Words of the Wise is a word game that contains 101 Words of the
Wise category cards, which are approximately three inches square.
Each card lists a category such as countries, authors, or trees.
These categories are printed in English, French, Spanish, and German.
There are three ways to play. First of all, a winning point score
is determined, such as 100 points. The standard method is for players
to go around clockwise, each naming a word in alphabetical order
relating to the category. If you can't answer, you are out. The
last person remaining wins the number of points posted (multiples
of ten from ten to fifty) on the category card.
In the speed method, each player writes down a word for each letter
of the alphabet relating to the category before the time is up.
When the timer goes off, the person with the most acceptable answers
wins the points.
Then there is the challenge variation, where a word for every
letter of the alphabet must be supplied in order to win.
The game also comes with 24 Wise Alec cards, which are optional.
If you use these cards, one card is dealt to each player for each
round of play. These cards are similar to those used in Uno. The
Pass card allows you to skip a subject or turn; Skip allows you
to skip a letter; Multi-skip allows you to skip more than one letter;
Last Letter lets you end your word with the letter instead of beginning
it with the letter; and Reverse lets you repeat the same letter
One thing about these Wise Alec cards is that they only contain
a symbol and not the instruction for what to do. The symbols are
not necessarily intuitive. For example, a sun signifies pass, and
a zero is the symbol for ending the word with the letter.
It is curious that this game, for ages ten and up, contains category
cards for wines, beer, and beverages and cocktails. Depending on
your family values, you may want to remove these cards before playing.
Otherwise, the categories span a wide range of knowledge such as
baby stuff, schools, sports, mountains, Latin words, medical terms,
books and novels, mythical gods and creatures, and inventors and
Our family thought it would be good to alter the game rules to
give younger players an equal advantage. For example, you could
allow players to come up with one word for three consecutive letters
of the alphabet. There are some letter and category combinations
that are practically impossible.
All in all, Words of the Wise is a great game to get the mental
juices flowing. Its size makes it portable, and it can be played
by both children and adults.