The dice game Boggle has often been described by devotees as the original 3-minute word search game. Popular for decades with young and old alike the game continues to be popular and has actually seen many new versions over the years allowing it to adapt to modern-day ways of playing games. So Boggle can now be played online, or even downloaded onto your tablet or laptop, which is a real shout-out to the fact that an enjoyable, basic game can continue to acquire brand-new fans. Boggle was invented by American Allan Turnoff and it was originally published in 1972 as part of a three game pack by Parker Brothers.
The game consists of a tray with 16 dice in it, all the dice have different letters printed on each of their sides. To begin the game, the tray is shaken and the dice will fall into each of the areas showing just the top of each. The letters shown on this side will then be used to make as many words possible within a 3-minute time slot. The game also typically comes complete with a timer.
All players play Boggle at the same time and the aim is to discover as many words as possible by using adjacent letters. You can make words that run vertically, diagonally and horizontally. All the words in the game must be over 3 letters long and you are allowed to make plurals which will make more points if you are able to. Boards with an ‘s’ are very useful!
The rule of Boggle that makes it harder, and therefore more challenging to play, is that you’re not allowed to use the exact same letter more than once per word. This means you are forced to find runs of letters on the board to score more points. Each player is responsible for their own scores you need to write down each word as you find it. Fast writing is a must! The timer runs out after three minutes at which point it’s time to look at everyone’s words and start counting up the scores.
Scoring in Boggle
At the end of each round, it’s time to take a look at everybody’s list of words. Players should read aloud the words they’ve created. If anyone duplicates a word another player has composed, this word is removed from the scoring for that round. The skill of playing Boggle lies in trying to find words that other players won’t think of.
When the words are read out, if you don’t believe a particular word is a valid one, you can challenge it and the word can be checked in a dictionary. If it is found then the word stands, if not then it is removed from the scoring of that round. The scores in Boggle are based on the length of the word, so the longer words are going to show more difficulty and more points are awarded as a result.
The points are allocated as follows:
3 or 4 letter words-score 1
5 letter words-score 2
6 letter words-score 3
7 letter words-score 5
8+ letter words-score 11
The only slight variation to that is that the dice that has QU on one side counts as 2 letters. This is despite the fact that it’s on just the one side of a dice.
How to play Boggle
There are two main techniques to playing Boggle, the focused method and the global method. Playing with the focused method, means you look closely at one little area of the board at a time and search for every word you can find in that area, including plurals (if there are any s’s in that section of course). This means you shouldn’t miss out on lots of words. The drawback to playing this method is that the words you find tend to be short words, so although you may find several, you could miss out on larger, high scoring words..
With the global method, you scan the entire board at the one time so you can hopefully spot any obvious words that are readily available. By continually scanning the board you should spot some good length words, although the downside is you might spend so much time looking for loing words that you miss out lots of shorter words where the scores can add up. Generally you will get best results with a mix of both approaches.