictionary [Average Rating:5.82 Overall Rank:3858]
Vince Londini
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Friendless suggested Pictionary. From the description:

Pictionary is like charades, only on paper. Instead of action, you and your team mates try to guess the identities of various words be sketching clues to each other.

Because you have to guess the complete word, and as I recollect you can't draw the letters, this would fit here.
 
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14. Board Game: Taboo [Average Rating:6.28 Overall Rank:1629]
Vince Londini
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Friendless also suggested Taboo, so here it is!

From the description:

"Taboo is a party word game. Players take turns describing a word or phrase on a drawn card to their partner without using five common additional words or phrases also on the card. The opposing partners watch a timer and use a buzzer to stop the game, buzz the player describing if one of the five off limits words or phrases is used, or the describing player makes any gestures. The describing team gets a point for each card they guess successfully and the opposing team gets a point for each card they pass on, make gestures on, or lose for saying one of the off limits words or phrases. An excellent party game! "
 
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15. Board Game: 25 Words or Less [Average Rating:6.56 Overall Rank:3072]
lisa smith
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In this game you bid on the number of minimum number of words you think you can use to get your teammates to guess 5 words. Tends to generate very witty clues, very fun.
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16. Board Game: Inklings [Average Rating:6.39 Overall Rank:6375]
lisa smith
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Here you try to figure out a clue of the least letters that will allow your teammates to guess the given clue word. Have to balance trying to make your clue high scoring (2 letters is highest score) without being so cryptic your teammates can't guess it. Nice game.
 
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17. Board Game: Catch Phrase! [Average Rating:6.34 Overall Rank:2037]
Jason Schneider
United States
Massachusetts
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18. Board Game: Word Blur [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:4736]
Mike Summers
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Ammon
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This is an older list, but thought I'd add this new game to the list as it's a perfect fit. Word Blur is quite unique and a blast to play in my experience.
 
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19. Board Game: Hit or Miss [Average Rating:6.24 Overall Rank:6346]
Sue Hemberger

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I think this is in the Password genre, but the goal is to come up with both obscure and conventional choices within a category (and to know the difference, which can be the really funny part -- learning that the stuff you thought was obvious is esoteric and stuff you thought was bizarre, everyone else thought was normal).
 
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20. Board Game: Mad Libs Card Game [Average Rating:3.69 Overall Rank:15026]
Vince Londini
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I wasn't previously aware of this game - this one uses the parts of speech that the MadLibs workbooks are famous for using. Has anyone played it?
 
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