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Subject: A Challenging, But Leisurely Paced Word Game rss

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Daniel Morgan
United States
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I'm not a connoisseur of word games. I've never played Boggle or UpWords and I don't do crossword puzzles, but I have played my share of Scrabble and Bananagrams. I even made a scrabble board and tiles of high-fire ceramic.

Wordsearch's appeal is obviously similar to Scrabble's. It is a simple game to learn, it accommodates 2 to 4 players, and you can easily go from shrink-wrapped to playing in 5 minutes.

The game begins with a 10 by 10 grid covered in letter tiles. Only the center 4 spaces are left empty. The game proceeds with each player sliding one or more letters in any one direction to spell a word. The limitation is that every letter you move must be used in the word you spell. The letters used are then removed from the board. The word is then scored by multiplying the sum of the letter values by the length of the word.

As the board opens up and players learn to be clever with the tile maneuvers, the choice of words increases impressively. This does lead to slower turns being played, but not really any more than in a game of Scrabble. A major difference from Scrabble, other than working from the same set of letters as everyone else, is the way you really have to work over the entire board. The letters can be coming from all ends and getting them where you need them is often a real brain buster.

Any geek who prides one's self on the quality of their vocabulary, solves word puzzles for fun, or enjoys Scrabble would have fun with this. And in this age of Scrabble knock-offs-a-plenty for Facebook and smart phones, it's nice to have a different word game to play face to face.
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