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Trapwords
Bryony Stibbons
Author: Bryony Stibbons

A life-long board game addict, but anime newbie, Bryony is gradually getting hooked!

Trapwords


Players: 4+

Game Length: 30-45mins

Theme

This is a fantasy themed ‘party-game’ that pits teams against each other in a battle that uses logic, reasoning and verbal skills. Players that are successful progress through a dungeon towards a monster that poses one final challenge before they win. But watch out, there are also a few curses in the dungeon that serve to try and throw the explorers off their game by adding additional challenges.

Set Up and Game Play

Set up for this game is really simple, taking less than 5 minutes! The simple steps are as follows:

  • You lay out a five-room dungeon trail with rooms numbered in ascending order.
  • A monster is placed in the final room with their corresponding card face down next to the room.
  • A curse card is placed face down next to the second and fourth room.
  • Players are split into two teams (red and blue) and take a trapwords pad, pencil and book cover.
  • The the word cards are shuffled and stacked on the table.

The gameplay basically consists of rounds that work as follows:

  • Both teams pick a word card and place it in their book cover so that only one of the words shows through the opening.
  • They then have time to list ‘trapwords’ on their pad – these are words that they think their opponent might use to describe the word you are looking at.
  • Once this is done each team passes the book to one player on the other team.
  • That player is then tasked with describing the given word to their teammates before the timer runs through.
  • The team have a limited number of guesses so have to use them wisely, but if the word is guessed in the time the team move on to the next room.
  • However, if the person describing says one of the trap words or they run out of time, then they have failed.

The curse cards and monster at the end of the dungeon add additional elements by temporarily changing rules and there is a great official instructional video here (http://cge.as.twv) to help you learn the details, but essentially it is a really simple game to get to grips with!

The Verdict

We all have those friends who don’t regularly play board games, but can be convinced to partake occasionally. What do those people hate? Rules! In fact does anyone really enjoy having to spend an hour reading or being lectured on game dynamics before you can get started? That’s what makes the simple set-up for this game such a huge selling point, meaning that it will appeal to all players and is perfect for those occasional gamers as well as the pros.

The rule booklet is really well put together, but are rather wordy (12 pages) for such a straightforward game. There is also a summary sheet included which is just 4 pages long and I found this plenty of information to get my group up and running.

Although graphics aren’t a huge part of the game, they are really cute, with beautiful colours and it was actually the box image that drew me to this game in the first place. The imagery used is fantasy themed but by no means do you have to be a fantasy fan to enjoy the game.

You might also be led to think from the games design, and the fact that it is for age 8+, that it might be aimed at young people or families. However, I played it with a group of players in their 30’s and we really loved it – you would be shocked at just how competitive it got! Although it is perfectly suitable for youngsters and well put together to appeal to them, we found that it worked great at our level because we were able to be really tactical, trying to figure out specific avenues our opponent might try to go down to try and describe their word in order to try and catch them out. The description phase was equally as interesting as we then had to try and anticipate what words our opponent’s might have listed and take an alternate route!

The curse and monster cards also add an extra level of difficulty to the game which is great, and if you wanted to ramp things up you could add a curse card to every room. The set also offers the option to play with regular or fantasy words which is a nice touch. It would be great to see the word categories expanded on and maybe some more challenging ones added with expansion sets. Alternatively some blank cards allowing you to make your own words would have been great too.

You can pick up Trapwords for a mere £16.99, which is a brilliant price for a great game that will offer many hours of entertainment. I highly recommend it for families and groups of friends who love word play games suitable for parties or game nights.

8
Great word-play fun on offer here for groups of all ages and abilities.
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