Someone mentioned the game of WYPS on my geeklist the other day, and being the word game geek I am I checked it out. It's very cool! No doubt some of you are familiar with the Game of Y, an abstract strategy game that looks like this:
The object of the game is to form a single chain of your colour that connects 3 sides of the board. This is very much like Hex. It has all sorts of nice properties like someone must win, and only one person can, and the rules are dead simple.
WYPS is similar, except that rather than just taking turns to place pieces on the board, players add words.
The letters in the top left corner are the NEW letters you may use in your word. They go on empty spaces. The letters in the top right are the letters that will be used to replace the ones you use for your opponent's turn. The letters on the board are in two colours - yours and mine. My new word MUST involve at least one new tile, and whenever I add a tile I add it in my colour. My word may involve as many old tiles as I like. And when I've made my word, I can change of the letters in my word from your colour to my colour.
And the first player to connect all three sides with a chain of their own letters wins the game.
Easy, huh? Well there's quite a bit of strategy of the abstract placement / blocking / forking type, and also the word-finding buzz that makes Scrabble and other serious word games so good. WYPS is not available in physical form yet, but the designer Richard Malaschitz is working on that. For the time being you can play WYPS on-line at littlegolem.net. I think I've played 20 games so far.