Wibbell ++ is not just a game – it’s an ever-expanding compendium of games, using the same deck of cards. Each card in the deck has two letters, one of six different borders, and a number.
The base game (Wibbell) is word-making race game: two cards are flipped over and the first person to say a word that contains at least one letter from each card gets to take a card. A new card is flipped over, and the process repeats – except: anyone with cards in front of them must also include at least one letter from each of their own cards as well! As soon as one player gets four cards, everyone flips their claimed cards face-down and you start over. When the deck is exhausted, the player with the most cards wins!
In Grabbell all players are dealt a single card and the remainder are spread over the table, face up. The moment the game begins you flip your card over, then grab a matching card (matching letter or border) from the pile on the table. This continues until you can’t see any cards to pick up (or want to stop picking up!) at which point you shout out “Grabbell!”. Play continues until all but one player has shouted Grabbell – everyone who did so scores ten points for doing so, plus a point per card in their stack. The player who failed to shout Grabbell gets a point per card left on the table after the final call of Grabbell, plus a point per card in their stack. Most points wins!
In Phrasell player reveals a card, and the two letters on it inspire a topic – M and X could be mixture or Muddy Expedition or Malcolm X, or anything where the M and X feel pertinent – and then two more cards are revealed. Then other players now have to use letters on the two new cards to come up with a four-word phrase about the topic. The ‘best’ sentence – as judged by the starting player – gets all three cards to keep as points (or the cards can be split: as two for best; one point for noble second).
That’s just three of the five games Wibbell++ plays. There’s also Alphabetickell (a game of letter sequencing) and Faybell (co-operative storytelling). What’s more the publisher is developing a website where they promise to add at least one game a year that uses the Wibbell deck.
We’ve had a ball with the Wibbell++ deck playing just three of the games here. The scoring for Phrasell is subjective at best but that’s part of the fun. The race-based tension of Wibbell can re-energise tired gamers and Grabbell is simply ludicrous, in a good way. I’m looking forward to trying the others.
A brilliant game to take travelling, the possibilities of the deck are endless, and the designer promises new games each year. Phrasell is probably my favourite so far – it makes a great after-dinner game and is hilarious and revealing by turns.
Minimal to none.
Exceedingly low - the five games here are all fast-moving, with perhaps the odd short pause in Wibbell and Phrasell.
Light - the word games will suit some more than others, but Grabbell can be played with almost no brains at all!
Variety is one of the strengths of the Wibbell++ deck, as more games are planned and being designed as I write.