“Word on the Street” is a fun game for two or more players (preferably an even number of players). It’s a pretty quick word game that is good for all ages (the box says 12 and up, but as a family game younger kids can play too). Do not let the suggestion that the game is a “family game” deter you intellectual types, the game is often really challenging when played with a group of adults!
The game involves teams competing against each other by spelling out words that will allow them to capture tiles. The first team that captures 8 tiles wins.
Inside the box is:
1) a game board
2) set of cards
3) alphabet tiles (with no vowels, J, Q, X, or Z)
4) game timer
Setting up the game is easy. Just place the tiles on the corresponding letter down the green strip through the middle of the board.
Split the players into 2 teams and each team should sit on an opposite side of the board. It is helpful to sit on the long edges of the board so each team can easily reach any letter. Flip a coin or rock paper scissor to choose which team will go first.
Each card states a category. Teams will draw a card to pick a word to play. There are two color of cards (front and back) so the group as a whole should decide which color card to play for the duration of the game.
The team that is in action is the “team on the street”.
1) The team on the street, draws a card and lays it face down on the playing surface.
2) The team NOT on the street flips the timer as soon as the team on the street lays down the card.
3) The team on the street picks a word to play that falls into the category, in this example “A Hot Drink”. It is clearly stated in the rules to “Word on the Street” that there is no rule that the opposing team has to stay quiet.
Words chosen must: be a single word (no spaces or hyphens unless the hyphen is part of the name…for example “Winston-Salem”); be spelled correctly; and fall into the drawn category.
For this example, let’s say the team on the street chooses the word ‘cappuccino’.
4) The team on the street moves one letter at a time in the word, spelling it out loud as they go. The letter is pulled as it is said towards the team on the street. The tile is moved ONE space EACH time it is said. Although there are no vowels or ‘J, Q, X, Z’ letters to move, if those letters appear in the word they must still be said. This gallery shows how the letters move through the turn.
5) In this example of the word “cappuccino”, the ‘c’ is moved towards the team on the street 3 times and that is enough to get it off the board. Once a letter is off the board it is captured and counts as one of that team’s 8 tiles needed to win. A tile is not nessesarily captured every time a team plays, in fact that would be very unlikely.
All of these steps must be completed before the timer runs out of time. As soon as the timer runs out, hands must come of all tiles.
It is now the other team’s turn as the team on the street. Start again at step 1, moving tiles in the opposite direction towards the new team on the street.
The new team on the street will work to get some of the tiles moved by the first team back towards them. In this example, after cappuccino, while the ‘c’ is gone, the new team on the street may want to play a word with a ‘p’ or two to try to get ‘p’ letter back on their side of the street.
The game continues back and forth until one team has 8 tiles.
What if the opposing team thinks the team on the street did something wrong?
Then they would issue a Word on the Street challenge.
If the opposing team thinks the word isn’t spelled correctly, make a decision by consensus or by looking it up in a dictionary.
If the spelling is found correct: the letter tiles remain in their new positions and the team raising the challenges loses their next turn.
If the spelling is incorrect: all tiles moved BEFORE the error remain in their new positions and the tile moved in error and all subsequent tiles are returned to their precious positions.
If the selection is in fact two words rather than a compound word or incorrectly uses a hyphen: all letter tiles for the word are returned to their previous positions before that turn happened.
This is a fun, quick game that is at it’s best if you’ve got well matched teams.
It is available on Amazon for about $20.