A New Word Game

Yesterday while standing in a long line with Maggie, I came up with a word game to pass the time. It turned out to be pretty fun, and I played a few rounds with Kathy later on as well. Here’s how it works:

  • Player one selects a starting word.
  • Play then alternates between player two and player one, each trying to create a new word by adding, subtracting, or changing a single letter.
  • Once a word has been used once, it’s off-limits — you can’t use it again in that session.
  • The player who is unable to come up with a valid move loses the round.
  • Valid moves are limited to words in the dictionary. No proper nouns may be used.
  • Special starting rule: if player two can’t think of a valid move from the starting word, then player one must be able to make a valid move from that word, or she loses the round. (This prevents player one from starting with “antidisestablishmentarianism”, for example.)

Example play session:

  1. P1: CAT
  2. P2: COAT
  3. P1: COATS
  4. P2: COTS
  5. P1: CODS
  6. P2: CODA
  7. P1: CODE
  8. P2: CODED
  9. P1: CODES
  10. P2: MODES
  11. P1: MODEL
  12. P2: MODELS
  13. P1: YODELS
  14. P2: YODEL
  15. P1: can’t think of anything, so P2 wins the round

Try it out, and let me know what you think!