Wordsy: The Game for People Who Love Epic Words
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Spelling Out Wordsy’s Basics
Wordsy by Formal Ferret Games is a word game, a party game and a card game all rolled into one. You play with two types of cards: one for letters and one for numbers.
Letter Cards are what you use to create words. The catch is the cards only have consonants on them. You have to come up with vowels yourself.
Column Cards have numbers on them. There are only four of them, numbered two through five. They represent how many points the Letter Cards are worth.
Create words and score points based on the value of each letter in the words.
Find the longest words using as many different letters as possible to earn the maximum score.
Wordsy is for one to six players, ages 10 and up. A typical game takes about 20 minutes.
The Kickstarter Origin Story
Wordsy was a Kickstarter project that was fully funded and produced in 2017. The inspiration for the game came from Prolix, a game that was first released in 2010. Wordsy is basically a revision of Prolix, offering a more streamlined experience.
Who Is Wordsy Right For?
Is Wordsy a game you’d be interested in playing? Take a look at the rules below to know for sure, but this game definitely has certain players in mind. Wordsy is for people who love words and word games. You need to have or develop a strong vocabulary if you want to keep up with everyone else.
This isn’t to say that this game is impossibly difficult for people who don’t have a knack for games like it. In fact, there is an optional rule to make things fairer. More on that later. What’s important to know is that even though Wordsy caters to logophiles, it doesn't leave everyone else scrambling to catch up.
Wordsy Game Pieces
As a streamlined and easy-to-start game, Wordsy doesn’t have too many game pieces. It’s quick and easy to get the fun started.
60 Letter Cards (44 common letters and 16 rare letters)
4 Column Cards
1 No-Flip Card
1 30-second hourglass timer
Score sheets and pencils
Common Letters and Rare Letters
The important thing to remember about the Letter Cards is that they are separated into “common” and “rare” categories. Rare letters include Z, F, Q and X, among others. These letters add bonus points to your word score. Some rare letters are worth more than others. Very rare letters like Z are worth two points. Less rare letters like H are only worth one point.
The No-Flip Card
The No-Flip Card is the aforementioned way to keep things fair. If you choose to play using this card, at the start of a new round, hand it to the fastest player of the previous round. They are now not allowed to play the first word for this next round, which is one of the ways you score extra points.
Continue passing the No-Flip Card from fastest player to fastest player until all rounds are done.
Wordsy Rules and Gameplay
The rules for Wordsy are straightforward, but that doesn’t mean the game lacks nuance or challenge. Every step in the game’s process pushes players to test the limits of their word knowledge.
Starting the Game
Setting up a game of Wordsy only takes a few minutes. Once everything is ready, you can begin playing immediately.
Place the Column Cards in a row from lowest to highest value.
Shuffle the deck of Letter Cards.
Draw Letter Cards and place them face-up beneath the number cards. Place two Letter Cards under each Column Card.
Make sure there are no more than two Rare Letters.
There should also be no more than two copies of a Common Letter.
The First Round
The first round is what starts the action and determines the pace of the game
With the cards all in place, you may begin.
Everyone tries to deduce a word from the random assortment of letters.
The first person to find a word flips over the game’s timer.
Once they do, the other players have 30 seconds to find a word and write it down.
Anyone who doesn’t find a word before time runs out earns no points for that round.
Rounds Two Through Seven
For every subsequent round after the first, you play some new Letter Cards.
Remove the four Letter Cards beneath the four- and five-point Column Cards.
Move the Letter Cards beneath the two- and three-point Column Cards to the right to replace the cards you removed.
Draw four new cards from the Letter Cards deck. Place them beneath the two- and three-point Column Cards.
Repeat the steps from the first round for these next six rounds.
Scoring and Determining a Winner
Calculating scores is the most complex part of the game. Every player needs to keep track of and combine their own points from each round. The scoring works like this:
You earn points by spelling words.
The value of words is determined by the value of the Letter Cards.
The value of the Letter Cards is determined by the Column Cards above them.
For example, if a letter is under the three-point Column Card, that Letter Card is worth three points.
Add up the values of each letter in your word to determine its total score.
Adding Bonus Points and Challenging Words
Once everyone knows how many points they earned from the letters, they add any bonuses to their scores.
The first bonus points come from the Rare Letters. Read the numbers printed on those cards and add them to your total.
The second set of bonus points are awarded to the first person to play a word. They get two extra points for that round.
The last bonus points are for anyone except the fastest player. If someone creates a word that is worth more points than the fastest player’s word, they earn one bonus point.
If you believe a word is not valid, you may challenge it, just like in Scrabble. Remove the points for the invalid word from that player’s score.
If the word you challenged is valid, however, you must deduct two points from your score.
Declaring a Winner
Once you have played all seven rounds, every player must cross out their two lowest-scoring words. Then, everyone adds up the scores from the remaining five words, plus any bonus points. The player with the highest total score wins the game.
Go Bananas for Another Great Word Game
Wordsy spells fun. Well, it actually makes you do the spelling, but you have fun in the process. It’s a great game to play when you want to spend time with fellow word nerds. Want to play another game that’s just as fun? Try Bananagrams. This spelling game takes a lot of inspiration from Scrabble and crossword puzzles. When it comes to word game fans, Bananagrams definitely speaks their language.
Zac Pricener has been a content creator for the past eight years. He’s a bit of an all-around nerd, and he has a bad habit of working movie and TV show references into conversations whenever possible.