Piecing together Scrabble tiles and trying to out triple-word-score your opponents are practically gaming rites of passage. But if you’re stuck in a rut playing Words With Friends with anyone who will accept a game invitation, it might be time to take word games to the next level.
When you’re ready to put your word and letter skills to a real test, here are three word games that can replace Scrabble on your next game night.
Spelling meets capitalism in Letter Tycoon. Combine Scrabble and the basics of patents and stocks to turn letters and words into valuable assets in this gorgeously designed game. But don’t get too distracted staring at the stylish cards; you’ll have to use all of your brainpower to build your letter empire.
Each letter is assigned a money value. Use the letters in your hand and in the shared pile to spell a valuable word, earning you cash to spend on patenting a letter so that anyone else who uses it must pay to do so. Even better, some patented letters grant unique perks. Words with 6 letters or more also score you stock, which adds to your final score at the end of the game. It all adds up to create one unique word game. (Ages 8+)
You might be surprised to see spools and yarn tumble out of the game box, but Knit Wit puts its own twist on the word game. You won’t be using letters to spell words, but your brain’s repository of vocabulary will be put to the test as you think of words and names to fit the categories you and your fellow players choose.
Use the yarn and spools to craft a combination of word categories. For example, you might loop a string around the word spools “rare” and “orange,” and then it’s a race against the other players to think of a word that fits both categories. Step away from Scrabble and give your brain a word workout with this one-of-a-kind challenge. (Ages 8+)
Word-building and deck-building join forces in Paperback by Tim Fowers. Each player’s hand contains common letters R, L, N, S, and T, along with wild cards. The cards in their hands plus those in the community pool can be used to spell words and win money to buy cards. Mo’ letters, mo’ money, and you’re on your way to making your paperback writer dreams come true.
Want to know more? Rob Manuel gives you a complete rundown on why you should play Paperback. (Ages 10+)
Do you have any favorite word games? Let us know in the comments below!
Top photo: Kelly Knox
Other images: Breaking Games, Z-Man Games, and Tim Fowers