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Catchword

No. of Players: 2+
Type of Game: spoken
What you need: nothing

Goal

To think of words containing three given letters.

How to play

The gamemaster gives the players a three letter sequence and tells them they have one minute (or some other time limit) to think of as many words as they can using these letters. But these words must follow certain rules. For instance, the letters must appear in the words in the order they are given in the sequence. For added difficulty, each word must also start with the first letter in the sequence, or the third letter must be the last letter of each word. Players are given points for each word formed or for the total number of letters in their list, and bonus points for the longest word.

The gamemaster can also allow the players to select their particular three letter sequence from a matrix of nine letters. He prepares the matrix with a single vowel in the center, and instructs them to select a sequence of three letters horizontally, vertically or diagonally, making sure to include the vowel, like so:

3 by 3 grid with 9 letters

Instead of having a gamemaster, each player can contribute letters to create the letter sequences, or else think of another way to randomly generate them, like opening up a book repeatedly and taking the first letter from each page. This game also makes a great road trip game, where random letter sequences are found on the license plates of passing cars.

Example

Angel gives Benjamin and Caleb the three letter sequence S–M–T and tells them they must form words that all start with S, keep the order of the remaining letters, and that they only have 30 seconds.

Benjamin's list:

SIMULCAST
STIMULATE
SEGMENT
SUBMIT
SUBMITTING

Caleb's list:

SMART
STATEMENT
SOMETIME
SOMETHING
SUMMERTIME

Benjamin only scores 4 points for 4 words because gamemaster Angel rules words that derive from the same root are not allowed. So she eliminates SUBMIT and keeps SUBMITTING for possible bonus points for the longest word. But Caleb's 10-letter word SUMMERTIME cancels out any bonus points for this round. His 5 words earn him 5 points, making him the winner and the gamemaster for the next round.

More Word Games

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