Crossed Words – Journal Entry #15

Crossed Words

Today we are going to talk about a party game that became popular quite fast within my group. Crossed Words is a word writing game that made us laugh a lot during our latest game nights. You compete against your friends to see who can find the most answers for various combinations of word categories!

How to play Crossed Words

The game comes with 6 markers of different colors, 9 discs for each color, a 3×3 grid that can also be used as an insert for the discs and four decks of cards that represent various categories: Starts with…, Miscellaneous, Things and Proper Nouns.

To start playing, each player chooses a color and takes the corresponding marker and set of discs and places them in front of him. After that, you place the 3×3 grid near the center of the playing area and then a “Start with…” card is placed face up near the grid, on the first row. This card will show you the colors that go on the other rows and columns. For each dot on the sides of the starting card, draw a card of that color and place it face-up on its corresponding row or column. The game can now begin!

Crossed Words is a real time game. That means everyone is trying to write answers on their discs at the same time. Players have to write down answers that fit for each intersection in the grid. For example, if the cards say “Movie title” and “Larger than your house”, you can write down ” Godzilla” as an answer. You can place more than one disc in each grid intersection, if you know more than one answer.

Crossed  Words components
The components

As soon as a player places his 9th and last disc, the scoring phase begins. For each grid space, you take out the discs and you compare them. You will discard any answer that doesn’t fit its categories. You will place all the correct answers in a scoring pile. If two or more players give the same answer, you discard both discs.

When scoring, you count the discs from the scoring pile and award points to the players based on how many right answers they gave. In case for ties, players get all points for that place. Players then erase their discs and a new round starts. When a player reaches 7 points, the game ends and the player with the most points wins!

My thoughts about Crossed Words

The game instantly reminded me of Scattergories, but with the twist of having to respect more than one rule when writing down answers. The rules are as simple as they can be and you can easily add more house rules while playing, if you come up with any ideas. For example we’ve tried to add extra rules such as “All answers should contain at least two words” and it became even more humorous!

It’s really cool that you are not forced to write down exact answers for the categories and you can write down homonyms or abstract answers like the one given in the rulebook that says Fred for “Boy’s first names” and “Colors” and it is considered correct because the “red” in Fred is a color and it is part of the answer. I tend to use that strategy a lot and usually at least four or five of my answers fit that pattern. Try not to be too abstract in your answers though, as people may decide that they don’t really fit.

Sometimes the same answer may fit well in multiple grid spots

As funny as it sounds, by playing this game I realized how bad is my English. There are many categories that when paired will put you in a tough spot. You’ll have to do some brainstorming to find a good answer, and that may take some time. For me as an non-native English speaker, that’s even harder, as my vocabulary is not that rich. We’ve tried to house rule the game and allow the use of Romanian words too, so it would be easier for us, but it turns out that my Romanian is even worse than my English. Now ain’t that funny? I used to get at least 5 or 6 correct answers when playing in English, but when playing in Romanian, I barely managed to get at least 3 or 4 good answers.

One downside I’d say is how easy it is to erase the answer on a disc. But wait, shouldn’t that be useful? You can erase them fast and then play more! Well, yeah, but they erase so easy that you can accidentally erase an answer when placing a disc in the grid due to friction between the disc and the insert or the disc below it. So try to place your discs as gently as possible and not throw them, or you may risk ending up with a blank answer.

Crossed Words is a great party game that was well received by my group! Although parties are not allowed anymore during these hard times, it is good that you can play it at as low as 3 players and it’s still as fun as it can be! It will hit my table during the holidays season for sure! Totally recommended for the party gamers!

Useful info

Designers: Evan Davis & Nick Little

Publisher: Indie Boards & Cards

Players: 3-6

Time: 30 min

Times played: 18

Full disclosure: A copy of Crossed Words was provided by the game publisher.

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