New Word

We had a short games night with my regular group. We only managed to fit in one game of “New Word”:http://www.tjgames.com/pdfs/alpharulenewword.pdf, one of the rulesets in the “Alpha Playing Cards”:http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/2762 box. It was good to try a word game with my midweek gaming group, as we have never played a word game before.

New Word is simple, but hard. To start the game six letter cards are put down. Each player in turn makes a word out of the letters on the table and the six letter cards in their hand. After the word scores, the next player uses it to create a new word, with the help of the six cards in their hand. You get multiplier bonuses for longer words. The highest score was *wrangler*, 20 points, for the letters, x 4, for the 7+ letters in the word multiplier.

More complexity is added when someone makes a questionable word, as challenging it results in the player who is wrong losing a turn. I lost the game, but it was fun be unsuccessfully challenged over “quin”:http://www.onelook.com/?w=quin&ls=a, when I was not sure if it was a valid word in the first place.

New Word is exciting and very tough, but there is little to do when it is not your turn, as it’s difficult to plan until you know what letters are going to be available. We should have used a timer to cut down turn length. Unfortunately all the scoring time and challenging time make using a timer difficult. For our group, scoring time would have been reduced by increasing the threshold for words. 5 letters minimum word length would have been a better place to start.

1 comment

  1. I got some good feedback from Tim Shultz, the designer of the Alpha Playing Cards:

    bq{color:indigo}. I would have to agree that when it’s not your turn in NewWord there is little to do, although the game itself is good. I find that people who
    really like word games, like Scrabble players, tend to like NewWord (maybe because they are used to longer down times like in a 4 player Scrabble game) better then regular board gamers. Even though NewWord can handle 6 players I think it’s better when only 2 to 3 players play making less down time. You can use a timer to speed things up; I know Scabble Players do and they pause
    the timer when challenges arise. AlphaBid (a new game I am working on) handles 3 to 6 players, will have less down time because basically everyone is involved in every hand. I haven’t had a chance to play-test it yet, but if you are interested you can find it on the Yahoo Group.

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