Tabletop Primer: Word Games

It’s the weekend, geeks! Time to let go of those work-filled thoughts and use your mind for more entertaining pursuits: gaming! Word games are quite possibly the games I most enjoy playing. I’m a total word nerd in that I like studying the history and evolution of words (etymology) to see how language connects us. (That sentence alone should prove what a nerd I am.)

I love any iteration of word games. There’s an intense satisfaction from obtaining a high score based on how you can intelligently use your luck to your advantage. That’s exactly what word games are: luck infused with skill. The random collection of using what you’re dealt fueled by the vocabulary you have the power to recall.


Word games have a great replay value as different times could coax different words from the dark recesses of your mind. Playing these games helps increase your vocabulary and problem-solving skills, which are great skills for almost any gaming scenario. So, each play through of your favorite word game brings you closer to being the aficionado that dominates the gaming table.IMG_20150704_063635

The big daddy of word games is Scrabble. There’s just no substitution for this cross-words style of game. My Gram was a Scrabble competitor, and I sat at her table learning to play. Now, I’m nowhere near her skill level, but I’m continuing the legacy and teaching my daughters the game. And yes, I have the SUPER DELUXE OMG ALL-THE-WORDS-SPIN-THE-TURNTABLE EXTENDED Scrabble edition. (I may have embellished the official title a tad…)

My other favorite word game (that I currently own) is a party game called Anomia. This game isn’t more about skill as it is about intellect and reaction time. The goal is to call out something that fits in the appropriate category before your opponent does. You can’t? Then you suffer from anomia, a lack of recall. That on-the-tip-of-your-tongue feeling. The quick pace and guaranteed frustration is sure to enhance the competitive enjoyment of this game.

I’ve played tons of word games like Balderdash, Boggle, UpWords, Scattergories, etc. But these two have become favorites in my collection.

What vocabulary-infused gaming do you most enjoy?


E is a long time blogger about a great and many things people overlook. She likes to connect the dots, fit the pieces together, and showcase the overshadowed... oh, and she likes cookies.