Wordner is a game that's all about creating plays on words—sort of. You need three or more players, and one player is the judge who holds the plastic clownfish that comes with the game. (We have no idea why there is a plastic clownfish in the game to indicate the judge.) To play, you turn over a blue card, which is a prompt card, and then an orange starter card. Then, players have to use the starter card to complete the thought on the prompt card. For example, the prompt card might say, "Paleontologists now believe dinosaurs were killed by...", and the starter card might say, "Fun, Huge, Kiss". So you either make up different words to complete the sentence ... Actually, we're not really sure what to do here. Do we make a pun or not make a pun?
Here's the problem with this game: the prompts just aren't funny enough. While some people may be good at making puns, others will have more straightforward answers, which could actually be kind of dull. The gameplay is also not well-structured with three variations on the rules: use all the starter words, use some of the starter words, or use none of them. What's the point of that?
Good games inspire connection, conversation, and laughter, but this game just falls flat. Because of some of the content in the cards, we do think this could be useful in the classroom to get kids thinking and writing. Overall, we think the creators should go back to the drawing board to give this game more focus, clearer play, and outcomes.
Wordner is for ages 14 and up. However, we really can't imagine adults having a good time with this. As noted, this is better for educational play—and even then it has limited use. The reason for the 14+ age grading is that some of the themes on the cards are what some might think of as a little "mature."
Wordner is available to purchase at store.wordner.com. You can also play online for free at wordner.com if you want to try it out before buying.
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