The title of this game from Tactic pretty much sums it up. Quick Words is a word game that takes less than 10 minutes to play and where you have to think quickly because you have just one minute to come up with and record your words in each of the four rounds.
The game is played with eight custom six-sided dice. You'll roll these to generate the letters that all the players will use to make up their words. One die is blank on all sides. That one is a wild that can be used as any letter - and you'll especially need to use it as a vowel if none come up on any of the other dice rolled. The other dice are:
E R S T U V
A B C L O T
H L M O W Y
E H K P U Y
F G I O S U
A D E I M N
A D I N R Y
Players each have a score sheet with three rows for recording three-letter words; five rows for four-letter words, three rows for five-letter words, and one row for a seven-letter word. It's irksome that there is no option for recording a six- or eight-letter word. When the dice are rolled, the players all have just one minute to record three words on their sheet. They'll score 1 point for a three-letter word, 2 points for each four-letter word, 3 points for five-letter words and 5 points for a seven-letter word. However, just like the clues in Just One (Repos Production), your words have to be unique: if players duplicate the same word then neither scores for it.
The rules are simple enough that they are printed on the inside of the box lid - who remembers when that was the norm for board games? You can play with any number of players, provided you have enough recording sheets (the game comes with a thick pad of >200 sheets) and everyone has a clear view of the dice. The game tho' isn't quite as simple as it seems... You're each recording a maximum of three words per round and so you'll be looking to record 12 words over the four rounds and there are just 12 rows on your recording sheet. That means if you fill up on easy three-letter words in the first round, you'll be making it harder for yourself in the remaining rounds as you'll have no more three-letter rows left. The last round is always going to be the hardest because you should only have three rows left so your three remaining word lengths will all be pre-specified even before the dice are rolled. Leaving the seven-letter option row until the last round could be a push-your-luck gamble if the dice that round give you a plethora of vowels...
You're less likely to duplicate words if you're playing Quick Words with just two players so the rules incorporate a slight tweak to increase to four the number of words players must record each round and instead play the game over just three rounds.
Tho' the box size could've been halved if the recording sheets weren't printed two abreast, Quick Words is an attractive package, with clearly readable dice that offer a good distribution of letters (no J or pesky Q or Z) and a sturdy one-minute sand timer. Tactic have included four stubby pencils - tho' you'd think anyone interested in playing a word game would probably already have access to a pen or pencil. We'd also liked to have seen the seven-letter row replaced with the option of recording a six-, seven- or eight-letter word - perhaps scoring 4 points for six letters, 5 points for seven letters and 6 points for eight letters. If you redesign your own version of the score sheet, it's a variant you can easily try out.
(Review by Selwyn Ward)
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