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Phrase Maze

labyrinth
No. of Players: 2
Type of Game: written
What you need: pen and paper

Goal

To find a phrase your opponent has hidden in a grid.

How to play

Before this game begins, both players draw a five-by-five grid. They label the rows A through E and the columns 1 through 5. In this way each square in the grid can be identified by a letter-number combination. For instance, the top right-hand corner square is A5 and the center square is C3. Each player then writes a phrase in the grid in such a way that someone can trace out its letters, in successive fashion, by moving left, right, up, or down through the grid one square at a time. On the same sheet of paper, each player also draws another five-by-five grid whose rows and columns are similarly labeled with letters and numbers. But players do not write any letters in this second grid until the game begins.

To begin the game, one player calls out a letter-number and the second player reports what letter he has in that square, if any. The first player then writes down that letter in his blank grid, or marks it as empty. The second player calls out a letter-number and similarly marks down this information. This process continues until enough letters accumulate so that players want to guess at their opponent's hidden phrase instead of calling out a letter-number. If they guess correctly, they win the round and score points for every blank square left in their opponent's grid. But if the guess is incorrect, the game continues until someone does win with a correct guess. The ultimate winner is the player who accumulates the most points after a set number of rounds has been played. For added difficulty, players can allow phrases to use letters in the grid more than once so as to cross itself.

Other versions of this game include:

Grid Search a game which hides a single word instead of a phrase; and
Word Battleship a game which hides multiple words in a larger grid

Example

Austin chooses the phrase 'Bless your heart' which he places into his grid like this:

alpha-numerically labeled 5 by 5 grid containing the phrase 'Bless your heart'

The first letter of the phrase is in square D1, the second letter is in D2, the third letter is in E2, and so on. Without knowing the letter length of the phrase, or the number of words in it, his opponent Bianca will need to uncover the majority of these letters before she can make a successful guess.

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