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Fans of word games will definitely love adding a few of these to their collection, but there’s plenty of fun options here for people who don’t care for word games, too.
To spread my love for word games to everyone out there I put together 15 of the best word board games for adults and kids that are on the market right now.
If you thought Scrabble was the only option you’re in luck! These are creative and extremely unique word games — definitely a fun way to spruce up family game night.
Best Word Games
A crowd favorite for families and kids, this is one of those word games that relies on having a simple vocabulary, not a robust one.
On your turn you try to get your team to guess as many words as possible by giving them clues. The catch? You can only use one-syllable words to describe it!
Mess it up and the other team gets to hit you with an inflatable “no” stick – which also lets them steal your points.
Quiddler is an easy to play, great game that has players arranging letter cards from their hand into new words (kind of like you’d do with Scrabble letter tiles). The trick comes with the rounds and the way cards are dealt: round 1 has three cards and that number increases by one each round.
Cards left in your hand lose points and the longest word gets a bonus – highest score over 8 rounds wins.
If you like word games with a gimmick you’re going to love Tapple. Two things I love about this game: first, it’s a fun, face-paced word board game, and second, there are no pieces to get lost or set up so it’s easy to play anywhere.
Choose a category, press the timer, then try to think up a word that fits within the category that starts with each letter of the alphabet.
Like many word games, Werewords has players trying to guess a secret word by asking yes/no questions. Unlike other games, one player is secretly a werewolf who knows the word and is trying to sabotage the other players.
This is a unique twist on typical party games. Normally you want to stand out with your answers, but with Blank Slate you’re trying to match with your partner. Each round a card is flipped over and all players write down what they think is the best conclusion of that phrase.
Without giving any hints, try and answer the same as your partner – but not the other players.
WordUp! adds dice rolling and category cards to the word game genre to create something fresh and fun. At the start of each round someone rolls two dice – this determines the length of the word. Then, using the category card, players compete to write the best word they can think up within 60 seconds.
The catch with WordUp! is you can’t duplicate words – so you might have to get creative with your word choices.
This fun 2 player game from the makers of Exploding Kittens puts a unique spin on a classic game. Each player is given a pile of letters and has to secretly arrange them into a word they don’t think their opponent will guess.
Players can then use their clue cards for hints to try and guess each others’ secret words.
A classic word game for good reasons! If you haven’t played it, the goal of Balderdash is to identify a fake word within a series of real but equally strange options.
Not only is it funny to see what words are and aren’t real, you always end up learning something when you play this game.
As a Scrabble fan I love the twist that Upwords adds to classic tile laying word games. Want to turn “no” into “go”? Simply add a G over top the N!
Not only does stacking tiles expand your word options, you also score more points the higher you go. The whole family will love this fun game!
One of the highly recommended educational games, Snippets will have older kids and adults searching their vocabulary to come up with as many words as they can based on the “snippet”. Rather than giving letters to choose from, a card is flipped over that contains 3 commonly sequenced letters.
This group can appear anywhere in your words, for example: CRA can be “CRAb” and “SoCRAtes”. Anything goes!
Yes, having a large vocabulary will give you an edge, but it’s also about strategy and timing in this fun party game.
You’ll get a subject and a letter, then everyone blurts out answers. The goal of the game is to have said the very last thing before the timer goes off to earn a point.
One of the best unique word board games on this list, Illiterati combines cooperative survival elements and a steampunk theme with a cleverly designed, fun word game.
Players take the role of librarians on a quest to battle the Illiterati and save the world from illiteracy. To do that, players work together to spell words before the time limit each round. It doesn’t always go well forcing players to make strategic decisions to get through each quest and survive until the end.
Codenames is another classic board game for teams. I love that you can get it in so many unique themed editions including family-friendly options.
Players are divided into two teams and take turns as the team leader each round. The main objective is to get your teammates to guess words that will score you points, but not your opponents, by giving them one word clues that can be associated with the words you want them to guess.
One player is the guesser and everyone else at the table gives them a single clue. As far as word association games go, Just One is easy to play and a lot of fun.
What makes it challenging is there can only be one of each clue – duplicates don’t just mean one less clue, but two; they cancel each other out. You have to be unique to win this one!
Saving one of the best word board games for last with Cross Clues! I love that this game isn’t just fun, but has a great theme and art style to it too. The grid is set up at random and each player is given a card that corresponds to one row and one column in the grid.
You’ll have to come up with a single clue that fits with both words to encourage the other players to guess which intersection is yours!
Best Word Board Games: Conclusion
I want to end this by saying that some of the best word board games are the classics: Scrabble, Boggle, Bananagrams, etc – but I wanted to give you some unique options that aren’t what you see everyday.
Playing word games is a great way to build vocabulary skills, spelling skills and language skills in kids and adults…but they’re also fun too!
I’d love to hear from you in the comments: what are your favorite word games? Which would you add to this list? Let me know!