"Sproutword could be described as a mix of scrabble and chess. It's a game that just about anyone can join in with, without having to learn complicated rules or spend any time on set up, and it's also entirely plastic-free and more beautiful than you'd expect any tile game to be" - review by The Brick Castle, November 2019.
The aim is to have more of your colour letters in the longest word than any other player. This winning word is called the Sproutword.
As the game progresses, different words will become the Sproutword as players jostle for strategic control, and neutralise longer words by changing them, or by playing new words across them and swapping the colour of letters in the process.
There is a tonne of strategy involved, because although you can use any players' tiles to form a word and thereby often make a longer word than you could just with your own tiles, this will give them a foothold in your word. As you progress further you will find more and more strategies.
Anyone can play the game - from teenagers upwards - and, whilst a wide vocabulary helps, the strategic element is a great leveller. 2 player games take 30-60 minutes, 3 player games take 60-90 minutes, and 4 player games take 2 hours. This is because each bag has 50 tiles and so with a 4 player game there are twice as many tiles as a 2 player one.
All the wood is sustainable - with a certified FSC core and oak veneer from managed forest plantations in Europe.
The basic rules are simple:
- Each player takes a number of letters from their bag and places them face-up for all players to see (for example, it is 8 tiles each for a two player game).
- The first player plays a word using any player's letters.
- On following turns, players put down a new word linked to an existing one, or change a word. Again, players may use any of the letters from any player.
- Changed words must be at least as long as the existing one, and changes must not displace another word.
Successfully launched on Kickstarter in 2019, it is now available here