I've always been a fan of word games. Whether good old-fashioned Boggle or fun little word games on my iPhone. Vowl: The Game of Letters Gone Astray is a new take on fast-paced word games that, frankly, I'm amazed hasn't existed before now! Such a simple concept, but a challenging brain game.
Title: Vowl: The Game of Letters Gone Astray
Release Date: 2020
Suggested Audience Age: 14+
Number of Players: 2-5
Time to Play: 30-40 minutes
Availability: BGB Publishing
Recommended for fans of: Word games!
Geek to Geek Media was provided with a review copy of this title
What the Gameplay Feels Like
Vowl is a fast-paced game of working your brain in ways it doesn't get worked very often. I guess most word games can fall under that description. However, as someone who plays a lot of word games…this one is unique. Players in Vowl race against each other and the sand timers to come up with the words required.
Each card is a word with its vowels removed. Either 3 or 4 letters are on each card. The first letter shown is always the first letter of the word. The letters are in order with a SINGLE vowel missing from between each consonant. There may or may not be a vowel missing at the end of the word. “Y” is not considered a vowel for this game.
With each turn, you roll the die and check your progress on the board to see how many of each type of card you need to draw, keeping them face down. When ready, the sand timer is flipped and you have to hurry to name off all the words on your cards before you run out of time.
What I liked
I love word games and how they challenge my brain. What seems like such a simple concept turns out to be a lot harder than you would think at times. Occasionally you can get on a roll where you're getting every card and feeling like a rockstar…then you get one that just completely stumps everyone at the table. It's fun for two people, but even more fun with a group.
There are some words that my brain immediately locked onto an incorrect word that it wouldn't shake but was actually pretty funny (some of them not-so-nice words), which got us laughing. It is entertaining to see how your brain works at fast speeds sometimes.
What I didn't like
I really enjoy this game. There are only a couple of things I would nitpick about it though…
First of all, I wish there was an answer key somewhere in the box. The above “RTN” card stumped all of us and left us trying to figure out how to Google the answer (we never did figure it out). Not being able to give up and lookup an answer was frustrating.
Secondly, I feel like the replayability would not be very high. Eventually, we started remembering the words from prior rounds. I feel that if you played the game enough, it would just become more of a game of memorization than a word game.
However, overall this game is a LOT of fun and if played occasionally would be a great, quick, game to get your brain engaged and a lot of laughs at the table.