Wordsearch Game Review: A rotating, spot-the-word family game

Wordsearch Game Review

Best Moment

My wife, oldest son, and I were playing with little sister when the three of us eyed each other and nodded towards her, hinting that we would let her find the next word (because she loves horses!). While she’s normally great at finding words, she searched and searched and searched but could not find it! We started to smile…then giggle…then full on laugh until she realized what we were up to. She eventually found it and joined in the laughter!

Gameplay Overview

Hunch around a circular card filled with a whole bunch of letters. The words to find are displayed, one at a time, around the outside as you rotate the board. The first person to find each word places her chits on each letter. Once all words have been found, count up the chits, and the player with the most wins!

Quick Thoughts

This is a simple word search game targeted to younger kids and families. I enjoy the concept of claiming letters within discovered words. It adds a fun nuance where the longer the word, the more points you receive. Don’t discount the short words however! Many a game has been lost as a result of my trying to sneak ahead and find those big words before they appear. By the end of the game, the entire board is a satisfying montage of colorful chits.

If you’re in the mood for a more relaxing round with the kids, try having everyone play Wordsearch on the same team looking for each word together without using the chits. We played this way on the carpet on a relaxing Sunday afternoon together. You can even time yourselves to see how fast you can make it through the entire rotation of words together. This also becomes a sneaky way to teach young children to identify words as they learn to read!

Possibly the coolest feature about this game is the ability to create your own word search cards! They have a site that auto-generates the puzzle cards based on the words you enter. The possibilities are limitless! Tailor a card for a child’s birthday party, a family get-together, or create one for a special date night with your significant other (although I cannot verify if the words you enter are stored anywhere! Maybe you should be cautious with your choices.). =-)

Tips & Tricks

  • Find words before they even come up as the next option! Keep them in the back of your mind to be the quickest when it’s exposed.
  • For each word, do a quick scan for the starting letter and work your way around that letter for the second and so on. This is the fastest and most methodical way to find words in word searches.

Scoring & Wrap-up

Overall, as a light-weight word game, I give Wordsearch a 6.5 out of 10 (between “Ok – will play if in the mood” and “Good – usually willing to play” on BGG’s scale) for the following reasons:

Promoters

  • The circular, rotating gameboard that reveals each target word one at a time is clever and adds to the fun.
  • The colorful, contact-lens-like plastic chits are fun to place and play with. The game comes with 280 of them!
  • While word searches are typically solo, Wordsearch is built for multiple players combing the cards together.
  • The build-your-own word search card is a fantastic element.

Detractors

  • The further into the round you get, the easier it is to find words because they never overlap. This makes it too easy to locate hidden words near the end of the round. It would be cool to have a capturing, overlapping mechanism to steal other players’ points and keep the challenge level high throughout the game.
  • You can really only play this 16 times (the game comes with eight, 2-sided cards). Solution? Go back through cards already played or create your own!

If you enjoy word searches, you’ll enjoy Wordsearch! Period. It’s the perfect, inexpensive gift for a grandparent who would enjoy engaging in a favorite pastime with his/her grandkids. Or play it with the sole intent of teaching your child to read!


Disclaimer: I received this game for free in exchange for my review, but believe me, I post authentic reviews every time and will be brazenly blunt if needs be.

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