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Subject: A game system with letter cards rss

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Andrew Tullsen
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Intro
The Alpha Playing cards is a game system, like a deck of cards, the PiecePack, the Decktet or the Icehouse. It is a deck of cards that have letters and values (like in Scrabble). There are also some tiles and dice that are used for some games, though most of the games can just be played with the deck.

There are around 20 different games that you can download from the website. They range from "pure word" games to speed games to kids games to solitaire games to "word themed" versions of other games.



Younger Kid Games

Alphabet Bang - Each player has an equal part of the deck. Place cards down one at a time, until two of the same letter appear and the slap it and shout out the letter.

MakeAWord - This is a very loose set of "rules". Deal some cards out into the middle of the table. Take turns trying to make a word with them.



Solo Games

WordSolitaire - There are 6 columns of cards. You simply make a word with the 6 letters and then stack them in a pile. You must get all the cards in a single pile to win.

6x6 - In this one, you also have 6 piles. And you also must make a word with them, and then remove them. You only have 36 cards to get rid of in this variation rather than the whole deck.

Overall, both games are very hard to win. There should be a point system so you can try to best your last score rather than just "win/lose".



Speed Games

Word Snake - Each player has a hand of cards. There is also a set of cards in the center for anyone to grab. The person to first put down thier words in a "snake" (with the last letter of one word forming the first letter of the next word and so on) wins. This is a fun one. Plays fast, and you play several rounds - you get negative points for all the cards left in your hand after someone goes out.



"Pure word" games

New Word - Each player has to make a new word with the cards on the table (from the last player's word) and his own hand. There isn't any interaction, and there should be a timer to prevent very long turns, trying to find the best word. Plus, the "S" card can be used to just score your opponent's word plus extra points (you get points based on the word)



"Themed" games

Lost for Words- Based on "Lost Cities". Play one card per turn to one of 5 locations. Complete words score thier point value - 10 points. Vowel cards can be played as multipliers.

War of Words- Based on "Shotten-Totten/Battleline". Play one card per turn. You play to 9 locations. The longest word at each location wins that location. A 7-letter word automatically wins the location.

AlphaRummy 500- Based on "Rummy". Draw and then discard a card. After you draw a card, you can lay down a word and/or add to other player's words. Get rid of all your cards to draw a new hand until the deck runs out.

Alpha War- Based on "War". Add cards one at a time until you can make a word. First player to make a word gets all the cards in the middle.

Consonants- Based on "Hearts". Played in tricks. The "single" cards, the ones in the deck that there is only one of, are the "hearts", and are worth more points. After the round, you can make words with all the cards that you took and any words you make don't count for points.



Non Word Games
So far all the games have you making up words in some fashion. Here are the ones where the letters don't create words.

ThreeBeTween - This a press your luck game. You get 2 "limit" cards which define the 2 limits which you can get letters. The goal is to get three letters in between your limits. No player interaction, it's just you vs the dealer (and other people's points)

TakeTwo- Take turns playing cards to the middle, trying to get rid of your cards. You have to play vowels and consonants, alternating. Based on Crazy Eights.



Conclusion
If you like word games and want to try out a bunch of different types of word games using a deck of cards, this is definitely the way to go. There are some great games here for any number of players, and the price is low enough to give it a go.
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