"Revenge!" That's what
Peter Roizen, inventor of the WildWords Crossword
Game, says motivates many to buy his game.
"People are tired of being beaten at
Scrabble(r) by poorer spellers, players with
weaker vocabularies, and players with less
strategic sense and imagination. They're sick of
words like 'ENG' or 'AI' or 'OGAM' from the
Official Scrabble Dictionary. They want to play
In WildWords, a dozen wild asterisk tiles and any
tile played on one of 20 Turn-To-Wild squares may
be used to represent any series of one or more
letters. Thus a play of "JUX[*]ION"
could be the word "JUXTAPOSITION" with
the asterisk representing the string of missing
letters in the middle of the word. Once played,
an asterisk on the board may be given new
letter-string meanings in a subsequent play.
"The advantage is shifted to the most
creative player with a good working
vocabulary," according to Roizen who adds
that "memorizing lists is largely
In addition, players do not divulge the word or
words they have in mind unless an opponent risks
a challenge. Roizen admits he enjoys the
occasional bluff, and relies on the technique
when he falls behind in a game. He claims an
unbeaten record against serious Scrabble players
trying the game for the first time.
"For them, it's downright 'discombobulating'
which is a word I played once" he adds. He
advises revenge seekers to practice the game a
few times before introducing it to their
In over 500 games, Roizen claims to have seen no
more than a handful of words played more than
once. The game's rules also permit a player to
trade all their letters at the start of each turn
without losing their turn.
"Heck," says Roizen, "let's give
people a chance to have some fun and play some
cool words. Many of my plays are words I know but
have probably never spoken or written."
At a recent street fair where Roizen sometimes
sells games, one woman who was tired of being
shellacked by her mother, an Official Scrabble
Dictionary aficionado, bought a copy of WildWords
to bring to Thanksgiving dinner. Roizen says he
cautioned her that "the game could drive
your mom crazy."
"That's exactly what I am hoping," was