Trapwords is a word game based on Taboo, and let me just say, it has completely killed off Taboo for me. You still have your base layer, where you're trying to a describe a word to your team without saying the word or the forbidden words listed, but then it adds SOOO MANYYY more awesome features! Let's break it down:
1) The opposing teams get a word that will eventually be used as the word your team will be trying to guess.
2) Based on the current stage of the dungeon your opposing team is in, both teams now right X amount of words they think the opposing team may say to describe the main word to their team. This will replace the very well known list of forbidden words you can't say on a taboo card. I'll get on to why this is so much better later in the review.
3) Once done, whichever team goes first is passed their main word and the person trying to describe it will be given three seconds to look at it before starting the round. Note, however, that they are not made aware of the trap words the other team wrote down!
4) Gameplay continues just like taboo, but now with the extra thrill of being completely unaware of the traps the other team set forth, making describing the main word that much more difficult and exciting.
5) If the team is successful in guessing the word within 5 total guesses, they progress a level in the dungeon.
6) End goal is to try to defeat the unique boss monster before the other team does.
They took taboo, a simple card game, and made it into a beautiful dungeon crawler with things like curses, monsters, traps, varying difficulty of stages, and total customizability. Let's talk more about this:
As mentioned above, it is now the job of the opposing team to create a number of traps, based on the stage currently on, for your team to fall into. This feature alone makes it 10x better than taboo and the already pre-written forbidden words on the cards. We have just as much fun thinking together about what the opposing team will possibly say as we do attempting to describe a word. You have to factor in who's going next, that it can't be too simple because they're likely to avoid it, and yet it can't be too far out of the box because it may not even be within their vocabulary.
I was at hesitant at first with this concept, for I thought that it would be silly as the team's describer to not know the forbidden words that you can't use. Honestly, I was proven wrong. It makes you use your brain in a totally different way than taboo, and I would never go back.
To increase the difficulty and contribute to the immersion and fun factor, some stages you may cross will have a random curse card waiting to be revealed. They change the gameplay up in a super fun way for that round, like the clue giver can't say any word that begins with the letter S, or the clue giver must give the clue in only one breath (lol!). This makes the game different every time, and just really exciting.
In order to win the game, a team must defeat the monster at the end of the dungeon. But, each monster has an ability card similar to the curse cards that makes them that much more difficult to beat! They've included 5 different monsters with the game, all of which come with 2 different ability cards for a total of 10 different random challenges at the end. Once again, totally makes this game super immersive and wayyyy more exciting! It really feels like you're going into the dungeon and attempting to kill this powerful boss!
The game will literally never get stale because it's completely customizable. You can change the stage order to include more difficult stages with more traps, you can increase the number of curses in the game, you can make the monster have two abilities, honestly the options are endless!
The game box art is beautiful, and all of the components included, from the monsters to the stages to the art on the cards is amazing and totally immerses you in the game. Job well done here, besides maybe if they decided to include actual physical pieces for the pawns and monsters .
I really couldn't recommend this game more. If you love taboo, but also enjoy a bit more complexity to a board game, then this is for you. It's been an absolute hit, and I decided purely to write this review to support this company and get Trapwords out there. Hopefully we will get expansions with new monsters and curses, and this game lives on for a very long time!
This game appears to have been heavily "inspired" by "Scheibenkleister".
Played this last weekend with a group of six, and it was new to all of us, and it was a great way to end the evening! We played two rounds, each time battling a different monster and experimenting with the makeup of the dungeon. The game is unexpectedly difficult... I haven't chalked this up to a bad thing yet though!
Definitely looking forward to playing again.