A Twist on Word Games – Ambiguity

A Twist on Word Games – Ambiguity

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!

Ambiguity Game - ContentsThis 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:

Ambiguity Game - LettersExactly 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.

Ambiguity Game - RollingEach 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!

Ambiguity Game - Score CardThe 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!

Learn more about the inventor of Ambiguity, Eric C. Harshbarger, by checking out his personal web page. You can pick up your own copy on Amazon for under $20!

Scott

About Scott

A former manufacturing executive, Scott now balances his family life with ownership and backend administration of websites such as SahmReviews.com, GiftCardCollector.com and a number of other online properties. He also is an occasional writer and full-time board game fanatic.

26 comments on «A Twist on Word Games – Ambiguity»

  1. What a fun game to play with the kids! I bet my daughter would actually like to play something like this with me!

  2. Seriously…you have the best game reviews! This looks like so much fun!

  3. LOVE WORD GAMES!!! I turn into a total spaz. This look really fun and I love your description.

  4. I love word games. They are a great challenge!

  5. My husband AND 8 year old daughter could probably kick my butt at this . . . so of course they’re going to want it! Seriously though, it looks like fun, and to ME anyhow, less intimidating than Scrabble can be, in our family anyhow.

  6. Nickida says:

    I love games like this it helps with keeping your brain sharp. I also like that it helps kids develop their vocabulary and spelling as well. Great way to help kids that are having problems in those areas as well as homeschooling.

  7. melinda says:

    i love board games and this one looks like alot of fun

  8. Angela says:

    This looks like a fun game for the whole family. I love it when the kids can have fun and learn something in the process.

  9. As a fan of Boggle, I think this is a super twist! I love board games so much, and search a word type things have always been a fave!

  10. Pam says:

    We went through the Pokemon craze too and this game looks much more fun and educational!

  11. This looks like so much fun! I love playing word games.

  12. Corinne says:

    I love word games! Boggle and Scrabble are two of my very favorite games. So glad you reviewed this one since I probably wouldn’t have heard of it otherwise.

  13. I love word games, probably because I usually win them too in my family! Will have to look for this one, thanks!

  14. Mark V says:

    Nice Review! I am always on the lookout for new and interesting games to add to the collection. Will definitely give this a try!

  15. I think we are going to have to get this game. We homeschool and my son loves playing spelling games in his free time. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  16. Ooo this looks like fun. I LOVE word games. My daughter is 8 and I think she would really like this. I love your reviews!

  17. My grandkids love Minecraft and Pokémon, so they requested that I make these for their birthdays. Your review was so interesting that I will be looking at getting the game.

  18. Eliz Frank says:

    I grew up surrounded by word games and I’m glad to see more of them coming back into play and new ones like this one too. We are never too old or young to stretch our vocabulary.

  19. Thank you for this review, it seems like a really fun game to play with kids, I’m going to buy this for my niece!

  20. Terry says:

    LOL Boggle on Steroids. The only word game I have ever played is Scrabble and by the sounds of this game… Scrabble is boring.

  21. Theresa says:

    Word games are my favorite! I like the twist where you can use the n as a z, and such!

  22. Erika says:

    I’ve always loved word games too. And I like the word “ambiguity.” Probably would enjoy this one 🙂

  23. Kungphoo says:

    We like to play word games all the time.. we would enjoy this game as a family.

  24. I’m a Literacy Specialist so I am totally sold on games like this one that promote literacy. I love that it helps kids to build up vocabulary too.

  25. Michele says:

    I LOVE word games and this one sounds like it would be a great addition. Although I have no children this would be great for my friends and me to make sure we haven’t lost our vocabulary!

  26. kristine says:

    Looks like a great word game to get kids off of the tv for a bit.

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