I love telling you about new games that I discover. My family knows that there are certain rules which must be met in order for a game to pass muster. Word games are usually my go-to when I get to pick what we’re going to play.
Often times, games have a digital counterpart. These are usually not terribly tempting for me. My iPad is used mainly for tutoring, in orthodontist waiting rooms, and occasionally in the ladies room. (Shhhh) Every once in awhile I’ll pull it out to play a game to kill time, but not so often that I am on the lookout for new games.
I’ve already shared a few of our favorite word games before. Today, I want to tell you about two things: One digital game, an app, that I can’t get enough of as well as a card game that my family has been playing quite a lot of.
New Word Games to Try
When my husband described Codenames, I wasn’t sure. But after we played it once, we were all hooked.
It’s a pretty simple game. You play in teams, which for our family means pairs since there’s four of us. (But it’s FANTASTIC for playing with larger groups, too). Each game is made up of two rounds. In each round, one partner is the clue giver, the other is the guesser.
You lay out an array of cards, representing the code names of secret agents. Each team is trying to identify and ‘contact’ their agents before the other team. And everyone wants to avoid the ‘assassin’ card.
On your turn, the giver is able to say a single word as a clue to their partner/team along with a number. The number represents how many cards on the table fit that one word clue.
For example, if your codenames included the words desk, chalkboard, and book–you might say, “School, 3.”
Your partner would scour the cards to find three words that could fit the given clue. However, it could get tricky if ‘pencil’ was also on the table. If you guess a card that is not your team’s, your turn is over.
That example was super easy. More likely, you’ll end up racking your brain to connect any two (or more) words.
You are allowed to say the number “1”, which makes clue-giving much easier. The problem is that you are in a race to gather all of your agents before the other team.
This is a challenging, brain-using, making connections kind of game. You might look at the cards for awhile and not see a connection, until you see them from a different perspective. (Like thinking of “calf” as an animal AND the bottom part of your leg). Then you hope that your partner can see the connection! (Lots of opportunity to practice grace, too, and good sportsmanship.)
There is an expansion that is pictures. We didn’t care for it as much. We only played it once, and will likely give it another shot. But we all strongly favor the word version.
This game I found at the suggestion of one of my readers. And I’m so glad she told me about it. It can be purchased as a card game, too, but we have only played the app.
Paperback is a word building, deck building game. What that means is that as you build words, you earn money to buy new, more valuable letters to add to your deck.
The theme of this one is not really relevant to the game play, in my opinion. But I don’t care. Here’s the set up: You are an author trying to finish novels of various genres. As you complete novels (buying bonus wild cards) you accrue points.
The artwork is fantastic!
You can read about it below, or if you’d rather watch, here’s a short video of how the game is played (keep in mind that I’m not a videographer). 🙂
The game is kind of addicting. You can set the parameters of how many bonus cards of each point value are available each round, making the game shorter, longer, easier, harder. (When two stacks of bonus cards are gone, the game is over).
You have the option to play against another player, or the computer. And you can set how ‘good’ you want the computer player to be.
Paperback is another game, where you are really using your brain to see the letters you have in different ways to accrue the most points (some cards have special abilities which activate if used in certain ways).
At my house we play all kinds of games, and we’ve always got our eyes out for new ones to add to our collection. I promise I’ll always share our favorites with you, too!
Do you love word games too?
*This post contains some affiliate links. Part of why I created The Sparrow’s Home was to be able to share resources that I’ve found useful or wonderful in some way. Every so often, I’m fortunate enough to become an affiliate with the makers of these fantastic resources. This will never add cost to my readers.
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