Trapwords - Dastardly Review #132
Our youngest granddaughter asked for Trapwords for Christmas and we are very glad she did!
Trapwords (2018) is published by Czech Games Edition (CGE) and designed by Jan Březina, Martin Hrabálek and Michal Požárek.
Trapwords is a clue giving/word guessing game with a couple fun twists. First, it has a cool dungeon crawl theme with some curses and a final monster that add variety. Secondly, players set Traps for the other team. Traps are a list of words and if the team that is giving clues uses one of those words...bang...the Trap is sprung and the active team fails to guess their word.
The components in Trapwords are good quality with really fun art. They are easy to read. The dungeon crawl theme works very well...it enhances the fun of playing but you don't have to be a D&D fanatic like me to enjoy the game.
The sheets of paper where a team writes down their Traps are cleverly designed so they can be folded to provide an effective player screen.
The Books are really cool. There are two types: Brown reveal fantasy related words and Black show non-fantasy words.
The Books are a flash back to the classic TV word gameshows like Passwords.
The windows on the Books are in different positions between the fantasy vs non-fantasy which allow a single set of Cards to be used for both genres.
The clues are very appropriate for the entire family or a group of adults.
A random Monster Card is placed in the final Room during setup.
The Monster Cards change the rules for either the clue giving/guessing team or the trap setting team when fighting the Monster.
If neither team advances in a round, the Monster advances towards the teams.
Curse Cards are attached to the second and fourth room cards.
Curses temporarily change the rules during the round that they are activated. Since the leader triggers the curses this mechanic helps keep the game competitive.
The art for the Monster and Curse cards is fun rather than scary.
The Curse and Monster cards greatly increase the re-playability of Trapwords...the rules change slightly for each game.
Setup is quick and easy:
Arrange 5 random room tiles in increasing Trap count order.
Add a random Curse Card to the second and fourth room.
Add a Monster Card to the final room.
Give each team a Team Marker, pencil and a blank Trap List.
Both teams secretly write down Trap words based upon the word the other team is going to give clues for/try to guess. The number of Traps is the number in the top corners of the Room Tile the guessing team is in.
For example if the Word is Umbrella the team might write down Rain, Luck and Dry.
Then one of the members of the other team starts giving clues to their teammates. The clue giver tries to avoid words that might be Traps. It is a race against time for the guesser to say the correct word. They only get 5 guesses.
The clue giver might say "This thing is typically black and is only opened outdoors" which is a safe clue. But if they said "It is considered bad luck to open me inside." it would trigger the Trap word "Luck".
If a Trap is triggered the team stops and doesn't advance to the next room. Same as if they don't guess the word correctly with 5 attempts or before the timer runs out.
If they guess the word correctly they advance to the next room!
Of course, Curses and the Monster can change the rules up.
You win Trapwords by defeating the Monster!
Trapwords is fiendishly fun.
The theme adds a bit of color to the game.
The Curses and Monsters make the game unique each time you play which is awesome.
Often with word games, the non-guessing team is bored...again, not with Trapwords...they are busy listening to they clues to see if any Traps are triggered.
We often have 3 players at our table and easily created House Rules for 3 players. One person writes Traps. One person gives clues. One person guesses. Then rotate after each word. First person to successfully Trap 5 times wins.
One of our grandkids said, "This is like being in English class but a ton more fun." Trapwords makes you think about alternate ways to use words or describe items. It is not as easy as you might first think.
We love word games and right now Trapwords is at the top of our stack.
The Good: Surprisingly difficult in a surprisingly fun way.
The Bad: Wish they had included a 3 player variation in the rules. We missed out on a couple game sessions until we came up with our own 3 player rules.
The Dastardly: The setting of Traps is really clever. People often describe things the same way. Trapwords forces you to think outside the box. Now that we have played it a bunch sometimes we don't even Trap the easy words...because the clue giver will assume we did!