Quick Look: Speedy Words
Designer: Treo Game Designers
Artist: Albertine Blass
Publisher: Advance Games by FoxMind Group
Year Published: 2014
No. of Players: 2-8 (great for a group!)
Playing Time: 10 min.
From the publisher:
Be the quickest to find a word that starts with a letter that matches a category to win a card. Have the most cards at the end to be the winner.
To play, place the deck of cards category side up in the center. Each player, in their turn, flips the top card and places it next to the deck, letters side up. A new category card is now exposed in a specific color. On the flipped card, 3 letters appear in different colors. The first player to call out loud a word that starts with the letter that matches the color of the category wins the card. A new card is immediately flipped and another round starts.
Find more info on BoardGameGeek.com
I received a copy of Speedy Words for the purposes of this review. The opinions shared here are mine and those of the friends who played the game with me!
Speedy Words is a colorful, quick-thinking word-association game in a handy little tin. The premise of the game is simple: use the given letter to think of a word that matches the category. Be the first to shout it out, and you take the letter card. Play your way through the deck of 60 cards and the person who has gathered the most cards wins!
Light, interesting, and a smidgen addictive, keep reading to see why Speedy Words has earned a spot in our gameschooling collection.
Components and Setup:
Easy to explain and quick to setup, Speedy Words is a deck of 60 double-sided, round cards that comes in a bright round tin. Each card has a category on one side and three letters on the other.
Younger players may want to take a moment to review the category options so they're prepared with a few ideas:
animal, city, country, famous person, profession, plant/tree, tv series/film, food, name of boy/girl, and object.
I appreciate that the category side of each card has both a symbol and the words (printed in two directions to help players on both sides of the table). This makes it easy for beginning readers to chime in more quickly with a matching word.
The background colors (red, blue, and green) are also important to gameplay, but they also have subtle patterns that will help colorblind players (blue is striped, red is checked, and green has polka dots).
Simply shuffle the deck and set it in the middle of the table, category-side up, and you're ready to begin.
Gameplay and Mechanics:
Speedy Words is light and easy to teach. Start the game by flipping over the top card to reveal its letter side next to the deck of categories. Quickly find which of the three letters matches the color of the revealed category and race to be the first to call out a word starting with that letter that fits the category. A city that starts with M? Memphis! Montreal! Miami!
The first person to call out a matching word wins the letter card and can flip over the next card. When you get to the end of the deck, each player counts their pile of cards and the person who took the most cards wins!
If you're playing with younger players, you can take a little pause before flipping the next card to help them refocus and prepare for the next challenge. We also enjoyed giving each person a chance to call out an answer if they had thought of one because sometimes we were proud of what we'd come up with!
If you're playing with older players, you can come up with some other house rules, maybe that the winning word has to be a word you haven't used earlier in the game.
Speedy Words is bright and engaging. It is quick to teach and plays in ten minutes or less with a very small table presence, which means you can take it on the go, to a waiting room, or a restaurant. The tin it comes in makes it very portable, too.
We had fun with Speedy Words with friends of a variety of ages--it can be a good lighthearted filler for bigger game days, addictive for teens who like to make up their own restrictions (every word has to relate to a Marvel movie in some way), and engaging for younger kids working on word recall and vocabulary whether in their native language or in a language they're learning.
Speedy Words is not a strategy game: it works well for kids, parties, and little moments of time between other activities or heavier games. If that doesn't sound like something you'd like, I'm sure you can browse the other reviews here at Everything Board Games and find something that's more your speed.
The only thing that we would have changed about Speedy Words is that we felt it was unnecessary to say "name of boy/girl" for that category and could have been more inclusive if it just said "name" or "first name." It's a very small quibble in a lovely game, though.
Players Who Like:
Friends who enjoy real-time, quick-thinking games like Loonacy or Ligretto Dice may enjoy the pace of Speedy Words. Players who like word games from Scattergories to Boggle may enjoy it, too. Players of Anomia will find Speedy Words similar but a bit simpler and better geared towards younger players.
I enjoyed the bright graphics and the charming gameplay of Speedy Words. The fact that it's highly portable, quick to teach, and interesting makes it a game that will be pulled out often in our circles, and the fact that it helps support thinking skills and vocabulary in a delightful little package makes it a great choice for gameschooling families.
About the Author:
My name is Alexa: I'm a life-long game player and homeschooling mom to two awesome kids. I've loved board games since my early days playing Scrabble and Gin Rummy with my grandmother, and life only got more interesting when I married a Battletech enthusiast and fellow game lover. We've played games with our kids since they were small, and I helped start a thriving homeschool co-op where we have weekly sessions of board games with kids. In a family with kids raised on Catan and Pandemic, life is sure to be fun! You may run into me on Twitter, BoardGameGeek, and other social media as MamaGames. Be sure to say hi!
See Alexa's reviews HERE.