Part of the fun of writing about games is we always get to try out new types of board games, puzzles and strategy games. What makes this game even more interesting to us is our ‘connection’ with the inventor. My brother, may he rest in peace (wait…he’s not dead…I just like wishing him a good night’s sleep), is friends with the creator of Ambiguity; a Boggle-like word game with a very unique twist. The letters seem to change right in front of your eyes!
Last year we received a copy of the game as a gift, but this was in the middle of our daughters’ Pokemon craze, so all board games took a back seat. Now that we’ve had a chance to try it out, I honestly wish we had broken the seal sooner!
This isn’t a game you’ll find at your local Walmart or Target (yet) and is distributed by a smaller company that seems to mainly focus on educational toys. This is a good cross-over product for their line since it incorporates word learning & searching with game play.
Much like Boggle, the goal is to make as many 4+ letter words using the rolled dice. You score only if someone else doesn’t have the word you found. What makes this game very different (and exponentially more fun) is the fact that the face of the die can represent more than one letter. Take a look at this photo:
Exactly what letters do you see? If you said “S, T, L, F, C, N, E & H” you’d only be partially correct. There is also an R, U, Z, W, J, M and an I as well as an additional N depending on which way you orient the die. You cannot touch the dice (or the plate) so you must visualize the letters and words, using each die no more than once per word.
Each person takes a turn rolling the 8 dice, and a round is determined by an included timer. At the end of each round you tally up your words that no one else had and keep a running total. First to 100 points wins!
The instructions mentioned altering the scoring parameters to allow for younger players. We allowed them to find 3-letter words for a point each and only required them to get to 50 to win. This kept for a very close match with the two “adults” playing, but in the end, SahmReviews owner and founder (Nicole) still won out. Go figure…
I’ve always felt that some type of word-search game should be in every home to help your kids expand their spatial awareness and vocabulary. In the past I would have probably just recommended an old stand-by, but now recommend this variation due to the unique inclusion of variable letters. It just makes the game that much more interesting when you are the only one to ‘see’ a letter – making ALL of your words score!