Play WildWords On A Table For Free

  Board Photo    

"... if this game was first, and Scrabble were recently invented and marketed as a 'better WildWords' - most people would probably just laugh it off."

Why This Page?

I am running out of games. Of the 5,500 games produced, only a few hundred remain. For a couple of reasons (i.e. money and age), I will not be doing another printing completely on my own. Frankly, WildWords deserves more resources than I can offer. That said, I don't want to impede anyone from learning and playing this incredible game. Thus this page.

Some Links For Later:

The Home Page  which speaks for the game and provides a gateway to much more stuff.
The regular Order Page for shrink-wrapped full sets.
A Customer's Experience  that warms the heart.

The above story (exaggerating slightly) is a Hallmark type fairytale of pre-holiday despair, happenstance, epiphany moments, and a mind-bending journey ending with a reversal of fortunes.

Executive Summary:

To start, you need to use some skills you developed in kindergarden -- scissor along straight lines, tape panels together, and cover some tiles with small squares of masking tape. The multi-letter wild tiles represent the biggest leap vis-a-vis all other word games. WildWords welcomes
the full richness of English. Every word from animalistic (ANIM*IC) to zombiesque (ZOM*QUE) can be played.

With every element (board, tiles, and every rule) of WildWords, I have tried to eliminate hopeless trays and increase game play possibilities. WildWords is dedicated to all the words we know, but use in speech. That actually has a name. It's your "passive vocabulary,"
and playing WildWords builds a bridge to it.

What you need to play WildWords on a board (Kit):

1. The Rules -- You will get a link to a PDF file of the rules which you can print. Such files are used with the Adobe Acrobat Reader which is free. You probably already have it. Staple the pages together.

2.  The Board -- You will get a link to four PDF files (print-out shown below) which you can print. You will need to trim these with scissors and tape them together. If you have a Scrabble™ Deluxe Set the same as mine, pay attention later. You are in luck!


3. The Tiles --  The distribution of letters in WildWords is based on their occurance in words of all lengths. The same is true of the point values. For the correct distribution, you will need to remove 18 specific tiles from a Scrabble
set and convert 12 of those to an asterisk/wild tile. Six tiles will remain unused. Some Scrabble point values are different from WildWords. It's nice but not necessary to change them. It takes the same skills to find a great 7-tile play with a 10 point Z (Scrabble) as it does with a 7 point Z (WildWords). And WildWords is all about finding 7-tile plays more often than not.

The major innovations in WildWords are the twelve wild multi-letter tiles, the all new turn-to-wild squares, the board layout (which promotes comebacks), and rules which open up the board, provide a plethora of opportunities, and encourage taking risks when you are behind.

With a bit of masking tape, you can start experiencing this game using your current tiles without harming any of them.

4. The Trays -- You can use your Scrabble™ trays or improvise something. Keeping tiles behind a thick book makes it easy to shuffle them around. And, WildWords takes a lot of shuffling to stimulate your imagination and recognize parts of longer words, common endings, etc.

Scrabble Deluxe?

If you should happen to have the Scrabble™ Deluxe that I have with a removable plastic grid and a playing area of 14.5 inches tall by 13.5 inches wide, the printed WildWords board can be taped to the back of the cardboard Scrabble™ board insert allowing you to use your nice plastic grid with either game.
Below is a picture of this set with the board in place. The tiles were a solid maroon color.

This board appears to be no longer for sale though tens of thousands must own it.

Some Final Notes:

Amazon sells a variety of Scrabble tile sets if you have none or want to buy a new set of tiles.  You can also buy a complete inexpensive Scrabble set to get the trays and potentially a backing board as well.

I personally feel a certain sadness when I read newspaper articles about youngsters studying the Official Scrabble Dictionary to become stars of that game. Pursuing a knowledge of oddball words that serve no other purpose but winning at Scrabble seems like a waste to me. WildWords, on the other hand, encourages and exposes a good working vocabulary. You play WildWords with a scholarly reference dictionary (available online if you don't have one). I put "Ages 10 to Adult" on the shrink-wrapped box to be safe. But I have seen some eight year olds grasp the wild tile concept more readily than their parents.

It is possible to play WildWords as some sort of easy Scrabble by using the wild tiles like single letter blanks in Scrabble
. But that is not playing WildWords. You have to target for a 7-tile play at every turn and that necessitates unleashing the full power of asterisk tiles to fill gaps in words. You will need some blind faith at first until you, yourself, have made 7-tile plays with trays that first appeared mediocre.

What You Can Do To Help:

As far as the general population goes, WildWords is unheard of. If you feel this page is worthy of passing on, please do it. To find this page at a later date, it might be best to bookmark it now. As mentioned above, you could also join the Facebook Group. Just block any posts if that becomes a hassle. I do it with a number of groups and even some friends.

If you are in some sort of group that might be interested, the link to this page is   I would caution you that word lovers are a better audience than hardcore Scrabble players.

Take this link to the instructions