Continuing with my project to create a list of great games you can play for free, this post features a classic word deduction game called My Word. The game is a cross between Mastermind and Hangman, where players try to deduce their opponent’s word by guessing the correct positions of individual letters.
Number of players: 2
Playing time: 45 minutes
You will need:
- A pencil and paper; or alternatively, this printable play sheet.
A game of My Word consists of two rounds. The first is a six letter word round, the second is a seven letter word round. In each of these rounds, players try to deduce their opponents words by stating shorter words that contain the same letters as their opponents longer six or seven letter word. Points are awarded for each correct letter guessed. Even more points are awarded if those letters are in the correct position.
Both players start by writing down, in secret, the word they want their opponent to try to guess. This should be a word that their opponent has heard of. Each round consists of eleven guesses, with both players taking in turns to make a guess. For the first guess, players state a two letter word that corresponds to the first two letters of their opponents word. For each correct letter, the guesser is awarded 250 points. For each correct letter that is also in the correct position, that player is instead awarded 1000 points. For example, if the word was ‘nephew’ and the guess was ‘me’, the guesser would be awarded 250 points (the ‘e’ only scores once). If instead the guess was ‘no’, the player would be awarded 1000 points. Thus, from the score awarded, the guesser receives a clue as to how many letters they have guessed correctly and how many of those are in the correct position. All guesses must themselves be real words.
Play progresses in this manner, with each guess consisting of a word between two and seven letters in length and corresponding to particular letters in the word the player is attempting to guess. The number of letters of the guesses and the letters it corresponds to are specified on the printable play sheet. The final (eleventh) guess consists of the same number of letters as the opponent’s word. Therefore, players can at this point, try to guess the word. In addition receiving points as normal for each of these letters, guessing the correct word awards that player 3000 points.
At the end of the game, both players add up the points they have received over the course of the game. The player with the most points is the winner. Therefore, it is possible to win without having guessed either of their opponent’s words. Also, players often face the dilemma of whether to try to gain quick points with guesses containing letters that are known, or to increase the chance of obtaining the 3000 bonus points with guesses containing letters that are not yet known.