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Tuesday, February 08, 2005


Game of the Year?

Bought BuyWord on the trip down to Anchorage. Got to play it with Mrs. Coldfoot on Sunday. It was named Game of the Year by Games Magazine in their most recent Christmas Buying Guide? Game of the Year? Yes, it is a Sackson game and he did contribute a lot to the gaming hobby. Too bad that he recently passed away. But Game of the Year? I have a feeling that this award was given in much the same spirit as John Wayne's Oscar for Rooster Cogburn. I think a Life Time achievement award would have been a better award. After several years of picking iffy games as the best-of-the-year Games needed to pick a good game to keep some credibility.

Games Magazine hasn't named a truly exceptional game as Game of the Year for several years now despite the plethora of truly great games being produced. I will now let my subscription to Games Magazine lapse. There are too many sources on the web to keep abreast of the game scene to justify renewing my subscription. Games Magazine is a good publication for pencil and paper games, but not much else. For serious discussion about modern games check out Counter or Games Quarterly, both provide a much bigger bang-for-your-buck as far as boardgames are concerned.

The problem?

There is no interaction in the game. Zero, none, zip, nothing. Draw tiles, make words, discard the tiles. You do not even have the limited interaction of playing off of previously placed words as in Scrabble.

There are variants that allow for letter trading, crossword-type play such as in Scrabble, and tile auctions, but the base game has none of that.

Talk about a rushed-to-market, undertested, snot-rocket. It pains me to give a description of game play so I won't. Research this game before you buy it, it may appeal to you, especially with the variations.

Approach with caution. You are probably better off just playing Scrabble.

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