Legendary Laugh Factory: A Review of Word Whimsy

Word Whimsy

What do you think is "probably a bad idea"? Giant cyborg boogers? An unholy cockroach temptress? Or maybe a super bad exploding unicorn? In Word Whimsy, by Cryptozoic Entertainment, you get the chance to decide which of these often random and nonsensical answers is best. In the right atmosphere and with the right people, this can lead to a ton of juvenile laughter that will make you feel like you're in middle school again.

Gameplay

There seem to be a lot of games lately going after the Apples to Apples style of play, and Word Whimsy is certainly one of them. In Word Whimsy, one player is the judge, who selects a topic card and reads it out loud. The other players choose one or more of the 7 answer cards in their hand to form a word or phrase to best answer the question. They place the cards, in order, into a card envelope which gets handed to the judge and randomly shuffled. The judge pulls out the answers and rates each one from the best to the worst answer, placing a point token on each one (the best answer gets the most points). Then play continues with the next player as the judge until all of the point tokens have been used up. The player with the most points wins.

Review

We absolutely had a blast with Word Whimsy. There are a few things that set it apart from other games of this genre. First, the fact that cards can be stacked to form multiple-word answers is a fantastic feature. The cards are a mixture of nouns and adjectives. One-word answers are bland, but good combos really go a long way – it seems that the amount of laughter grows exponentially with each card added to the mix. Second, the fact that each player always scores at least one point means that there is always a reward for effort. Finally, using the point tokens to rate the answers as well as define an endpoint to the game is a nice touch. This means that there will always be a defined game length of a certain number of rounds.

This game also lends itself well to strategic word selection, depending on the player acting as the judge. I was able to earn many points by appealing to other players' sensitivity to certain people or relationships. For instance, if the topic were "my best friend", who wouldn't feel obligated to choose "loving grandmother" over "swamp donkey" or "invincible octopus warrior"? No one, at least in our groups. This allowed me to rake in some major points when I had the right cards to work with.

We really loved the mechanics and features of this game, and it was very difficult to stop playing. That being said, it is important to note that about 25% of the cards are somewhat explicit in nature or imply mature themes. Our testers were sensitive to these cards, which were set aside and replaced with new cards from the deck. There is certainly plenty of fun to be had with this game, which is why we really hope to see a more family-friendly version that can be fully enjoyed by all groups.

Pros: Nonstop laughter, fun combinations of words, effective scoring mechanic

Cons: Mature themes, not the best choice for families or sensitive groups