ToysBulletin.com reviews a clever spelling game from Fat Brain Toy Co.
Generally, we find that word/spelling games are geared to older kids, but the Fat Brain Toy Co. has released a great little game called “WOO!” that will have wide appeal to kids as young as six years old.
“WOO” arrives in a handy metal tin containing 65 wooden letter tiles, each measuring 1″ square. The game is designed for 2-4 players and a typical game lasts only 20 minutes or so. The object of the game is to spell any number from one through ten, using the letter tiles provided, and earn points that equal the number spelled. Therefore, if a player spells the number five, that player would earn 5 points. The letter tiles are also very unique in that many of the tiles contain more than one letter. For example, in order to spell the number 3, a player needs just four tiles, one T, one HR tile, and two E tiles (THREE).
To get things started, all 65 letter tiles are placed face down in the center of the table. Each player randomly chooses four of the tiles, which will form their starting hand. Players then alternate turns by first drawing one new tile for a total of five tiles. Next, a player tries to spell any of the numbers from one through ten, using as many tiles from their hand as needed. If the player can spell a number, he places those tiles face up in front of him earning the number of points that he spelled. Any tiles used are immediately replaced by new face down tiles. If a player cannot spell a number, he keeps the tiles in his hand. Each player ends his turn by discarding any one of his tiles face up in the center of the table, bringing his total back to four tiles. The next player then has the option to choose a face down or face up tile to bring his hand up to five tiles and continue play.
The first player to accumulate 21 points or has the most points when all of the new tiles are exhausted, is declared the winner. But wait, that is far too easy, “WOO!” contains a great twist that can change the game and the scoring very quickly. The rules state that if a player has spelled the word ten, he earns 10 points, which is nearly 50% of the points needed to win the game (10 out of 21). However, if an opponent has a WO and an O tile in his hand, that player can WOO the player with the 10 points by picking up his three tiles (T E N), and then using the WO and O tiles, to spell out the numbers ONE and TWO. The result is that one player loses his 10 points and the player who used the WO and O tiles picks up 3 points (ONE + TWO). Since a player can WOO another player anytime during the game, even when it is not his turn, the point totals can change dramatically at any time.
“WOO!” is simply a fun and educational game that kids will really enjoy. “WOO!” retails for $15.95 and can be purchased directly from the Fat Brain Toy Co. website.