11th September 2021
Wogglecon was drawing to a close and the final game of the day was co-operative word-puzzler Letter Jam.
What's in a game?
The numbered token are bright and colourful art-wise and while simplistic, the setup cards are pleasant enough. Otherwise, there's pretty much no more art, but this is a word game, how much art is needed?
The game has practically no iconography that needs learning.
How's it play?
In Letter Jam each player is given a 5-letter word in the form of 5 face-down letter cards. Then the players have to collectively guess their individual words by looking at the clues given by other players and filling in the gaps.
On to play
Discussion and cluegiving continue until one of the following 2 conditions are met.
There are no more clue tokens or players are happy with their deductions and want to guess their words.
Now all players take their 5 cards and keeping them face-down, rearrange them to spell the word they were originally given.
Once this is done all players simultaneously reveal their words.
If everyone has spelt a word, then everyone wins! Interestingly, it does not have to be the word that was given, so long as it's a real word, it counts!
If one or more players hasn't spelt a word... well... there's always next time.
Letter Jam is a pretty clever little game that will tax players' grammatical and spelling abilities.
Players will want to try and spell out distinct or unusual words so that there's less ambiguity for other players who will then have a better opportunity to guess their own letters. Ultimately though, players will probably end up having to employ deductive reasoning and make educated guesses and hope for the best. If you're an analytical player who sees all the possible variations in a situation, you'll probably end up overthinking Letter Jam.
There's not much more that can be said about Letter Jam, the game's depth doesn't arise from mechanics, it comes from players' abilities to spell words.
Letter Jam is a light game to play, has a lot of replay value and plays up to 6. If I have any criticism of Letter Jam, it might that the game feels a bit too overlong for what it is and rules are slightly fiddly. Otherwise it's mostly straight forward to learn and the game will have crossover appeal to non-gamers and is a reasonably fun cooperative game to play.
I play, I paint.