What’s The Word
I have always been a big fan of word games. I loved, but always lost at Scrabble, was a champion at Bananagrams, had great laughs with Apples to Apples, and most recently I played and loved Paperback. Word games have always been a big part of my life and a really enjoyable one, even if I didn’t win. When you think of word games, a lot of times you just think of the ones I’ve listed above. I feel like they don’t come out as often, possibly because it is a smaller niche in the board gaming world. So, when I see one on Kickstarter, I am sold.
This game looks awesome and the fact that Tim Fowers, designer of Paperback, consulted on it, means it also has the potential to actually be awesome.
Plans To Rule The World
Dr. Itsmine: I have spent years waiting for this… I will finally have word domination! Muahahahahaha!!!!
Minion: Uh, sir…
Dr. Itsmine: Not now Minion. Let me revel in my brilliance!
Minion: But sir…
Dr. Itsmine: I SAID NOT NOW MINION!
Minion: Lagosa Vile just stole Big Ben, sir.
Dr. Itsmine: Wait…What? Why didn’t you tell me?
Minion: Ugh… I tried to, sir.
Dr. Itsmine: NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! My Plans… They are ruined!
In Word Domination, players are evil villains vying for world domination through the use of clever word building and letter stealing. Letters represent precious works of art or even architectural structures. There are also letters that act as evil weapons; they have no infamy value, but they do have special abilities that you can use throughout the game. On their turn players will perform three actions: Place a letter tile, spell a word, and draw a new tile. As they spell a word, each letter they use on the grid will get a cube of their colour on it. On their next turn, if they spell a word using a letter with their coloured cube on it, they will get to steal that letter. The letters stolen will be used for scoring at the end of the game. Other players can also displace your cubes, so that you may not steal that letter.
However, there is opportunity to work together with your fellow villains to get a little slice of the pie. If you see a word to make and it is an opponents turn, you may try to negotiate with them. You can’t tell them the word you see, but you can tell them the following things: How many letters the word has, how many letters they can potentially steal, and what letter you would like as payment for helping. From there, it is their decision to make. If they accept your offer, you will reveal the word, then they will place their cubes down on all of the letters for the word, except on the letter you have chosen for payment. You will then place your cube on that letter instead. Then you both will steal the available letters and play will continue as normal. If they decline your offer, you may try to renegotiate using a different word or payment letter.
Be careful not to take to long on your turn. If you have declined all offers of help, you will have 60 seconds to make a word or you risk skipping your turn. The game is played over 6 rounds and the player with the most infamy points at the end of the game will be declared the winner. Each stolen letter is worth 1 Infamy point on its own. If a letter is part of a stolen group of three or more adjacent letters, each will be worth 2 points. Letters that are not stolen, can act as bridges between stolen letter groups. So, if you have a single letter that you have stolen separated from a group of letters you have stolen, you may still be able to get the grouped letter points, if you have a non-stolen letter available to bridge the two groups.
If you’d like a better look at the rule book, you can check that out here. Or if you want a video explanation of the game, you can check out the video below.
What’s In The Box
A copy of Word Domination will include:
- 7 Player cards
- 105 Letter tiles
- All with unique art
- Including 8 arsenal tiles
- 120 Cubes
- In 4 colours
- 1 Turn counter die
- Shelf friendly box
- 4″ x 5.5″ x 3.5″
- 1 Rule book
There are four main pledge levels for this campaign. The first pledge level is a customized support level. For $3 you can show your support for the game and snag yourself a sweet pin that says, “Genius by birth, Evil by choice.” I love when support tiers give you a little something. I think this pin is a really cool way to say “thank you” to your backers.
The next pledge level is for the game. For $30 you can grab your self a copy of the game and any stretch goals it reaches. You can an additional $30 for each extra copy of the game that you want, with a max of 4 extra copies. The next level is meant for you retailers out there. For $170 you will get eight copies of the game.
The final pledge level has a unique reward. For $250, the illustrator for the game will create a villain character card in your likeness. Plus you will get your copy of the game and all stretch goals.
Although it is not one of the main pledge levels, as you will get no reward from it, there is still the option of doing the open pledge amount option that Kickstarter now offers. You won’t get a reward for it, but it’s still a great way to support the game.
There are a few (three to be precise) different add-ons available for you to choose from. The price of all of the add-ons are dependent on your location and already have shipping built-in.
The first add-on is for a custom playmat for the game. If you are in the U.S. you will add $20. For the EU and Canada add $32 and for the rest of the world, add $38.
The second add-on is for a copy of the game Paperback. For the U.S. add $25. For the EU and Canada add $32 and for the rest of world, add $38.
The last add-on is the “Genius by birth, Evil by choice” pin. For the U.S. add $3. For the EU, Canada, and the rest of the world add $12.
There are currently 7 available stretch goals in addition to the main funding goal. As usual, I will list them below, and any that have been reached will get a cute, little, purple diamond next to them. Also, they blurred out the number value of what was reached, so I’m ball-parking some of the goal numbers.
- ♦$10,000: Funding goal
- ♦$15,000: Tile upgrades
- Linen finish
- ♦$20,000: New villain card
- The Assassin
- ♦$25,000: New arsenal tile
- Fusion Reactor
- ♦$30,000: Token upgrade
- Larger cube size
- ♦$40,000: Game upgrade
- Character abilities
- $50,000: Tiles upgrade
- Custom Shape
- $60,000: New villain card
- The Witch Doctor
Uproarious Games was created in 2016 and is based in Salt Lake City, Utah. They currently have several other games in the pipeline, including: Eye of Newt, Take the Stars and Next Candidate. One of those you will see later this year. Jeff Beck, the creator of Uproarious Games, is the award-winning designer of Word Domination and he is also the host of the Your Table is on Fire podcast. His goal with Uproarious Games is to make games that create memories you can look back and snicker fondly at for years to come.
I have been wanting to play a new word game for a while now. This one is just what I have been looking for. I love the way that Word Domination is working towards bridging strategy and word-building together. I feel like there will be a lot of choice available to players, so someone who isn’t as good with the vocab side of things, can still do well in the game if they are able to get those adjacent stolen letters. This will fit a lot of different play styles and tastes, making it accessible to a pretty wide audience.
Overall, I’m really excited about this game and I can’t wait to play! As I am writing this the game is 471% funded and there are 22 days left in the campaign.
Was this helpful to you? What other information would you like to have seen? Have suggestions for future Spotlights? Would you like me to do a review/preview? Please leave a comment below, or head over to my contact page to send me an email, tweet, or Facebook message. Thanks for reading!