Betting on Science
Nerd Words looks and feels like Codenames at first glance. Codenames was a great game that has really shed light on the industry in a great way bringing board games closer to mainstream adoption. It's got some nice elements that make it fun for gamers and non-gamers alike. Nerd Words turns that up a notch with a better matching of the mechanics and theme that feel like they were built for each other and additional angle of strategy that I'm looking forward to.
I'm ready to jump in and put real stakes on how confident my guess is. I'm already an aggressive style player when it comes to games so I'll take any chance of going big or going home I can get. With the betting mechanic there's always a chance of catching up to the other team or flying ahead by a big margin if I'm willing to take the risk. I love it.
The subtle change of the typical way clues are given also feels like a nice step in small innovation in this space. It's an additional point of strategy to think through which letters to start the words with since they will ultimately point to the final word that the teams are trying to guess.
For $19 this is a mighty fine way to spend a night with friends. Grab your magnifying glass and explore more of the details on the kickstarter page!
About the Game
Teams compete to guess science terms based on clues from a different clue giver each round. Each team has 60 seconds to submit a guess and place a bet based upon how confident they are in their guess. The more points you bet, the more you score if your guess is correct - but if you're incorrect, you lose those points. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins! It's fast-paced, deduction-fueled fun, no matter how nerdy (or not) you are!
How To Play
Break into two teams and give each player two cards. The person who most recently wore lab goggles is the first clue giver. The Clue Giver chooses one Science Term from either of their cards, and then writes their first clue on the whiteboard. Before revealing the Clue, if the Clue Giver believes that either team will guess the Science Term correctly based upon that guess, then the Clue Giver may bet up to 4 points.
Each Clue must start with a letter from the Science Term, except the first letter. In this way, words used as Clues simultaneously hint at the Science Term through associations but also slowly reveal letters within the Science Term. The only restriction is that you can’t use the first letter of the Science Term until the last Clue, even if that letter repeats itself in the Science Term.
After revealing the first Clue, each team has 60 seconds to make a guess AND depending on how confident they are, can choose to bet additional points on their guess. The Clue Giver may not communicate anything else aside from what is written on their whiteboard.
Teams will always gain points if they are correct, but if they bet on their guess and it is wrong, then they lose the points they bet. In the example above, Particle Party would lose 2 points because they bet 2 points and they were incorrect.
If any team guessed correctly, choose a new player from the opposing team to be the Clue Giver. If neither team correctly guessed the Science Term, the Clue Giver will reveal another Clue. The next clue could be something like this...
And the team might make guesses like this.
In the example above, team Bunsen Burners guessed the correct Science Term, which was FOSSIL. They are guaranteed 3 points, but also bet an additional 2 points. So they will score 5 points total for the round. Unfortunately, team Particle Party bet 1 point. Since they were wrong they will lose the 1 point that they bet.
Now that the round is over, the role of the Clue Giver jumps to the opposing team. This continues until one of two things happens: (1) all players have gone twice, or (2) any team gains 50 points or more on the scoreboard.
More on Kickstarter
See more about the game on the Kickstarter page! Check it out before it ends on April 11th, 2019!