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Alphabet Runner

Designed by Ras, Alphabet Runner is a word game for 1-4 players that's played using letter cards. It's intuitively easy to play and it allows players to readily set the level of difficulty. And it has the double advantage of playing relatively quickly and being highly portable.



The game is played using a deck of 56 letter cards, most of which show two consecutive letters of the alphabet. There are at least two copies of each card. Players are dealt a hand of seven cards and there'll be at least three or four cards in a central pool (rather more as you play at the higher levels). On your turn, you play one of the cards from your hand and use a letter from that card, along with letters from any cards in the central pool, to make a word of the target length for the level at which you are playing. At Level 1, you're making just three- or four-letter words; Level 2 requires five- or six-letter words. If you play at Level 10, your words must all be at least 15 letters long! Good luck with that!


When you make a word, the card you used from your hand is played on top of your choice of card from the central pool, so replaces that card. The aim is to be the first to shed all your cards; and, as you might guess, if you fail to make a word you add a card to your hand.



It's a big plus that you can set the level of difficulty. It'll be rare for literate adults to be unable to make three- or four-letter words every turn in a Level 1 game, but playing at that level can be fun and educational for children at a relatively early stage of learning to read and write. You only need to step up a couple of levels tho' to find you're playing a game that can be challenging for adult players. In competitive play, there's opportunity too for gamesmanship: if there's just one vowel in the central pool, playing your card onto that one can make things tough for the next player, especially if they don't have a vowel left in their hand. Likewise, you might want to try to hang on to cards (particularly vowels) that are likely to be easier to play on a future turn.


To add to the versatility of Alphabet Runner, you can use the deck with children to play other simple non-word games: Snap and picking up doubles (memory game).


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han gu
han gu
Jul 10

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