Boggle is a word game designed by Bill Cooke, invented by Allan
Turoff and originally distributed by Parker Brothers. The game
is played using a plastic grid of lettered dice, in which players
attempt to find words in sequences of adjacent letters.
2 Game variants
3 Club and tournament play
4 See also
6 External links
The game begins by shaking a covered tray of 16 cubic dice, each with
a different letter printed on each of its sides. The dice settle into
a 4×4 tray so that only the top letter of each cube is visible. After
they have settled into the grid, a three-minute sand timer is started
and all players simultaneously begin the main phase of play.
Each player searches for words that can be constructed from the
letters of sequentially adjacent cubes, where "adjacent" cubes are
those horizontally, vertically, and diagonally neighboring. Words must
be at least three letters long, may include singular and plural (or
other derived forms) separately, but may not use the same letter cube
more than once per word. Each player records all the words he or she
finds by writing on a private sheet of paper. After three minutes have
elapsed, all players must immediately stop writing and the game enters
the scoring phase.
In the scoring phase, each player reads off his or her list of
discovered words. If two or more players wrote the same word, it is
removed from all players' lists. Any player may challenge the validity
of a word, in which case a previously nominated dictionary is used to
verify or refute it. For all words remaining after duplicates have
been eliminated, points are awarded based on the length of the word.
The winner is the player whose point total is highest, with any ties
typically broken by count of long words.
One cube is printed with "Qu". This is because Q is nearly always
followed by U in English words (see exceptions), and if there were a Q
in Boggle, it would be challenging to use if a U did not, by chance,
appear next to it. For the purposes of scoring Qu counts as two
letters: squid would score two points (for a five-letter word) despite
being formed from a chain of only four cubes. Early versions of the
game had a "Q" without the accompanying "u".
The North American
National Scrabble Association publishes the
Scrabble Players Dictionary, which is also suitable for
Boggle. This dictionary includes all variant forms of words up to
eight letters in length. A puzzle book entitled 100
(Improve Your Game) offering 100 game positions was published in the
UK in 2003 but is no longer in print.
Different versions of
Boggle have varying distributions of letters.
For example, a more modern version in the UK has easier letters, such
as only one K, but an older version (with a yellow box, from 1986) has
two Ks and a generally more awkward letter distribution.
Using the sixteen cubes in a standard
Boggle set, the list of longest
words that can be formed includes inconsequentially,
quadricentennials, and sesquicentennials, all seventeen-letter words
made possible by q and u appearing on the same face of one cube.
Words within words are also allowed, for example: master, the two
separate words being mast and aster. Neither the cubes nor the board
may be touched while the timer is running.
Parker Brothers has introduced several licensed variations on the
game. As of 2006[update], only
Boggle Junior and Travel
Boggle Folio), continue to be manufactured and marketed in
North America alongside the standard
Boggle game, apart from a
licensed keychain miniature version.
Boggle Junior is a much
simplified version intended for young children.
Boggle Travel is a
car-friendly version of the standard 4×4 set. The compact, zippered
case includes pencils and small pads of paper, as well as an
electronic timer, and notably, a cover made from a soft plastic that
produces much less noise when the board is shaken.
Big Boggle, later marketed as
Boggle Master and
featured a 5×5 tray, and disallowed 3-letter words. Some editions of
Boggle set included an adapter which could convert the larger
grid into a standard 4×4
Boggle grid. In the United Kingdom, Hasbro
UK currently[when?] markets Super Boggle, which features both the 4×4
and 5×5 grid and an electronic timer which flashes to indicate the
start and finish. Despite the game's popularity in North America,
no version of
Boggle offering a 5×5 grid was marketed outside Europe
for an extended period until 2011, when
Winning Moves revived the Big
Boggle name for a new version. Their variant features a two-letter die
with popular letter combinations such as Qu, Th and In.
Parker Brothers released a self-contained version of the game
with the dice sealed inside a plastic unit, and featuring an
integrated timer. Although the older version has been discontinued,
some retailers refer to the newer one as "
Boggle Reinvention" to avoid
Winning Moves released a 6×6 version of the game called
Super Big Boggle. In addition to the two-letter dice with popular
letter combinations, there is also a die containing three faces which
are solid squares. These solid squares represent a word stop, which is
simply a space which may not be used in any word. The other changes
are that the time limit was increased from 3 minutes to 4 minutes,
3-letter words are no longer allowed, and there is a modified scoring
scheme, outlined below.
