The Guinness Book of Word Games

Looks like I only get the energy to blog when I’m on holidays with wifi.

Rather than reading all the worthy novels I brought, I got through “The Guinness Book of Word Games”: by David Parlett, which I bought second hand on Amazon for a pittance. You may know “David Parlett”: from his card game books, his “Oxford History of Board Games”: and Spiel des Jahres winner “Hare and Tortoise”:

It’s split into:
* Spoken Word Games e.g. I Spy, Charades
* Written Word Games e.g. Jotto, Hangman, Call My Bluff
* Boxed Word Games e.g. Scrabble, Boggle, Upwords
* Playing With Words – a slightly superfluous section discussing issues in word games, e.g. anagrams, synonyms, franglais etc.

I really enjoyed the book, despite not really being a fan of word games. I listed the best known games above, but many original lesser-known games are described. The book also covers a lot of games I already knew in depth. I had no idea there was a dictionary specifically for Call My Bluff / Fictionary.

David Parlett’s writing style is worth the read in itself. He never misses a chance at neat, witty word-play, while still writing perfectly sparse, economical English.

I played “Jotto”: last night, which is a true classic and I’m looking forward to trying more.

It’s made me consider trying the Alpha Word Games System. I bought the Alpha Playing Cards a few years ago and should really try the rummy game in it – which I now know is similar to “Lexicon”:

I forgot to mention that you can get a taste of the book by reading David Parlett’s original word games at his website.