WYPS

I’ve been playing WYPS recently. It’s a new abstract game that combines word game with a connection game. It’s like The Game of Y, except the pieces have letters on them and must form words. The goal is the same: connect all three sides of the triangular board with a chain of your pieces.

While in Y you can only place one piece per turn, in WYPS you can play several — as long as they create a valid word. You can use pieces already on board, your own or your opponent’s, but must place at least one new letter. If you use an opponent’s letter, you can flip the tile to show your colour (if you use several, you can only flip one of them). That way you can cut your opponent’s paths and steal her letters.

It’s a fun game. I’m still in the losing phase, so far I’ve won just one game (my records at Little Golem show more, but those are resignations) and lost over ten. There’s certainly skill to the placement of your words (well, maybe not on the smallest board) and a good vocabulary helps a lot. WYPS works well with pretty much any suitable language, as long as the tile distribution is fixed. I’d like to give a Finnish version a go to see if that works — for example Finnish Scrabble doesn’t work quite well as the English version, even if you fix the letter distribution. Not enough small words, that might or might not be a problem with WYPS.

The game is designed by Richard Malaschitz, the owner of the Little Golem play-by-web site, so obviously that’s where the game is most played. You can also order a real set from the WYPS web site.

Those who like both connection games and word games should rush to give WYPS a go, but even if you like just one of the categories, try it. I have a serious dislike for connection games, but I’ve so far found WYPS fun.

Here’s a sample game I’m currently playing against Robert Butler on Little Golem. I’m white:

WYPS sample game

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