Roll, Shout, Score: Irritable Vowels Puts a Self-Rolling Spin on Word Games | Casual Game Revolution

Roll, Shout, Score: Irritable Vowels Puts a Self-Rolling Spin on Word Games

Irritable Vowels

Watch the die roll itself all around the table, and then race to be the first to come up with a word using the vowel it rolled and a letter from the table.

Published by University Games, Irritable Vowels is a party word game for 2-6 players, featuring a really fun die component that we’d love to see appear in more games.


The centerpiece of the game is an oversized electronic die that shows all the full-time vowels (so no part-time ‘y’ featured here).

At the start of each round, a normal 6-sided die is rolled and then you check the result against the rolling card rules. This will dictate what rule players will be following, such as ‘the letter card begins the word’ or ‘the letter card appears twice in the word’. All the letter cards are also spread out on the table, each one showing a letter. There are 35 of them, so some letters are repeated. Players then turn on the vowel die.

The vowel die rolls itself and will reveal a vowel. It will periodically roll itself again while it’s on. When a vowel is on display, players race to come up with a word that uses the vowel currently showing and a letter from one of the letter cards still in the center of the table (using that letter in a way that follows the rule determined at the start of the round). The first player to come up with a word that meets these requirements, takes the letter card he used and adds it to his score pile. He then is the only player who can continue to try to come up with words to claim new letter cards, following the above requirements, until the vowel die rolls again, giving players a new vowel to work with.

Gameplay continues like this until either all the letter cards have been claimed or no player was able to come up with a word for two rolls of the vowel die. Players then count the letter cards in their score piles, and earn one point for each.

All letter cards are then returned to the center of the table, the 6-sided die is rolled again for a new rule from the rolling card, and a new round is played. The player with the most points after four rounds wins the game.

Irritable Vowels Components


The giant die rolling itself around on the table is fun. It’s a lot of fun. It’s enjoyable to watch it go and always a fun surprise when it starts to move. It’s a unique component, a creative way to time turns, and works quite well as you watch it move and anticipate what vowel you’ll have to work with next. Players might even be planning ahead, coming up with possible words to use based on what vowel they get.

Once a player has managed to claim a letter card, those moments of this player trying to frantically come up with more words before the die starts rolling again can have some of the fun tension of a real-time game. Meanwhile, the rolling card adds a little bit of variety.

We found it necessary to add a house rule to this game that prevents previous words from being used again. Even with the rolling card, you can just bump into the same words too frequently otherwise. It’s fun to have some of the real-time element of being the first to shout out a word, but you also want some of the thinking and puzzling of a word game.

The pun in the title and the game’s tagline, seem a little unnecessary. It feels a bit needlessly crude and gives the wrong impression of the game. This is a word game, with a fun component and real-time element.

It is worth noting that the giant self-rolling die does need a screwdriver to be opened and have the batteries put in. It’s also worth keeping in mind that the die can travel far when it starts doing its magic, so you’ll want to keep an eye on it around the edges of the table.

There are a lot of word games out there, and it’s true the main draw of this one is going to be the self-rolling die. How much weight that’s going to have for you is bound to vary, but we quite enjoyed it and it certainly kept us entertained.

Pros: The vowel die is a really fun component and a clever and unique way to time the game

Cons: The pun of the title doesn’t feel like it fits the game, need to add a house rule to prevent the reuse of previous words

Disclosure: we received a complimentary review copy of this game.