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Board and Card video game by Infogrames for the Computer

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Boggle – can you spell ADDICT?

  • Dec 27, 2001
  • by
Pros: Inventive, fast paced, learning experience

Cons: There is no support group available

The Bottom Line: Go ahead, but I warned you

Clever, aren’t they? Those people that design such things as computers, luring us onto the highway where we don’t look back over our shoulder to what it was like in the old days. You know, when you used pencil and paper or when you picked up a phone (one that was actually plugged into the wall and not in your pocket) and talked to people. Ah, the good old days.

Then ….. then …. they decided it wasn’t enough that we were spending 20 hours per day surfing the waves of information, there had to be more. They had to have a way to trap us for those last fleeting 4 hours of our daily life. Enter the computer generated games. Doesn’t matter what your addiction – RPG, WWF®, Monopoly®, Mindtrap®, Solitare®, Scrabble®, The Sims®, or Boggle®. There is a game for everyone and they are bad - very, very bad.

Computer games should come with auxiliary accoutrements. For instance, there should be included with every CD a large bottle of some headache relieving product, a neck brace, a soft wrist cast, a sling for your arm, a ‘design your own divorce’ packet, and the name and address of a local recovery group.

I have played Boggle® for years. The idea of beating that little 3 minute hourglass by spelling any number of words from that jumbled up mess of little tiles is just plain fun. I foolishly mentioned I enjoyed the game to my roommate and the next thing I know, I have a computer game of Boggle®. As if the 12 hours a day I was spending playing Hoyle® Solitare wasn’t enough, enter my old friend Boggle®.

Boggle® can be downloaded into the hard drive of your computer, or played from the CD alone. I find this a great plus because I can take the darn game with me everywhere I go and not miss a single night of sleepless hours staring at that damn game board.

Minimum requirements, according to their specifications, are:
Windows® 95
12 Mb RAM
11 MB Free Hard Disk
DX2 66 MHz Processor
1 Mb SVGA card
SoundBlaster or 100% compatible

Boggle® consists of a little box that holds, in the basic game, 16 small tiles with letters on them. These tiles can be jumbled in any fashion and you must spell words by going up, down or diagonal. You can cross over letters, as long as they are in sequence, to pick up an “S” or “ED” to extend your word for more points. Of course, the letters must be available and adjacent to each other in order to do this. A minor flaw if your tiles contain the letters: Z, W, X, I, I, G, O, O, H, Qu, etc. (Note, the ‘Qu’ is on one tile. That was very nice of them)

With Classic Boggle®, words must be at least 3 letters long, with Master Boggle® they must be at least 4 letters long. You can play alone, with up to four players, or you can foolishly play in real time against the internet in Boggle® headquarters.

Each game lasts 3 minutes per player. You move your mouse over the letters of your choice and hopefully spell a word. If you make a mistake, click on the letter again to erase it. You can also type the letters on the keyboard but I would think this would take longer. Your completed words appear on a score sheet to the right of the game.

They are ‘sweet’ enough to let you know from the giddy-up just how many words can be spelled with the selection of tiles you have available. Trust me, there is something daunting when a new game board comes up and you see the notation ‘124’ words. Come on, in 3 minutes, I am lucky to break out 40 words without becoming flustered, 124 is beyond the realm of reasoning.

After your time runs out, they show the list of words that were available compared to the list that you have compiled. How stupid do you feel when you miss a simple word like ‘out’ or ‘you’, and how proud are you when you manage to find ‘stupidest’. The other thing I really like is the fact that they will give you a complete meaning to any word they have suggested. You simply click on the word and a dictionary pops up showing the meaning and how it relates in a sentence. For some of those ‘Q’ and ‘Z’ words, this is a major piece of information!

Does this sound a little boring? Basic word games not enough titillation for your mind? Never fear, they are evil as I explained. There is Breakaway Boggle® which is the same basic concept as Classic, except instead of a flat workspace, the cube is 4x4x4. In other words, it is accessible from all sides to pick letters. The letters are stacked on top each other but the cube can be rotated to see all sides. Once letters are selected, those letter tiles are removed from the cube so that eventually to can see the buried tiles as well. Yeah, right. Again, this is a timed game of three minutes.

For those that prefer a little excitement in their games, try Battle Boggle®. With this you are playing against an opponent and your tiles are four-sided. Each side contains a different letter, offering more word building options. The tile cubes are on either side of a blank tile frame and as you select the letter tile of your choice, you drag it into the blank tile frame. You can select up to four letters before your respective turn is completed and it is passed to your opponent. Your selection is 8 tiles, which are 4-sided, giving you an option of 32 letters – again, 3 minutes.