Scoring for the 6×6 version
2 points per letter
Boggle variants have included:
A version of the standard 4×4 set that included a special red "Boggle
challenge cube," featuring six relatively uncommon letters. Bonus
points are awarded for all words making use of the red cube.
Boggle CD-ROM, a version for Windows, produced and marketed by Hasbro
Interactive, including both 4×4 and 5×5 versions, several 3-D
versions, and facilities allowing up to four players to compete
directly over the Internet.
Body Boggle, which is more akin to Twister than it is to standard
Boggle. Two players work together as a team, using their hands and
feet to spell words on a large floor mat containing pre-printed Boggle
Boggle Bowl, in which players roll their own dice and compete to build
longer words in order to move their token toward their goal on a
(bowl-shaped) playing area. Similar to Scrabble, the play area has
special spaces, but here they alter the play for the next round.
Boggle was once an interactive TV game show hosted by game show
veteran Wink Martindale, that aired on The Family Channel (now ABC
Family) replacing the interactive version of Trivial Pursuit.
Coggle, which functions in a similar manner to
Boggle but involves
creating a word to fit a particular theme. Was mainly aimed at the
French and Canadian market.
Boggle Flash. An electronic version of Boggle, but consists of 5 tiles
in which 1–10 players make words by swapping tiles. This product is
sold in the United States under the name
Foggle, where the 16 dice have to be used to form valid mathematical
Numerous unofficial computer versions and variants of the game are
available. By 1989, users of MIT's
Project Athena competed in the
online game "mboggle". In 2013, Ruzzle, a mobile phone game based
on Boggle, topped the most-downloaded iPhone apps chart. Other
games similar to or influenced by
Boggle include Bananagrams,
Bookworm, Dropwords, Letterpress, Puzzlage, SpellTower,
Word Streak with Friends, WordTwist, and Zip-It.
Club and tournament play
While not as widely institutionally established as Scrabble, several
clubs have been established for the purpose of organizing
Boggle clubs exist at a number of educational institutions,
including the Dartmouth Union of Bogglers at Dartmouth College,
Western Oregon University
Western Oregon University
Boggle Club, the University of
Boggle Club, Berkeley
Boggle Club at the University of
California, Berkeley, CCA
Boggle Club at Canyon Crest Academy, and
Unlike Scrabble, there is no national or international governing or
rule-making body for
Boggle competition and no official tournament
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Boggle.
Boggle (game show)
^ Murphy, Mary Beth (1978-12-09). "Toy Designer's Creations
Mind". Milwaukee Sentinel. sec. 1 p. 10.
^ a b Hinebaugh, Jeffrey P. (2009), A Board Game Education, R&L
Education, pp. 57–65, ISBN 9781607092605, retrieved
^ BOGGLE Game Instructions - Hasbro, Retrieved December 3, 2013
^ By Dalia Col'n, Board silly? Try these gaming clubs, Tampa Bay Time,
Retrieved December 3, 2013
Hasbro catalog". Hasbro.com. 2012-04-03. Retrieved
Winning Moves Big
Boggle product listing". Winning-moves.com.
Scrabble Flash page on Board Game Geek.
^ Foggle page on Board Game Geek.
^ Garfinkel, Simson L. (April 1989). "The Hackers are Still Ahead"
(PDF). Technology Review. pp. 4–7. Retrieved 25 January
^ Wasserman, Todd. "
Ruzzle Is the First Breakout Hit of 2013".
^ "Collis Center for Student Involvement -". www.dartmouth.edu.
Western Oregon University
Western Oregon University Student Union site Archived January 14,
2009, at the Wayback Machine.
University of Michigan
University of Michigan Student Union site Archived November 5, 2007,
at the Wayback Machine.
^ "University of California Student Union site". Uga.berkeley.edu.
2008-02-21. Archived from the original on 2006-07-03. Retrieved
^ "Grinnell Student Union site". Grinnell.edu. 2012-04-15. Archived
from the original on 2013-01-28. Retrieved 2012-11-22.
^ Turner, Julia (2013-08-01). "
Boggle Is Better Than Scrabble". Slate.
The Slate Group. Retrieved 2013-08-22.
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