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Blind Spot

A word game that is all about removing letters to make words, looking for patterns in a jumbled array of letters.

Published by Sparkworks, Blind Spot has its own, unusual take on the word game genre.

Gameplay

You take nine random word tiles and lay them out in a nine-by-nine grid to form the board. Each tile shows nine letters, in a three-by-three grid. Each player takes a thirty second timer and the chips in his player color.

On your turn, you start your timer. Before the time runs out you must form a word with the uncovered letters on the board, by placing a chip on top of a letter. Blocking out this letter must cause a word to be formed by the adjacent letters on either side of it. At the start of the game, the letters must be adjacent vertically or horizontally to the chip. They can be read forward or backward to create a word. The word must be at least three letters long and must skip over the chip. The chip cannot be at the start or end of word.

For example if you spot the letters S, E, A, I, and S on the board, you could cover the I to create the word ‘seas’. Your word may skip over letters that were covered by your own chips on a previous round but not other players’ chips. If you manage to create a word of five or more letters, you get to place an additional chip on the board this round (it does not have to make a new word).

If you run out of time before making a word, you must place a chip on the glasses tile. The first time you place a chip, you unlock the ability to make words diagonally. The second time you place a chip, you are eliminated from the game. The last player left in the game is the winner.

Blind Spot Components

Review

Blind Spot is a unique take on the word game genre. It requires a different approach and way of thinking than most word games and consequently evens the playing field between players who have a lot of word game experience and those who do not. It may disappoint some players who enjoy the challenge of coming up with complex words, but can find success with people who often struggle with word games.

It’s quite tricky to find the words in the jumbled letters and figure out the best placement for your tokens. Consequently, the first few times you play it can be a good idea to give players a little extra time. It also feels like for a four-player game, the game board should also increase in size.

The player elimination doesn’t feel problematic as games tend to be pretty fast. Also, the fact that the first time you fail you unlock the ability to make words diagonally is a nice touch. It escalates the game, while also softening the blow of that first failure.

Blind Spot is a challenging puzzle that puts a new spin on a well-known genre. There’s a large selection of letter tiles for variety, and it feels quite satisfying when you manage to spot new words on the board.

Pros: Unique puzzle mechanism, number of word tiles, game speed

Cons: Won’t appeal to all word game fans, board feels a little small at four players

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