Monday 9 November 2009

Wordinoes - It's Dominoes... but with Words!

When I heard about this new game, I was intrigued and interested to see how dominoes with words could work. Well, the answer is - very well ! Everybody, even young kids, knows how to play traditional dominoes, starting off with picture dominoes for pre-schoolers then going on to the classic game. Well, this is like the next step up because it's not just a game of chance, it's a game of wordskills and persuasion too.

As with the traditional game of dominoes, each player takes a number of Wordinoes and has to match them to the tiles already played. You have to get your thinking cap on and find a match by "making new words or phrases, word association, pairing opposites and by using rhyme". The options are limitless and that's where the extra fun element comes in - there are no hard and fast rules about what can and can't be accepted as a viable wordmatch. If someone challenges you, you have to convince the majority of players that it's a valid wordmatch - if you fail, you have to take back your tile and an extra penalty tile but if you succeed, the person who challenged you has to take an extra one instead !

It's brilliant for playing with older kids (Sophie is 8 and is just about old enough to play) to help improve their vocabulary and reading skills - the rhyme matches are handy so you can check their pronunciation of the words on the tiles. Even for adults, when you've only got a few tiles left to play, you really have to get your thinking caps on to find new matches.

I love the way it comes in a drawstring bag, much easier to store away in a cupboard as it takes up less space and much less likely to get broken than the traditional cardboard boxes too.
The website suggests having 3-6 players or playing solo and says that the average game time is 30 minutes. It sounds like a great family game to play after Christmas dinner while you're trying to digest that last mince pie you really shouldn't have eaten !

I love the fact that there are no complicated rules to work out, you just dish out the tiles and make it all up as you go along ! It's such a simple and fun idea that I'm amazed nobody has thought of it before.

The only thing I'm not too sure about is the fact that they will constantly be releasing new versions : "Wordinoes™ is being released in a series of Editions, with each Edition containing a substantially different word selection. Each Edition is designed to be played alone or in combination with other Editions. The 1st Edition of Wordinoes was produced in 2009. The 2nd Edition is scheduled to be released in 2010." With around 100 tiles per game, I'm pretty sure you must have enough possible combinations to keep playing for a very long time before you start repeating yourself.

Wordinoes is available to buy online - but I'm sure it will become an instant hit and find itself on the shelves of all the big toyshops soon enough.

RRP : £19.99

star rating : 4.5/5

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