The enduring popularity of Scrabble shows how many people love word games. But the growing number of variations, like Super Scrabble and Junior Scrabble, show that we also like variety.
Here are some other options for the Scrabble fan looking for variety, or anyone looking for a livelier word game.
Bananagrams: Scrabble on a Sugar Rush
If Scrabble is the smart kid sitting doing his homework, then Bananagrams is his over-excited younger sister, rushing around full of sugar and enthusiasm.
A heap of Scrabble-style letter tiles are spread out between the players, who then rush to build up a selection of interconnected words. But you can’t choose to grab a new tile until you’ve used all the ones you have, and every time someone else grabs a new tile you have to take one. Soon you’re stuck with a heap of ‘e’s or a useless ‘z’, desperately trying to spell a word.
Bananagrams is a fast, exciting alternative to Scrabble for those who like to play with letters.
As the timer ticks down on a plastic bomb, players have to think of words using a set group of letters. Think of a word and you can pass on the bomb. Whoever is left holding it when it explodes loses that round.
Pass the Bomb is more sociable with players paying attention to which words have already gone and listening to what others say. You’ll laugh as your friend gets completely stuck trying to find a new ‘ang’ word, then freeze up as others watch you fail at the same task. Fast and fun, it’s a good family party game.
Making Leaps of Logic: Apples to Apples
Apples to Apples is a different sort of word game. Each round, one player provides a definition, and other players try to pick a word to match it. The catch is, you can only use the words on the cards in your hand.
Say your friend is looking for ‘things to be scared of’, but you’re holding ‘bananas’, ‘Paris’ and ‘a puppy’. Can you pick one of those that you know your friend is strangely scared of? Or can you talk him around to seeing why it’s scary?
Apples to Apples inspires great discussions about what words mean to us, and hilarious debates in which players get tangled in their own twisted logic. With a kids version also available, it’s a great game to get everyone thinking sideways.
Scrabble is such a serious game, it’s amazing to realize how frantic and funny other word games are.