On first glance, it could be easily mistaken for that highly popular word/board game, SCRA*LE. And, in truth, the similarities are close enough to make any SCRA*LE player to feel right at home. Of course, it’s the differences that make it interesting – differences that are different enough to make it a completely new, and disturbingly compelling game.

Here is one play, illustrating the various possibilities inherent in a single turn of WildWords. You will note the SCRA*LE-like board. On closer inspection, you will note that despite the apparent SCRA*LE-likeness, there are differences – like the squares that say “Lose 20 on Play.” Omigosh, you mean there are squares you don’t want to cover? And the surprisingly many squares that say “Turn to Wild.”

Which brings me to what may be the most clearly unSCRA*LE-like concept of “Wild” you’ll ever encounter. A wild tile, indicated either by the * or by it’s turned-overness, can be any string of consecutive letters. Not just any one letter. But any one or many letters. This change is radical. It’s what makes WildWords into a unique word/board game. Uniquely profound. Uniquely challenging. Uniquely fun.

Then there’s the whole thing about challenging another player – you know, when you think someone’s spelling a word that isn’t in the dictionary. That has also been most discerningly enwilded. First of all, with the possibility of a single wild tile standing for maybe seven letters, it’s a lot harder to know whether or not there’s a challengable word. Which makes it all the more inviting to bluff. Which makes it all the more necessary to challenge. But in WildWords, when one player challenges another, all the other players (SCRA*BLElikely, WildWords can be played by 2-4 players), must also agree or disagree. In either event, if they are wrong, they each lose 20 points. Harsh. In a beautiful kind of way.

Also, I gotta tell you, the tile holders are probably the best tile holders ever to hold a game tile. Smooth. Cool. Hefty. With wood-protectors, even. And the easy-to-read tiles are all packaged in a plastic bag inside a drawstring bag. With six extra tiles, just in case.

In sum, WildWords is the newest to receive the coveted Major FUN Award.

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