Review: Wordsearch!

Wordsearch, board game, Goliath Games, GeekMom review
Image by Julie Tiu.

My kids and I had plenty of time this past winter to play indoors and try new games, like Wordsearch! by Goliath Games. This is a fun game in which, as the name suggests, players search for words.

The age range is appropriate at 7 and over, and seems well-played with three or four people. Two players worked, but it wasn’t as fun.  The game includes 20 cards (10 double-sided) and small, colorful game pieces that are definitely not appropriate for small children. The pieces also pose a threat to your vacuum cleaner if your kids aren’t good at putting things away. Geek that I am, I enjoy the packaging and the efficient container design.

Wordsearch, board game, Goliath Games, GeekMom review
Image by Julie Tiu.

The object of the game is to find the most words. The hidden words on the themed cards (i.e. school, home, cities, etc.) are in all directions: horizontal, vertical, diagonal, from left to right, and right to left.

Players take turns revealing the next word by spinning the disc. An opening in the ring reveals the word. The first player to find the word reaches for the totem—a squeeze toy that looks like the exclamation point in the name of the game. I think you could play the game without it, but it adds a level of competition. I was constantly wondering if the kids would accidentally knock over the board trying to get their hands on the totem. But, if you happen to grab the totem and don’t find the word right away, you lose your turn until the next word.

Wordsearch, board game, Goliath Games, GeekMom review
Image by Julie Tiu.

When you find the word, you use the colored pieces that look like contact lenses to mark it. The game gets competitive when markers are removed by other players finding words that intersect words-in-play. The only way to avoid this is if the markers are the same color as the previously found word.

We found that the downside to the board is that it can’t be read right-side up by everyone. The person reading upside down is at a disadvantage, especially if he or she is younger. Some fighting and nudging occurred.

After some rounds of play, you begin to remember where words are hidden. So, what do you do when you run out of cards? Perhaps an expansion set? Another alternative to the game rules: A single player could play a timed game.

Check out the giant Wordsearch! board pictured at the Chicago Toy and Game Fair last November!

Wordsearch! is available online at Amazon.com, Kmart, Target, and Walmart. It retails for $24.99.

GeekMom received this item for review purposes.

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