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Syzygy - The Word Game

About.com Rating 3.5 Star Rating
User Rating 5 Star Rating (1 Review)

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Syzygy - The Word Game

Syzygy - The Word Game

The Bottom Line

Anybody who likes Scrabble (or crossword puzzles) will probably enjoy this game and while Scrabble is limited to four players, this game will accommodate 2-3 times that many. Ideally suited for large families. I definitely recommend this game to my readership.

Pros

  • Great game for the whole family
  • Fast-paced
  • Exercises the brain
  • Increases vocabulary
  • Improves spelling

Cons

  • A playing mat would improve the game
  • Scoring needs upgrading
  • Packaging could be improved

Description

  • Scrabble-like crossword game
  • 1-12 players
  • Ages 9 and up

Guide Review - Syzygy - The Word Game

The game is a take-off on Scrabble but players work individually and there is no board. My first impression on opening the game was, "What a lot of tiles!" (304 to be precise.) Placing them all face down to begin play can be daunting. Once that was out of the way and play began, the action was fast and furious. The rules are minimal and it's surprisingly easy to make interconnecting words given that two letter words are allowed. There was no runaway winner and, in the end, only a couple of tiles separated first and last place.

While the game's producer encourages "freedom and creativity in playing the game", I think basic scoring rules could be included such as, points for longest word, least number of two-letter words, most number of uncommon letters. Also, player's configurations became strung out and began to run into each other. Definitely, a very large playing area is necessary even with 2-4 players. There was also a slight annoyance in keeping tiles aligned within the grids. I would suggest that each player is provided with a 15 x 15 grid printed on a mat (much like a place mat). This would not only help maintain the alignment of the tiles but it would also limit each player to a certain area thereby increasing the challenge.

Also the packaging is excessive. The box is big enough for two games (for "shelf presence", no doubt) and I'd suggest putting the tiles in a bag which would be much more user-friendly than the current plastic box. Final word: High play value.

User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 5 out of 5
Syzygy - That AMAZING Word Game!, Member GGinPA

Syzygy is a simpler, faster, and easier game than Scrabble. Each player draws 9 tiles to start and tries to use them all to form a crossword puzzle structure. The first player to use up the starting tiles yells ""Draw!"" and everyone takes another tile to add to their puzzle. Each new tile added must form a word. There are 12 ""wild card"" tiles that can be used as any letter. The crossword structure can be rearranged at anytime. The winner is the first one to use up their remaining tiles once all of the tiles have been drawn. The big advantage over Scrabble is that no one is sitting idle waiting for their turn. Also, there are no points to add up. This is our favorite game! We've played with people from age 5 to age 92. We've played with dyslexics and people for whom English was a third or fourth language. No player is ever outclassed because word size and sophistication is irrelevant. I've lost a tough game to child whose longest word was 5 letters! The play groups have ranged in size from 2 to 10. Inevitably, everyone falls in love with Syzygy. The About reviewer covered many of the virtues and challenges of the game, especially the need for a smooth playing surface and a lot of room. The game is very portable because all you need are the tiles. Wherever we go on trips, we toss our ""Syzygy bag"" into the luggage. We've developed some interesting variants of the rules. To speed up the game when only a couple of people are playing, we draw 2 or 3 tiles on each turn. We play ""theme"" games where players try to form words related to the theme (Sci-Fi, animals, kitchen utensils, etc.). We've also played where all of the tiles are equally distributed to the players at the start so no one is drawing new tiles during the play. First one to use all their tiles wins. We've also tried having all the playes get up during the game and shift one seat and then continue playing with the new layout. Another challenging variant is to play without the wild-card tiles. The beauty of Syzygy is that there are no limits to how you can play the game. One final point. Bananagrams is a smaller version of Syzygy with fewer tiles and not nearly as versatile or fun to play.

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