by Amanda Nettgen
Board game manufacturer:
Number of players:
2-6 (individuals or teams)
Keesdrow is a slow-searching Scrabble-type game that will have you thinking while racking up the points. It’s listed on the box as being “The Ultimate Word Seek Game!”
The game and gameplay
The name Keesdrow is literally “Wordseek” backwards. It’s similar to Scrabble in that you’ll be forming words for points, but instead of drawing from a bag to get the tiles you will be working with, you will have them all available to you in Keesdrow.
The set up consists of simply randomly placing all of the letter squares within the board, preferably same side up so the game play doesn’t get confusing. On your turn, you must hunt for a good word to spell within the maze of letters on the board.
Any letter that touches at the corner of another letter can be utilized in the forming of your word. You want to try and reuse the same letters as much as possible to score big, as the second time a letter is used it’s worth double and the third time triple.You distinguish which letters have been played using the game’s stop light system: a green peg signals a letter has been used once, a yellow twice, and a red a third (and final) time.
Some strategies to be an ace at Keesdrow include building off a previous opponent’s word and forming words that consist of high value letters (for instance, F and V are both worth 5 points, while a R is only worth 1).
The game can end either upon reaching a predetermined point score, after a certain number of turns, or simply go until no one can form another word (if you want to marathon). The game includes descriptions for different variations of Keesdrow, ways to make it harder (i.e., only allow 5+ letter words), and a Solitaire option.
Pros and cons
Keesdrow is a good game for word lovers and brains. It is appropriate for a variety of ages, from young to old. It’s a great way to show off how creative you can be in finding words amongst chaos.
Keesdrow is challenging, challenging in a way that might frustrate or bore some. The game doesn’t require you to use the given timer, which could make it a lengthy wait before it’s your turn again.
Keesdrow is recommended for word seek enthusiasts, Scrabble addicts and other word game buffs, and for those who want an intellectually-stimulating game for their family. It’s a more serious game, so it won’t be the best fit for more lighthearted gamers.