Word Pirates! game
by Amanda Nettgen
Board game manufacturer:
Haywire Group, Inc.
Number of players:
Do you pillage word games? Is crafting an eight-letter word your booty? If so, check out the new game, Word Pirates!
The game and gameplay
Word Pirates is by the same people who made DICEcapades. To play, you simply need to lay out the board and choose a pirate. My husband likes to think that using a pirate is not necessary, as they don’t really do anything, but my simple logic is that they can’t call the game “Word Pirates” if we don’t use them, otherwise it’s just “Word”.
The youngest pirate goes first. When it’s your turn, you start by rolling the Jumbo Die for instructions to spell, build, or block.
If you get spell, you will randomly draw either 8, 9 or 10 letter cubes and attempt to form a valid word from there. Words must be spelled following proper English direction; that is, left-to-right and up-to-down only. Words must link up crossword-style as you build toward a treasure chest in the middle of the gameboard.
If you draw Build, consider yourself lucky, land lubber! You get to select a bridge of your choice from the collection of wooden planks and place it on top of your highest word for faster access to the treasure chest.
Don’t be nonchalant when choosing a bridge piece, because just like wooden peg legs, they come in all sizes.
If you roll a Block, be prepared to turn one of your mateys into a frenemy. You don’t get to spell a word when drawing Block, but you do get to hinder the progress of a fellow shipmate by placing rocks in their way.
The player who is victorious is the first one who can spell a word within the small treasure box in the center of the sea. This should happen pretty fast when playing with only two people.Pros and cons
+ Word Pirates is simple and fun.
+ It can be played by young and old alike; anyone who knows how to read and spell, basically.
+ If one of your words meets up with another pirate, you can start taking over their part of the gameboard.
– It plays too fast when you have less than 4 players.
– A count of 100 word dice remind you of why they invented Ziplocs, but could get lost.
If you’re looking for a kid-friendly or faster take on Scrabble, the Word Pirates game may float your boat. Fans of the predecessor, DICEcapades, should also tune in.