Title: Alice in Wordland
Designed By: Chris Darsaklis, Spyros Koronis
Art By: Asterman Studio
Published By: Drawlab Entertainment
Player Count: 3-8
Time to Play: 25 Minutes
Alice in Wordland is a party game for 3-8 players who take on the roles of characters from Alice in Wonderland who are attending a party hosted by the Queen of Hearts. The Queen has all sorts of rules about topics of discussion for her fancy event, and players must work to follow the rules while sticking to the topic of conversation.
Alice in Wordland is a unique take on a word game where players will need to quickly think of relevant words fitting the topic of conversation that avoid using certain letters. Repeat an already used word or run out of time and it's "off with your head"!
How to determine the first player:
The youngest player takes the Queen of Hearts card and will be the first player.
After the first player has been determined, all other players take a random character card and put it face up in front of them. Some characters get tokens, or cards. Distribute the appropriate pieces (if any) to each player.
Set the timer in the middle of all players and determine how long you would like to set it for (10 or 15 seconds).
Separate the letter cards by color and shuffle them in their individual piles. Place the shuffled cards in the three piles (blue, green, and purple) in the middle of the table, face-down.
Shuffle the discussion cards and place them near the letter cards.
Take the scoring cards, and select the cards that match your player count. Return the others to the box. Put the cards in use within reach of all players.
Make a pile of victory point tokens and you are ready to go.
How to Play:
Alice in Wordland is played over as many rounds as there are players. Each round has three parts: preparation, discussion, and cleanup.
During preparation, players will take the cards or tokens (if any) that match their character card. Player's should familiarize themselves with what their character's ability is, as each one is different. Fun fact: in Alice in Wonderland the caterpillar's name is Absolem. Once player's know who they are and what they can do, you are ready to get the round going. The Queen of Hearts takes one of her letter cards from the top of the pile and looks at it, keeping it secret from the other players. She will also pick two discussion topics and decide which one to play this round. This is revealed to all players.
The top cards from each of the letter decks are now flipped over. These are the forbidden letters this round.
Start the timer and the discussion phase begins. During the discussions, players will need to say a word that relates to the topic of discussion but does not contain any of the forbidden letters. If time runs out, or the player repeats a word that was already said they are out. They take the topmost card in the scoring pile and place it in front of them. The discussion continues until there is only one player left and everyone else has been eliminated.
Then the cleanup phase begins. During this phase, players will gain points equal to those on their scoring card. Players should also check that their player card doesn't grant a bonus. Some characters grant bonuses during this phase.
Players pass their character card to the player on their left. If they have already played all characters then the game is over, if not shuffle the letter cards back into their decks and begin the preparation phase of a new round.
Once the game is finished, the player with the most points wins!
Alice in Wordland was a delightful game to play, with equally delightful art to match. The whimsical illustrations of the characters are truly lovely.
Alice in Wordland does a great job incorporating theme into a party game. There are a lot of party games out there that don't have any theme, and Alice in Wordland could easily have gone down that route, just making it a new word game. However, there was clearly a lot of effort put into making a game that functions well as a word game but also brings in the story of Alice in Wonderland. The timer for the game has to be the cutest timer we have ever seen. Small details, like making the timer a teapot, are what makes Alice in Wordland really special.
We love that each character has their own ability. What more, we appreciate that all players have one turn being each character in play. This helps to balance out what a lot of asymmetric games fail at, which is balance. In Alice in Wordland it doesn't matter if someone starts with the character you view as most powerful, because you will also get a chance to be that character later in the game. We love this way of using asymmetry in a game, as it really feels like everyone is on equal footing, but adds some variety each time you play.
We have recently been seeing a lot of discussions around the concept of gameschooling, specifically to help with summer enrichment and as we were playing this game we thought that Alice in Wordland could 100% be a great game to help kids or English language learners work on their spelling skills. Alice in Wordland even includes special instruction for playing with younger kids and families and modifications to make the game simpler. For those that like a challenge, there are also rules to help amp up the difficulty as well.
Alice in Wordland is a great game choice for gamers who enjoy word games like Tapple, Taboo, or Blurble. It offers a fresh take on classic word games. Can you hold your own in the conversation? Find out today!
Pudgy Cat Games makes no profit off reviews. Should you wish to purchase Alice in Wordland, you can help support us by purchasing the game through our Amazon Affiliate Link below. It will cost you nothing extra, but will help support our site! More information can be found on Drawlab Entertainment's website.