Jan 13, 2013

Wound up over Word Winder

Product Review
(Daddy reviews)

What do you get when you mix a word search with a crossword puzzle and throw in a little layout strategy of something like Blokus?

One of the most addictive, challenging and entertaining word game that I have ever played. Or for my 2 boys for that matter.

Developed by the world’s most syndicated word game creator, David L. Hoyt - whose games includes Jumble and Word Roundup - Word Winder appeals to everyone above the age of eight, as it is a challenging game of strategic moves and word creation.

The premise of Word Winder is simple: The game comes with 16 letter tiles have a 4×4 grid layout. You shuffle these tiles and arrange them according to which version of the game you’ll be playing – SideWinder or RaceWinder. Yes, it is actually two games in one!

In SideWinder, you arrange the 16 tiles in a 4×4 grid to create the playing board and the goal of the game is to build a string of words from one edge of the board to the other - either top to bottom or from the left to right - and marking the words with coloured chips.

You’re looking for words Boggle-style in which each letter of the word must be adjacent to the letter before and after it. Can you make out the words that both Ayd and Ash had made?

The words are RAT, RED, MAN, GAS and BAGS.

The rules are simple to follow enough: You can build a word in any direction, as long as you’re using adjacent letters and you don’t use the same letter more than once in a single word. You can't use any letter that has an opponent's chip on them, but you are allowed to re-use letters which are already covered by one of your own chips.

There isn't a need to place words adjacent to each other as you go but one of the awesome thing that I love about SideWinder is that you can be somewhat sneaky about your strategy and block other players by disrupting their chain of words!

Ash isn't too much of a word and spelling person to begin with so he didn't seem to enthusiastic about the game initially. Ayd, on the other hand, is a huge word addict and loves a good word game puzzle every now and then. So naturally, he thoroughly enjoyed picking and marking our the words.

In the end, Ash requested to join in as well after seeing how much fun Ayd and I were having. Heh.

Yellow wins!
RaceWinder was the other version, which we didn't have time to try out yet. In RaceWinder, you lay out the letter tiles so they’re in a long 2 x 8 column. The goal is to be the first player to complete a word-winding line from the top to the bottom. Unlike SideWinder,  everyone’s first word must include a letter from the top row of letters and subsequently, their words must include a letter adjacent to one of their earlier words.

I love the fact that with the 16 letter boards, it means that you’re laying down a new version of the game every single time. In fact, according to Hoyt’s website, there are a total of 263,130,836,933,693,530,167,197,089,370,112,000 different combinations! Absolutely mind-boggling and it should make for excellent long-term playability if you ask me.

Certainly, Word Winder is great for kids aged 8 all the way up through adults. But personally, I feel as long as your child is able to spell 3-letter words, the minimum age thing isn't that great an issue. It is a great tool to help kids with their spelling. And the best part? They will not even realize that they are learning as they play.

If you are a fan of crosswords, word finds and similar word games, then Word Winder is a must have for the family. Even more so since it comes in a tidy package which you can pack along for your family vacation!

Distributed in Singapore exclusively by Emway, Word Winder is retailing for S$29.90 at Toys 'R’ Us and major departmental stores. For more information, please visit www.wordwinder.com

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prince n princess mum said...

Fun & educational game..

Cheekiemonkies said...

it is!!! :)

Jean said...

This looks like fun, although I predict many instances of "Cheating!" and "Not fair!" if we play this at home. ;)

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