SNAP Review – Words of a Feather
[Anitra] Andrew, finish this saying: “birds of a feather”….
[Andrew] “flock together?”.
[Anitra] Yeah! This generally means that similar people tend to hang out together. But what about words that are similar, do they stick together?
[Andrew] What would you call those? Synonyms, I guess?
[Anitra] Maybe you could call them “words of a feather”
[Andrew] That makes sense!
This is a SNAP review for Words of a Feather.
Words of a Feather is a party-style word-guessing game for 3-8 players, created by Rusty Scioscia. It’s published by Turn Sideways Games and Grand Gamers Guild. It plays in about 20 minutes – and because it’s a word game, it’s best for ages 10 and up.
[Anitra] So, this is a lovely box. What can we say about the art in Words of a Feather?
[Andrew] I would definitely say, art is a primary focus in this game. The box art and the feather illustrations are by Sol Azpiroz, and they are gorgeous!
[Anitra] The game also comes with lovely point gems and a ceramic bowl to hold them. And the box is unusually set up, with this heavy-duty slipcase style cover, so you can even hang it on your wall and enjoy the art when you’re not playing.
[Andrew] For this review, we have the Kickstarter deluxe edition, which comes with two additional sets of cards and matching bowls and point gems.
[Anitra] Even the setup to play the game is pretty.
Speaking of the setup, what are the mechanics of Words of a Feather; how do we actually play this game?
Start by giving each player a whiteboard, marker, two point gems, and five face-up cards. Then arrange the rest of the cards in overlapping concentric circles around the point gem bowl.
Choose a start player. They come up with a word they want everyone to guess. They show two of their word cards as clues. Then they also say another single word clue. Now everyone writes down on their whiteboard what they think the secret word is.
Players may bet one or two point gems along with their guess. (The clue-giver can bet on themselves, too.)
When everyone is ready, reveal your words. The clue-giver gets one point for each person who guessed their word correctly.
All other players get a single point if their word matched with anyone – even if it wasn’t the “right” word. And anyone who made a bet on themselves doubles their bet if they were successful.
The clue-giver discards the cards they used and pulls two new cards from the outer ring on the table. The player on their left becomes the new clue giver. And play continues until someone crosses some kind of score threshold – which usually is 15 points.
[Andrew] So, that’s how we play this game. What did we expect from this game, Anitra?
[Anitra] I remember seeing the Kickstarter campaign for Words of a Feather. It looked lovely, but I didn’t really think our family would enjoy it. Word games are hit-or-miss with our kids: sometimes they go really well, and sometimes not.
The box is gorgeous, but I find it a little strange that the title of the game is only over here, on the top edge.
[Andrew] You’re right, it is beautiful. I was a little worried about this game because the setup does take a while, spreading these teardrop cards around the center bowl. And like you said, word games are sometimes great with our family, and sometimes not very good with our family.
[Anitra] But there were some surprises…
This game went over better with our kids than I expected. It’s really nice to choose your own secret word, and there’s a little twist that keeps the game moving along really quickly! You draw new cards at the end of your turn, which means that you have time to think about your next word clue. Once we got into the game, there was very little downtime between player’s turns, which was really, really nice.
But… I hated the setup for this game. I expected something much more exact – like put out 10 cards, then 15, then 20 – and instead it’s really just “make circles that look good to you”. Once I knew that, I was less bothered, but I still prefer games that give me precise instructions when a lot of cards need to be set out.
[Andrew] And that’s the thing – in the end, it doesn’t actually matter how you set out the cards. You could just keep them in a deck and draw them off the top. But then you would miss out on a lot of the beauty in this game. Which really leans into my thoughts on the game in general.
If you’re a (capital B) Board Gamer, you might find yourself wondering why you spent five minutes laying all of these cards out that you’re just going to draw blindly anyway.
But if you’re the type to set something out, maybe before a group of friends are coming over, and you want it to look absolutely spectacular on the table, this is the ticket for you.
[Anitra] We recommend Words of a Feather when you want a beautiful setting for a light, casual word game. It does a great job at that! This game looks gorgeous on the table, and it’s great for a casual get-together with friends or family.
All the words we ran into were family-friendly: there was no strange vocabulary that our kids didn’t know, and that helped a lot, too.
[Andrew] I do want to say that there actually is a little bit of strategy here if you want to use it, in the sense that everyone’s words are face up. So, when considering the clue-giver’s three words, you could try to be more strategic and consider the words the clue-giver didn’t use. And that’s kind of nice as well!
If your family loves word games, it’s certainly worth looking at Words of a Feather.
We’re going to give it 3½ peacock feathers out of 5.
And that’s Words of a Feather in a SNAP.
Words of a Feather will be available soon from Turn Sideways Games and Grand Gamers Guild.
The Family Gamers received a pre-production copy of Words of a Feather from Turn Sideways Games for this review.
This post contains affiliate links, which do not change your price, but help support The Family Gamers.
SNAP review music is Avalanche, provided courtesy of You Bred Raptors?
Words of a Feather
Age Range: 10+ (or a little younger)
Number of Players: 3-8
Playtime: 15-20 minutes