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Word Explosion

Updated: Feb 25, 2022

Designed by Michael Riley and published by UH OH!, Word Explosion is an easy-to-play card game where you're trying to be the first to get rid of all your cards.

The 2-8 players are each dealt a hand of 10 cards from a deck comprising 92 letter cards and 28 'action cards'. On your turn, you have to follow the card on the top of the discard pile either by matching the letter or playing the letter that follows it in the alphabet. You can always play an action card for its effect but ideally you'll build on the letter with those in your hand to play a complete word and so rid yourself of several cards. If you cannot go, you have to pick up cards, domino-style, till you can make a legal play.

The action cards throw curve balls into routine game play, including a card that reverses ordinary play so that you have to play the letter preceding the one on top of the discard pile, and the words you lay have to end rather than begin with that letter.

That's pretty much all there is to it. We were initially surprised that it was thought necessary to supply cue cards that show the alphabet, tho' children playing the game may find these helpful, especially when the game is reversed. The game will probably be enjoyed most by children, who will especially savour the anarchy injected by some of the action cards. For older players, the game is likely to be quite short. Few of our plays at Board's Eye View had any turns when players had to draw any cards beyond the 10 with which they started: we were able to play at least a two- or three-letter word on almost every turn. Perhaps this is a consequence of long years of playing Scrabble :-)

If you're looking for a light filler-length word game that all the family can play, then Word Explosion could be just the thing. It's due to launch on Kickstarter on 1 March. Click here to check it out.

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