In Morphology Junior, players must use wooden sticks, glass beads, colored cubes, string, and more to create pictures that represent words, such as "butterfly" or "airplane." The player who is creating the picture is called a Morphologist and his teammates must guess the word by looking at his picture. If the team guesses correctly, they get to move their frog piece to the next lilypad. If the team doesn't guess correctly before time runs out, they don't advance. The team to reach the final lilypad first wins.
There are easy words and hard words. You can choose to use both word levels when you play or only use one level. Then teams take turns choosing one player to be the Morphologist and guessing the word based on their Morphologists' picture in 60 seconds. The Morphologist chooses a card, looks at the word, reads aloud the hint, and starts building. Morphologists can animate the pieces, which comes in handy for action words such as "climb," but there are some things that Morphologists cannot do, such as using the pieces to spell out the actual word. Be sure to carefully read the instructions before you play.
The first two lilypads on the board say "Free Play." This means the Morphologist can build using all the building pieces. The next five lilypads say "Roll," which means that the Morphologist must roll the die. If he rolls a 2, all teams get to guess. The first team to correctly guess gets to move forward. If he rolls a 3, the Morphologist is allowed to become part of the picture through movement, kind of like charades. No sounds, though! If he rolls a 4, this means that if the building team cannot guess the word during the allotted time, the opposing teams have the chance to guess and advance. If he rolls a 5, the Morphologist can only select five building pieces to work with. If he rolls a 6, the Morphologist can make noise, not words, to help his teammates.
The second-to-last lilypad says "Pick 5+1." This means that the opposing team(s) selects five pieces for the building team's Morphologist to use. They make their selection without viewing the word. Then the Morphologist looks at the word and selects one additional piece to use.
Morphology Junior comes with 480 word cards, 35 large building pieces, a 60-second timer, four team frogs, a die, a game board, and rules. The game is for four teams.
Morphology Junior is sort of like Pictionary but with building instead of drawing. And that can make this game a little more challenging, especially if the Morphologist can only use a limited number of building pieces. Most of the easy words are easy, but there are some words in both the easy and hard levels that might be difficult for kids to "build," such as "itchy" or "dizzy." It's recommended that you start off with the easy words. This game will definitely get kids thinking creatively as they use the building pieces to make pictures.
Morphology Junior is for ages 8 and up.
The instructions are fairly easy to follow, however, we did come upon one issue that was cause for confusion. When explaining the Pick 5+1 lilypad, the instructions state that "the building team gets to look at the word and select one additional piece to use." We assume the company means the building team's Morphologist looks at the word because if the team got to see the word before guessing, well, that would be cheating. There is also an illustrated picture next to this set of instructions that shows five building pieces, then a picture of six building pieces (5+1), but then there is a picture of seven building pieces. We're not sure where that extra piece came from.
For ages 13 and up, there is a regular version of Morphology, which is sold separately.
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