Willi Wortwurm is a card and word placement game released this year by Mogel. Mogel Verlag was founded in 2015 and is one of the young game publishers. With titles like Willi Word Worm or Pearl diving it is already represented on the German games market this year with titles that promise to be fun.
One would think that we, as daily writing word acrobats, can hardly be disturbed by a bookworm. You can find out why Willi bothered us more than we had previously assumed in the following review of the card game Willi Word Worm.
The story of Bernhard-Wilhelm Wurm
Just as it should be for a hard-working word-worm, Bernhard-Wilhelm Wurm, or Willi for short, has found a taste for books and has left a great chaos of letters in the process. In order to assign the letters to words again and thus save the books, the clever card players have to fight the cheeky worm together.
Once the rules, which are kept short and understandable, have been internalized, the card game can turn around Willi Word Worm begin.
At the beginning of the game, the worm hunters have the opportunity to influence the level of difficulty of the card game by choosing a certain combination of theme cards.
The subject areas range from the generic term Construction Market up to Eating and Drinking. There are a total of 12 different themes to choose from, three of which are drawn face down.
Now the playing field, consisting of 3 theme cards, a draw pile, a swap display, a point pile, the Willi word worm card, a discard pile and space for placing letter cards, can be set up. Then the other players receive their hand cards and the word game can begin.
Laying letters with tricky main topics
The other players take turns placing letters from their hands on the theme cards; the word that is created by the alternating placement must match the generic term. For example, the generic term could be Construction Market the word Hammer consequences.
Because the discarding of a letter is not always easy with cards that do not match, each player has three possible actions during his turn: Apart from discarding a letter, he can either exchange an unsuitable letter from his hand for another one from the exchange display and place on the resulting word or he discards a card from his hand on the discard pile. The player's turn ends when the discarded card is drawn.
There are many ways to put Willi down, as long as the drawn or displayed letters play along.
At the beginning of a game Willi Word Worm one or the other player could still hopefully think of a simple children's game, because even the comic-style presentation of the word game does not mean that the game is a tricky affair. After a short game, some players would like to exchange all of their cards in hand. Because if you have to put the words Hammer, Emily and Tomato, but the letters on your own hand are X, F, P, Q, Ü (two more cards with two players) and the exchange display does not promise any suitable help, then you have no choice nothing left but to throw a card on the discard pile and draw a new one - in the hope that a usable letter will now be added to the cards in hand. If the mountain of discard cards gets higher, it rubs Willi Word Worm the stomach with relish.
The problem with this, however, is that discarded cards are lost. Each letter card has a certain number value, the more difficult it is to use the letter, the higher it is. For example, if the player throws that Ü the team is missing five possible points. Because at the end of the game the cards in the pile of points are scored. On this are the word cards of completed words. Words, discarded cards or unfinished words at the end of the game end up on the discard pile. At the end of the game, the cards in the pile of points are scored. This stack must have a value over a hundred in order to defeat the voracious word worm Willi. But be careful, during the game the players have the option of filling in gaps as possible letters. These gap-filling jokers are also placed on the pile of points, but cost points when scoring, because they have negative points of different levels.
Images of Willi Wortwurm
Number of players: 2 to 5 players
Age: from 10 years
Playing time: 30 to 45 minutes
Long-term motivation: medium
Published by Mogel Verlag
Year of publication: 2016
Authors: Michael Loth
Cost: 10 Euro
I can't shake the feeling of playing a game of card Scrabble. Scrabble is the game in which the players place blindly drawn letter tiles next to words and get points for them. At the game Willi Word Worm I find it almost a little trickier that subject areas are given. Suddenly my head is empty. There is brooding silence. I can't think of any hardware store products. "Is gold a hardware store product?", "No?", "Okay, that's right ...". My teammate is no different and in the end we even lose - by exactly one point.
It's fun and awakens the fighting spirit in us. Due to the multitude of possible words that can be put by the players Willi Word Worm a game that will keep you bored in the future, plus the fact that it fits in your pocket thanks to its compact size. A great card game for word-savvy players in a puzzle mood.
Above all, families with children should not underestimate the learning effect of this type of parlor game. Wherever words are used to play with and children are encouraged to discover their own creative solutions, the emotional connection to the game creates an excellent learning effect.
For experienced card players, the challenges are too small in the long run. Because of the variety of possible uses of this card game and its suitability as a child-friendly family game, we award four Spielpunkte.