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Anagrabber Review by Tammi Dearing

Are you a fan of word puzzles and word games? Do you want to help your child(ren) to build or improve their spelling and vocabulary skills, as well as begin to think more logically? Then Anagrabber, by Anacade International, is the game for you!

Anagrabber is a Scrabble-type game, but unlike Scrabble you do not need to have a large vocabulary or know how to spell hundreds of words to play. Because there isn't any score keeping, young children can evenly play with adults.

The game has four main components: an opaque grab bag, which stores 300 letter tiles, a discard plate, and an instruction booklet. You will want to read the entire booklet to understand the game, but it is really quite simple. First, each player takes one tile from the grab bag to determine who will start. The person who is closest to the letter "A" starts, and then these tiles are placed in the discard plate.

Next, the players draw five letter tiles each; keeping them secret until it is their turn. Once each player has drawn their tiles, player 1 reveals his tiles and then builds a word using as many of the five tiles he needs. He can also use tiles from the discard plate to help build the word, if needed. Player 1 ends his turn by discarding his unused tiles into the plate and drawing two more tiles, being careful not to reveal them. Now it is player 2's turn. You continue playing until someone has built a list of six words. The first player to build six words wins.

The fun really begins when you start to take other players words to make new words, hence Anagrabber. Let me explain: say player 1 has the word FUN and player 2 has N and Y player 2 may take that word to spell the word FUNNY, or player 2 could have the word TAR and player 3 has S and I he can take that word to make STAIR. The only thing you can't do when building new words is to remove existing letters from a word to make it your own. As you can see, this game can be challenging, but it also can be very fun and exciting. The instruction book includes variations to the game as well.

So when it is family game night and you are looking for a game that you and your family can all have loads of fun playing and learning together, why not play a simple game called Anagrabber? My husband, our 8-year-old son, and I did. And when it was time to stop and put the game away our son was quite disappointed--until we told him that we would again tomorrow. We hope you will enjoy playing this game as much as my family and I have.

-- Product Review by: Tammi Dearing, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine