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Kerfuddle: The Exciting Word Game Review by Kelly LaFollette

The Exciting Word Game
Befuddled Games

Autumn is probably my family’s favorite season. The weather cools down, the leaves change colors, football, holidays, food, and catching up with friends and family. We love to have the windows open and just spend time together inside as a family. One of the ways we do this, is to play board games. I was so excited to learn about Kerfuddle, and with both of my sons learning how to spell and read sight words, I thought what a fun way to do learning and family time together.

Kerfuddle is a family game that can be played in as little as 15 minutes, with 2 to 6 players. It is suggested for ages 8 and older, but my 7 year old in second grade had no trouble playing. All the pieces come in a convenient cup with a lid, which makes clean up easy, and having the lid is a great way not to lose any pieces. It also makes it a fantastic game to bring to a friend’s house. Each game comes with the cup, 14 Letter Cubes, Number Cube, 12 “Shake It Up” Cards, Game Mat, Sand Timer and Full Instructions. The only thing needed to play is some pens or pencils, and some paper or a notepad.

This game holds true to its name. It really is an exciting word game. Without giving too much of the excitement away, you start the game by rolling the number cube. That number represents how many letters the words have to be that you write down. Then, you have to pick up a “Shake It Up” card. The player then shakes up all 14 letter cubes in the cube, and places them in a random order on the game mat. The timer is then started, and you have to write down as many words that you can form with the letters,within the rules of what is on the “Shake It Up” card. The object of the game is to get as many points as possible, and the point system is described in the instructions.

The “Shake It Up” cards can make the rounds very interesting and complicated, but extremely fun. My family and I were scrambling to come up with words as we looked at the timer go by faster and faster. We were screaming and yelling; trying to distract each other so we could come up with more words before the timer stopped. Did I mention my whole family is competitive when it comes to board games?

This was such an entertaining way to spend time together and to learn. My sons who are in second and third grade were very good at this game. They started to figure out they could do their sight words they are learning, and also their rhyming words that sound the same but that are different by a letter or two. It was great practice for their spelling tests, and to reinforce how to spell and read the words they are learning. There are many possibilities with this game. For younger learners, the instructions suggest using only 3 letter words and an easier set of rules. For more advanced fun, such as a get together with friends, they suggest using at least 7 letters. This is definitely a game that will be enjoyed over and over again at my house, autumn or not!

-Product review by Kelly LaFollette, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, November, 2018