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The Boggle Tactics Page

It is often said that Boggle does not have any tactics, but as I have played, I have learnt one or two tricks that have increased my score.

Secrets of Plurals

It is worth looking at the start of a game for any "S"s on the board. Not only does an "S" mean that many words can have a plural (two words for the price of one) or the "S" version of a verb e.g. play - plays. The word with an "S" has an extra letter in it! Pump up the volume!

Common Word Prefixes and Suffixes

The Scrabble players will feel right at home with this. There are certain common prefixes and suffixes which, when they occur on a Boggle grid, are pure gold. Check each word to see if it can be connected. Note that ER/RE and DE/ED could be added at the beginning of a word or at the end!

  • -ER
  • RE-
  • -ED
  • DE-
  • UN-
  • -ING

Word Reversing

There are several words that appear again and again that if you put the letters in reverse they are also words. You do not even need to check that the word can be routed on the board - if the original word is there, then the reversed word is also there! After playing a while, you will begin to remember more and more word reversals. For instance:

  • NET - TEN
  • RAT - TAR

Letter Groups

Time and time again there are certain groups of letters that come up close enough that all the anagrams are there. These need a little care as, unlike straightforward reversals, you do need to check that the letters do work in all the combinations. However, you soon work out the patterns that work and so only need to see the pattern on the board! For instance:

  • RAT - TAR - ART
  • EAT - ATE - TEA

Long to Short

Often you see longer words first - particularly four letter words that contain three letter words e.g. PART contains PAR and ART. Sometimes worth checking as you write a word down whether it contains other words in it.

Common Word Parts

Normally these are endings that can have a number of letters in front of them - you can then check the letters in front of the ending to see if they also form words. There are lots of these and you can often spot them as you are writing a word down. For instance:

  • -OSS
  • -IST
  • -EED

Word Builders

There are certain words that are themselves endings and can often have letters put in front of them. When found these are a treasure trove as the words just seem to get longer and longer. Combined with a suffix and the world can certainly be your toaster! For instance:

  • EASE
  • EAST

Yahtzee, Boggle, Battleships and Monopoly for Nintendo DS

The Boggle game is also addictive - it particularly fits the DS user interface, the pen pointer allows you to "draw" the words on screen so much easier than PC versions of the game. It contains a fairly comprehensive dictionary too. However, words cannot be added to the dictionary unlike the PC version of the game.

You can also play Yahtzee against the computer or against other (human) Nintendo DS opponents. It is great to hone your strategic skills against the computer, trying out new strategies, or just having some fun with the game.

Super Boggle

The Boggle game with an electronic timer (that flashes when the time is up) and the ability to play original Boggle on a 4x4 grid or Master Boggle on a 5x5 grid - the catch being that in Master Boggle 3 letter words do not count. Both games are good - Master Boggle reduces the amount of frantic writing done.

By the way, just because I didn't work it out for a while (yes I could have read the instructions - but where is the fun in that) - you switch between the two games by turning over the playing board.

Boggle for the PC

Boggle for the PC has 5 variants - you can play normal Boggle against various opponents - human and computer based. An interesting part of the game is that you can review the list of words the computer found it was possible to make from the grid. this can really start to boost your word power and examine the structure of how words are formed.

Of the variants, "In Your Face" is defintiely the one I find most interesting. The blocks gradually come toward you as you attempt to make words to chip them away. Leave any letter untouched for too long and it gets too close and the game is over. It adds a new set of tactics to standard Boggle and you have to drag me kicking and screaming from it.

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