by Carolyn Osborne
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The B0ggle board game is a really fun word game; it encourages creativity and associative thinking.
The game and gameplay
Boggle uses a 4 x 4 grid to hold cubes that have different letters on each of their six sides. A plastic concave lid goes over the whole grid and allows you to randomize the letters in the grid by shaking and then scattering the cubes in the grid.
An egg timer comes with the game. Once you have shaken the letters, you turn over the egg timer and take the lid off the grid simultaneously.
Players have pieces of paper and pencil and they look for words in the grid. Words must be at least three letters long and the letters in them have to be touching each other. Also, you cannot use the same cube twice in a single word.As the sand runs through the timer, you try to find as many words as possible, following the rules mentioned above. When time runs out, players compare their lists. You only get points for unique words you found, so if anyone else has a word from your list, that word gets crossed out on everyone’s list.
Points vary according to the length of the word.
Some people make an agreement to twist the grid around at some point so it can be seen from a different perspective.
If you like word games, this one is really great. You never know what you are going to find and the creators of the game have ensured that the cubes generally create a grid with a lot of words to find.
There are some great strategies you can use in this game. For example, if you see an e, you can start looking for “vowel, consonant, silent e” patterns and find words that way.
Or if you see a small word like “pin”, you might look for “pine,” “spin,” “spine,” and so forth. Over time you find good ways to look for words, often by listening to the list your opponent found.Pros and cons
Because of the strategies used in this game, Boggle supports learning word patterns and structures. That is actually a very good literacy tool, no matter how old a person is.
This is a game where every player has the same amount of luck or randomness in terms of the make-up of the grid and the quality of a player’s strategies determines the outcome of the game.
Game play does not take an inordinately long time (Scrabble can take hours), so you can play a round or two of the B0ggle game in an otherwise-wasted fifteen minute period of time.
This game works best when you have players whose vocabulary is similar in size, e.g., college students or children, but not college students vs. children. The college students may not be smarter than the fifth graders!
Some people get annoyed at the sound the shaking of the letters makes. It is a noisy game on a periodic basis.
People who have significant problems with spelling (e.g., people with dyslexia or other learning issues) are much less likely to enjoy this or other word-based games.
B0ggle is one of the best word games around. Strategies depend on a person’s skill with vocabulary and word patterns. The scoring system encourages creativity.