WOW: World of Words Review

WOW: World of Words

There are many different word games on the market today, and with good reason: we all are ingrained with vocabulary from the earliest days of our childhood. Turning what is already in our heads into a game has brought immense success to the publishers of Scrabble, Boggle, Bananagrams and others. WOW: World of Words is one of the latest additions to this genre, and we were recently given the opportunity to evaluate it. We wanted to know: does it hold its own?

Game Play

The game is quite simple to learn. There are 2 decks, one containing first-letter cards and one containing last-letter cards. A card from each deck is flipped face up for all players to see. Players then set the timer and write down as many words of 5 or more letters they can think of that start with the first letter and end with the last letter. There are some special cards in the mix, such as a card that requires players to come up with 3-letter words or cards containing a group of many less-common letters to choose from.

After the timer is over, players take turns reading off one of the words they wrote down. Only the first player to say a word gets to score it, meaning that players will want to read off the most common words first, before other players have a chance to do so. Words are worth 1 point unless it is 9 or more letters long, which is worth 2 points.

The game continues until all of the cards have been used, and the player with the most points wins.

WOW: World of Words

Review

WOW: World of Words is great fun for anyone who is even remotely interested in word games. For casual gamers, it does a lot of things right that some other word games don't. For instance, all players play simultaneously—there is no need to wait 15 minutes between turns for your opponent to carefully choose just the right word (cough: Scrabble). If you're not a great speller, it doesn't really matter—if you know what a word starts and ends with, and it's at least 5 letters long, it's fair game. For the most part, there is no need to nitpick on spelling (cough: Scrabble and Boggle). In addition, reading through the list of words at the end of each round is not as drab as it seems, since even then there is some strategy involved in choosing which words to say first.

If the players in your group like to make up words just in case they're real, it's good to have a dictionary on hand (preferably searchable on a mobile device) to verify the validity of a word. Also, the 30-60 minute play time for a single game can feel a bit long, but it's easy enough to cut it shorter by reducing the number of cards.

Before our first play, one player heard the rules and was very underwhelmed, expecting it to be a boring, educational exercise. However, when playing the game, he completely turned around and really got into it. This game is one that you wouldn't know how challenging it is until you give it a try. And I am glad that I did—it is a simple, fun, and competitive game that is a great fit for casual gamers.

Pros: Simultaneous play, challenging, fun

Cons: Can feel a bit long for some groups

Full disclosure: we received a complimentary review copy of this game.

wiardjester
wiardjester's picture

Good review.

One element that separates "WOW" from most of the other word games currently available is its "creativity element". Most other word games provide you with a sequence of letters and you are required to manipulate them in various ways to form words. The letters provided limit your creativity and you are rarely able to create words much longer than "house" or "banana". The current games boil down to a "rearrange-the-letters" puzzle. Conversely "WOW" frees your mind to generate a myriad of words with 8-9-10-11 or more letters.
Many of the challenges may leave you scratching your head. I recently struggled with first letter H, last letter C. It's tough to come up with many answers in one minute but there are dozens of common words including the following: hectic, havoc, heroic, humanistic, hedonistic, holistic, heretic, hygienic and hypnotic.
Your mind is not put in a cage but is set free.