Two weeks ago I ranted about two player games and while I have no intention of revisiting that rant for more than a sentence or two, I should mention that if you would like to read it you can HERE. In the article I lamented that some games that say they are intended for 2 players (or more), but they really shouldn’t say that. This week’s game is a GREAT 2 or more player game, and I think I like it best with 2 people. Definitely an exception to my rant!
Smart Mouth is a word game from ThinkFun that has been on the market for quite a while; long enough to get a box redesign and some new game play a year or two ago. The game revolves around the same plastic sliding “letter getter” centerpiece that’s used in ZINGO (read review HERE). I mentioned it in the ZINGO review, and I’ll mention it again: I love the “letter getter” or as I call it “the chook chook machine” – it’s really satisfying to use! Like the old credit card machines you move it forward and back and 2 new letter tiles appear.
When you get these letter tiles, players try to come up with a word that starts with the letter on the left and ends with the letter on the right. So in the picture above I might say BOOK or BIRTHMARK. If I were the first to answer, I would get to collect the B and K tile. Now, that was the premise of the old game (and the one I still play most often over a drink or two), but the new game has a die that gives you categories and more than one player can score per round. In the new game, the die is rolled to select one of these categories: Adjective, Famous People, Verb, Natural Object, Man Made Object, or Free Play. Then the “letter getter” gets some letters and the first player to yell out a word within the category that either uses the two letters as “bookends” (like the old game) like BUTTERMILK or words that have B and K anywhere in them like BROKEN and BARKEEPER . Which words are acceptable needs to be determined ahead of time and whoever yells an acceptable word first wins the green letter. Then all players have 60 seconds to come up with the LONGEST word using B and K – again players decide if they are playing only with bookend words or any words including the 2 letters anywhere in the word.
When the “letter getter” is out of letters the game is over and players count up their tiles. Obviously the winner is the player with the most tiles, and in case of a tie we always toss 2 random letters into the machine and whoever gets a bookend word first wins.
I really enjoy Smart Mouth and have for a long time. Honestly, I was going to write a review about it years ago but heard about the then-upcoming redesign and I just sort of forgot. How? I don’t know…but in a way I feel like I’ve let you, my wonderful readers, down. Sorry about that. Will be scouring my collection for other forgotten goodies!
I should also mention that Smart Mouth was invented by the Coster family (Ora, Theo and their sons Boaz and Gideon). Their company, Theora Design is also responsible for Hasbro’s classic Guess Who? along with a couple other titles from ThinkFun like What’s Gnu, ZINGO and Snack Attack. Amazingly, Theo and Ora have been in the inventing biz for more than 40 years… quite impressive!
Smart Mouth stats:
$20 Amazon and many others
2 or more players
10-40 minutes (depending on HOW you play)
Ages 8 and up