A Nice Story

Inventing and publishing your own board game has to be a labor of love. The greatest rewards are the exchanges with customers and this is one of my favorites. Name changed to protect the innocent.

Dear Peter,

I subscribe to AWAD and very, very rarely do I scroll down below the definition to read the links, but yesterday I did just that and found the link to WildWords. And I cannot believe how precisely the comments about Scrabble being ruined by people memorizing stupid "words" like qat echoed my feelings and those of my family members. We have very dear friends who have become way too good at pulling those rare letter combinations out of their brains whenever we play together. (We had to put our collective feet down and refuse to allow the Scrabble dictionary to be the authority when we play Boggle because that was becoming joyless too. also we kept losing.) Anyway, we spend Thanksgiving with them and I want to bring them their own WildWords so that we can check it out together. (I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it will arrive by Wed. the 21st.)

Good luck to you. I hope the venture makes you wealthy (or at least moderately pleased with life).


Dear Ann,

This was such a heartfelt note that I just cannot resist asking you how it went. I know that opening the WildWords box does not make one an expert at it. There is a learning curve. If you would care to tell me, I would love to hear it.

Regards, Peter

Dear Peter,

Well, between Taboo and Boggle and eating some turkey, too, we only managed to squeeze in one game, but it was very, very promising. I could almost feel the gears in my brain creaking as they were forced to turn in a new direction...it's a shift in how you think of the range of words that might be do-able. So open-ended, and free-wheeling, and so many possibilities present both on the board and in each person's rack. I felt that it would certainly take a few more games to get so comfortable with it that I wouldn't have to stop and think (like translating the French question into English and then the English answer back into French before answering.) For example, we didn't really make the best use of the opportunities for big scores based on the variety of special spaces on the board. And we never once returned a tile to the bag to exchange for new ones--couldn't quite grok that it wouldn't cost a turn. We weren't really up to non-Scrabble strategy. But I don't think that's unreasonable. It's been a lot of decades of Scrabble digging ruts into our brains. My friend was ahead of me through most of the game; she made lots of little words (like qi) and also used all seven tiles twice and I did it once (which is certainly more often than in a typical Scrabble game--but not nearly as often as I suspect we would have done if we were more familiar with the game). At any rate, in the last two rounds, I suddenly caught fire and was able to go out with my second seven-letter word, which, added to the multiplied value of her unused tiles netted me 140 points and the win. So you can sign me up for the revolution for sure. I really am looking forward to playing it with my husband and son--both word-lovers. I feel like I can taste the possibilities of it, even if I'm not fully there yet. I really appreciate everything about this experience. I like the game, I like the quality of it (the weight of the racks, the nice tile bag, the extra tiles), I like that it specifically addresses the killjoy, cramped style of serious Scrabble play, and I certainly like the personal contact.

Nice job all around!


Here's another holiday story.

This fellow paid about $160 for his game with overnight shipping to Canada. The ellipses are his own.

Greetings From Canada


You may remember me from last year... I was the typical last minute

customer who begged the impossible... "Please send me your game in

time for Christmas... just days before hand..." AND THANK YOU.... it

did arrive in time. I laughed when you congratulated me on owning the

most expensive Wild Words game in North America because of the

shipping. ha. It probably is. But I'll tell ya.. it's worth every


I ordered Wild Words for my parents... who up till then would start

each day playing each other in a game of scrabble. Every day.

They're nuts for that game. So... I thought for sure they'd like your

game. My folks are in their late 60's... pretty set in their ways...

I honestly wasn't sure how they'd react to it... Well... Peter... they

love it. They don't play scrabble anymore - just the Wild Words. It

took them a few months to cotton onto it... to get into the rules...

then they were liberated. My sister is equally nuts for it. And

that's whom I'd like to purchase another one of your units for this


I'm so glad you emailed me... other wise I might've left it to the

last minute again. I'll contact you soon to place an order with my

visa. But I wanted to email you to let you know just how much my

family and I enjoy your game. I wish I had contacts for you at

Walmart or Toys=R=Us, so I could help you mass distribute it.... it

really is great.

Cheers! Or should I say C*RS!

Bye for now,


   Copyright 2003 Peter Roizen