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Word Slam

Yellow, round, eat, and circle? Banana! Science, object, see, through, and sky? Telescope!

Word Slam has two teams racing against each other, with a storyteller on each side using word cards to lead their teammates to guess the right answer word. Quick wits are important, and both storytellers and teammates will have to think fast.

Gameplay

Players divide into two teams. Each round, a different player on each team is chosen to be the storyteller. Each team is given two card holders and a stack of story word cards. Each story word card has one word on it and comes in four categories: nouns, verbs, adjectives, and prepositions. You sit so that each team can see its own card holders but not the other team’s.

Each round, one of the storytellers draws an answer card. Each answer card has six things for players to guess — they can be items, words, or people. A die is rolled to see which of the six words will be used this round. Once both storytellers look at the card and confirm what word they’re using, they announce “Word Slam!” and immediately start using their story word cards to give their teammates clues.

You can use as many story words cards as you can fit on the card holders. You may not give clues in any other way (i.e., gestures or sounds). You may remove a card from a card holder at any time. While your teammates cannot look at the other team’s card holders they can listen in to what the other team is saying.

Each round a different team is in charge of the sand timer. At any time during the round, the storyteller who controls the sand timer can flip it, giving both teams until the timer runs out to guess the answer or both lose the point.

The first team to guess the phrase on the answer card wins a point. The team that guesses the most cards by the end of the game wins. The number of rounds you play varies based on the number of players.

Word Slam Components

Review

Word Slam is a clever party game that blends the need for speed nicely with clue giving and guesswork. Storytellers have to search through their deck of clue cards quickly and sometimes make compromises in the interests of speed that end up sending their teammates down the wrong track — a situation that becomes even more likely when you start using the more difficult answer cards.

There are four categories of difficulty for the answer cards, with a total of two hundred answer cards, resulting in a whopping 1,200 words, names, and terms for players to guess. You will be playing a long time before you start seeing repeat words!

Being the storyteller is fun, but the role of guesser is also enjoyable as you alternate between going off the clues your team’s storyteller is giving you and listening in on your opponents — the harder words often result in storytellers using different cards. However, since you are limited to playing with two teams and no more, too large a group would be difficult to play with as everyone needs to be able to see the card holders.

A thoroughly enjoyable party game, Word Slam is exhilarating and exciting. If you’ve enjoyed Concept or Charades, Word Slam will likely be a hit with you as well.

Pros: Lots of answer cards, nice range in difficulty, nice blend of speed and guessing

Cons: With larger groups it can be difficult for everyone to see the card holders

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