The Bottom Line
- Great game for the whole family
- Increases vocabulary
- Improves spelling
- Exercises the brain
- Luck factor and timers level the playing field
- More wild card squares would add excitement
- Colored markers would provide a nice visual
- Grid easily smudged or erased if care is not taken
- Crossword solving game
- 2-8 players
- Ages 12 and up
Guide Review - Crossword Challenge - The Board Game
The set up was quick and the rules are simple and straightforward. Roll the die. Move the playing piece. Flip the timer and try to solve a clue. Write the answer in the grid. If correct, award yourself points. If wrong, subtract points. There's a one minute and a thirty second timer so stronger players can be handicapped time-wise. It's also suggested to not penalize young or weaker players for incorrect answers. So the game can be tailored to all skill levels.
As the game progressed, it became apparent that it's not just a matter of solving the longest entries in order to garner the most points. Strategic play is needed to make sure your opponent doesn't complete three or four words when solving certain areas of the puzzle. A lot of points can be racked up in the latter stages of the game.
On the technical side, the crossword puzzles are good but there's room for improvement and the developers have told me that this is a priority as they produce future editions. The crosswords will be themed with lively fill which is more closely aligned to specific age groups and interests. My opponent suggested that increasing the luck factor might increase the fun. More wild card squares and the addition of another die would help. She also recommended that the markers be colored to match the playing pieces. This would be a good way to see who solved what when viewing the grid. I think this is a great idea!