ic: website ic:blog
  ic: website Home · Archives · Photo Gallery · ic: forum RSS logo - thanks to www.nineteenlabs.comWeb feed (RSS)  
The life and times of james Hart: his family, his music, life in Luton and his occasional escapes onto the internet.

« audioBoo: "The Story Of Plastic Thing boo" | Main | AudioBoo: Don't put a three-year-old chid on a garage roof »

Saturday, 17 July 2010

syzygy : that word game!

Syzygy - that word game!It's long been my intention to write a blog post about a game to which I was introduced through the wonders of the internet.

As you're no doubt aware, my Twitter username is 'syzygy' (which basically means alignment of celestial objects) - a name chosen because of its quirkiness, lack of vowels and the use of the letter 'z', and although I am certainly not the only syzygy on the internet, if you type it into Google, my twitter account is fifth entry down (cool!)

I was contacted out of the blue by Lorraine Spiering from www.thatwordgame.com who introduced me to a game called 'syzygy', and asked if I would be interested in trying it.

Word-based games are as popular as they have ever been - especially with the huge take-up of Scrabble on Facebook, and the emergence of similar games like Words With Friends on the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, and the children are now of an age where their vocabularies are developed enough to be able to enjoy participating - certainly when they're in a competitive mood - so I accepted enthusiastically!

Syzygy is a game very much like this, but with a slightly different take - it's not creating words on a single board, it's about getting rid of letters by making a mini crossword puzzles based on the letters that are in-hand (obviously containing real dictionary words!). Rather than ponderously scoring points, it is a much higher-tempo game, since as soon as a player completes their valid 'crossword puzzle', they shout "draw" and everyone pulls another random letter from the bag, box or pile to create a new crossword puzzle or as an adjunct to an existing one.

As a result, this requires quick thinking and dexterity as much as a strong vocabulary and knowledge of all those sneaky two-letter words on which experienced Scrabble players rely, and I think, if anything, that is the game's only drawback.

I played with Eleanor (who is only seven, bless 'er) a couple of times, and ended up helping her, since I would be able to shuffle my letters around without too much trouble, but she struggled both to keep everything neat and to formulate new arrangements as quickly. To get the best out of this game, I think it requires everyone to be of a fairly similar level, since it could quite easily become rather one-sided and frustrating if one person constantly dominated the play.

Maybe I could bring the game with me for the next 'family get-together' - my brothers and sisters are all of a similar age and ability to me, and we used to enjoy the occasional game of Scrabble that didn't result in rioting - that, I think, will be the true test of this game's success: can it be played without one of us getting injured?

I'll keep you posted... until then, please let me know if you'd like to borrow the game to have a go - it'd be great to get your opinion of it! If you're in the US, you can buy it in stores in various states....

syzygy - that word game on twitter : twitter.com/thatwordgame
syzygy - that word game on Facebook : www.facebook.com/pages/SYZYGY-That-Word-Game/80313361877

Posted by james at July 17, 2010 9:08 AM

This site is owned and operated by Image Communications, including all content and stuff.
It's powered by Movable Type 5.2