If you are feeling ‘trekky’, you can always play Space Boggle®. This one almost drove me insane. There are no limitations on the amount of letters available in this game. The spin on this however is that the tiles are free floating in space. They start in an asteroid belt and are so damn tiny you can barely make them out, eventually floating in 3-D motion to you. You can click letters anywhere on the page for this game, they do not have to be adjacent to each other. Catching the little buggers is the trick. They are moving fairly fast and by the time you see one you want, it has already passed out of the game board.

You are limited to words at least 3 letters long, and you have one minute to find at least 5 words before advancing to the next level. Of course, the higher the level, the faster the little tiles float in space. Grrrrrrrr

If you are truly demented, there is In Your Face Boggle®. The tile grid, 4x4, appears with the letters stacked 10 levels deep and the objective is to get to the base level. As you remove tiles, supposedly forming words, the base tiles move closer and closer to you. If you cannot play a tile, never fear, they change on regular intervals, just to make it even more aggravating. Again, this is timed. Good luck!

And finally, if you are bored to distraction, click the network logo and join a bunch of sick people with no lives at all, just like you. The ‘host’ (that would be the dang network) selects which game you will play. So if you are looking for a simple little game of Classic Boggle®, you just might get screwed. They also offer a chat feature, which can be accessed during game play, like who has the time to chat while you are trying to find words?

You can change the background, the sound or consult the dictionary at any time by selecting the edit key. You can also customize each game variant or turn the sound completely off, which I do at work because who needs to let the boss know when the final 10 seconds of the time clock is ticking down? Whew! There is also a help key, which has in depth instructions for each game, and the ever loving exit key.

Other than the obvious fact that this is addicting, the two things I don’t like about the game are really petty. For one thing, if you are cheating at work and playing a game and the supervisor should happen to be wandering your way, you can’t quickly leave the game board. Yeah, yeah, I know, you aren’t supposed to be doing this at work anyway, but who cares? First you have to hit the file button, then pause game, then reduce the game to the bottom of your computer by hitting that little (-) at the top of the screen. Ya know, sometimes, if you are engrossed, you don’t have those spare seconds (smile).

Secondly, each time you exit the game, you have to sit through the rolling credits before it will shut down. Fine, I like to know who designed what and where they got their dang information, but I should be able to do this at my option, not have it forced on me each time I quit the game.

Well, like I said, an addicting game for sure. I often find myself thinking, well I’ll just play one more game because the last one had all consonants and they still said there were 75 words available and I only found two words. It wasn’t fair. Of course, then the next game was so easy, I found 45 words immediately and I just need to play one more just for fun.

Then, it is I’ll just smoke one more cigarette and then I’ll quit playing. Of course, it burns up in the ashtray without me touching it, requiring one more, and more games. Next thing I know, it is 3 am and I’m seeing little tiles floating in my head and trying to spell words that aren’t there. In fact, as I type this, I am thinking of a million words. How ridiculous is that when the little game cube comes up and the letters are available? But just in case ……….

Boggle® is offered by Hasbro Interactive™. Technical support can be reached at http://www.hasbro.com. For personal addictive support, you are on your own. They also offer Scrabble®, wait til I tell you about that one!


p.s. I forgot. You can add words to the dictionary. You know, those little words we use everyday and aren't available to just everyone? Of course, then you really feel like a dummy when you miss it the next time.


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Susi Dawson ()
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About this video game


Boggle CD-ROM is a faithfully computerized and expanded version of the board (cube?) game, enhanced with new variations on the basic theme of spelling words from a random assortment of cubes with different letters on each face and expanded to allow multiple players to battle each other across networks. Boggle 101: You and one or more of your literate friends stare at a 4x4 or 5x5 matrix of letter cubes. You all spend the next two minutes ferreting out and writing down what long and hopefully hard-to-find words can be spelled legally from the letters in the grid. To spell a word legally, you must by able to place a mental finger on its first letter and move your finger through the grid, traversing the letters that make up the word in order, and always moving from one letter to another that is adjacent to it, either vertically, horizontally, or diagonally. After a couple of minutes of spelling words, all players stop and compare their lists, crossing out any words that appear on more than one p
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ESRB: E - (Everyone)
Publisher: Infogrames
Release Date: July, 2000

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