If you’re a fan of word board games—games that require you to think of words that fit specified categories, or games that require you to form words from random letters—you’ll love the ten board games listed below.
Some are classics, and some are newer games you may not have heard of before, but all are creative and fun. If you grew up reading the dictionary and enjoy flexing your vocabulary skills to dominate your friends and family, these games are perfect for you.
Boggle is a word search game where you shake up all of the dice in a box to randomize the letters shown, and then all players frantically search for three minutes to find words composed of connected letters in the box. Players earn points at the end of the round for each unique word discovered—no points are awarded for words also found by other players.
Boggle can be played by two or more players and is recommended for ages 8 and up.
Bananagrams is a word creation game where players work individually in an attempt to use all drawn letters to create crossword-puzzle style interlocking words (similar to Scrabble). When one player manages to use all of their letters to form interlocked words, he yells “Peel,” and all players must pull another letter from the pool of unused letters and start over. This continues until all letters have been removed from the pool, and the player who makes the last set of interlocking words using all of his/her letters yells “Bananas” and wins the game.
Bananagrams is designed to be played by 2-8 players and is recommended for ages 7 and up.
Scrabble is the classic word board game where players compete against each other to create, combine, and string together words made of random tiles in order to rack up the most points by the end of the game. Scrabble is a great game because it allows you to be creative and strategic at the same time—the best word of the game could be the lowest scorer if you don’t place it in high-scoring squares.
Scrabble is designed to be played by 2-4 players and is recommended for ages 8 and up.
Scattergories is a creative game where players must come up with words that fit into defined categories and begin with the letter rolled at the beginning of the round on the game’s 20-sided die. To score points, the word in each category must be unique—if someone else used the same word for that category, you don’t get points—and all players must agree that your answer fits the category.
Scattergories is a creative and social game that is designed to be played by 2-4 teams—though it can be played with as few as two players or as many people as you want—and is recommended for ages 13 and up.
Word-a-Round challenges players to be the first to decipher words written around a colored circle the size of a coaster. While the game sounds simple, it’s actually shockingly difficult to decipher the words, and often times players will sit and laugh because no one can figure out what it says. The first player to decipher the word correctly receives the card, and the first player to get ten cards wins the game.
Word-a-Round is designed to be played by two or more players and is recommended for ages 10+.
6. Word on the Street
Like Scattergories, Word on the Street is a category word game. You have to come up with words that fit categories given on game cards using one of 17 consonants placed in the middle of the game board. If you come up with a word that fits the category on your playing card, you get to keep whichever of the 17 consonant letters used in your word. The first player or team to get 8 letter tiles wins the game.
Word on the Street is designed to be played by between 2 and 10 players and is recommended for ages 12 and up.
Upwords is similar to Scrabble in that it is a game where you build connected words out of random letter tiles, but the big difference between the two games is that Upwords allows you to build words laterally in addition to horizontally. The higher you’re able to stack letters to make more words, the more points you’ll earn.
Upwords is designed to be played by 2-4 players and is recommended for ages 10 and up.
Wordical requires players to think fast and creatively by combining consonants held on cards with the vowels rolled on two vowel dice to form the highest scoring word faster than other players. Wordical is fun for adults because it requires you to exercise your brain and be creative, and it’s good for younger children because it helps build their vocabularies.
Wordical is designed to be played by between 2 and 8 players and is recommended for ages 8 and up.
As you might guess from the name of the game, Wordsearch is a multiplayer game that combines family fun with the mechanics of the popular paper seek-and-find word puzzle. On each turn, all players desperately search for words to claim as their own, and the player with the most words claimed at the end of the round wins.
Wordsearch is designed to be played by 2-4 players and recommended for ages 7 and up.
10. One Up!
One Up is similar to Bananagrams, Scrabble, and Upwords in that it is a game where you try to form words out of random letters, but One Up is much more interactive and faster paced than the other games. The game is played with letter tiles that are all upside down at the beginning of the game. One by one, the tiles are flipped over, and all players scan the revealed letters looking for words of three letters or more to claim for their own. Players can also “one up” other players by stealing their words to make new words of their own using newly flipped letter tiles.
One Up is designed to be played by two or more players and is recommended for ages 12 and up.