What's My Word marries classic deductive mechanisms with more traditional word game elements. Over the course of the game, players attempt to determine two mystery words by guessing a series of small words. Each guess provides the player clues about the mystery word in the form of points which are awarded for the frequency and placement of letters between the two words. While correctly guessing the mystery word provides a significant bonus, strategic use of guesses can also bring in enough point to win the game.
The game is played over two rounds. In the first round, players will be attempting to work out their opponent's mystery six letter word and in the second they will be working on a seven letter word. Each turn, players take turns guessing a smaller word that lines up somewhere with the mystery word. For example, it might be a three letter word that corresponds to the the last three letters of the mystery word. Players then score points for their guesses. 250 points for each letter that appears in the mystery word but is in the wrong position and 1000 points for a letter that is in the exact position. To help narrow down the possibilities and track their progress, each player receives a pad that includes an area to mark their guesses and an alphabetic scratchpad.
In essence, What's My Word is a puzzle that makes students really think about word structure as they select their guesswords for the turn. While finding letters that appear in the word offers some reward, the real goal is discovering their exact placement. By thinking about how words are constructed, students can make smart guesses that maximize their score while gleaming more information about the nature of the mystery word. It is this deconstructive approach to a word game makes that adds to the value of the game. While the analog version of the game is a two player game, a small group of students could play as a team, discussing strategies and coming up with guesses together. The iOS implementation provides both solo play and play against opponents. When projected, the solo play works great as a class activity with students trying to tackle the challenge as a group. Either implementation is sure to present a fun, challenging approach to vocabulary and word structure for students.