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Movable Type: Review

Movable Type: Review

Information:

Mechanics: Word, Drafting
Player Age: 8+
Player Count: 1 - 6 Players
Time to Play: 20 - 40 Minutes
Game Designer: Robin David
Publisher: Uncanny Cardboard
BGG Weight: 1.67
Disclaimer: A review copy for the game was provided by the publisher.

The Game:

Objective:

The game consists of five rounds, four of which will be used to gain letter cards that can then be used later in the fifth round. Whoever has the word comprising the most points in the fifth round is the winner.

Card Anatomy:

Letter Cards:
There are 76 letter cards with the letter and point value at the top right and bottom left of the card. The more challenging letters will increase in points.
Vowel Cards:
These cards consist only of vowels, and share the same value placement as the letter cards.

Author Cards:
These cards have special ways to win the author at the end of the round. These abilities will be used to add letters to your collection for the fifth round.
Round Trackers:
There are five cards used to track each of the five rounds along with which direction the cards will be passed during each round (more on the drafting aspect in the how to play).

Setup:

- create the round pile by ordering the cards from 1 to 5
- deal three author cards to the centre
- deal two letter cards and one vowel card to the centre, this will be referred to as the ‘common letters’
- deal each player five letter cards

How to Play:

For the first four rounds, each player will pick a letter from their hand to keep then  pass the rest of their cards in the direction indicated on the round card.
This will continue until every card has been drafted. Each player should now have five cards which are then used, along with the common letters, to make a word. You do not have to use all of your letters to make your word. Any unused letter cards will go into a discard pile and then each word will be score based on the combined numerical value. If any player has met an authors condition then they will gain that card for the fifth round or follow what the card states to do.

You don't have to be first to claim an author, however if another player has met the condition for the same author then no players will gain that card. Then, based on what  scores, players (starting with the round winner) will be able to take letters from any word or the common letters to be added to a face down stash for the fifth round (see table below). You cannot look at any previous cards placed into your stash, so maybe choose a word beforehand consisting of around 4 letters and count them off in your head as you collect them at the end of each round.


Discard the top card of the round stack, replace any collected authors and redraw the common letters and player cards to continue play for four rounds. So by the end of the fourth round you will have built up quite a collection of letters. Now it is time to start the fifth and final round.  Firstly, the authors in the common area are removed and no cards are dealt to players. Using the cards from your stash and the refreshed common letters, each player will make a word. Whoever has the highest valued word will win the game.

Final Thoughts:

Pros:
- great player range of 1-6
- you have a chance to win right up until the final round
- it isn’t hard to create words but will reward skilled word crafters with author cards

Cons:
- a good vocabulary isn't needed for the game but a good sense of memory is
(the collection can be looked at, as a variant game mode)

I am not normally a fan of word games as they tend to drag when you don't have a proficient vocabulary. However, due to the drafting, the mechanics of the fifth round, common letters, and spectacular author cards, this word game solves that issue. Sure you gain an advantage for winning the previous rounds but in the fifth round it is still anyone's game. I haven't yet played this as a solo game  but the game feels consistent for all other player counts due to the simultaneous play. This will definitely be going on my shelf as my go to word game and has earnt a Silver Seal of Approval.

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