Synopsis of Toy
This is what happens when Scrabble gets too much sugar in its system. The world has its share of word games, but perhaps none as hyperactive as Boggle. Sixteen letters, three minutes, two or more frantically scribbling, nerve-wracked players—for more than 25 years, that’s been the formula for Boggle’s speed-writing success.
Each game started innocently enough: Someone put the 16 letter cubes (a different letter on each side) in the bubble-cased Boggle tray, shook the thing up, and let the letters fall into place on the 4x4 letter grid. And then the madness began. Racing against the three-minute timer, players made as many three-or-more-letter words as they could by mentally lining up adjoining letter cubes—across or diagonally. Each letter could only be used once, and no skipping over interfering letters just because you could spell some really great word if you did.
Once the timer ran out, pencils went down, and players called out the words they’d found. Let the familial humiliation begin- find out the idiot of the clan is! If a word showed up on more than one player’s notepad, the word was scratched off, and all remaining words earned from 3-11 points, depending on the number of letters used. After the points were totaled up, the Boggle shaking recommenced, and another round of speedy spelling got underway.
Anybody with basic writing skills could learn and play Boggle, but of course, not all spellers were created equal. Parker Brothers recognized that fact, and in response, the company released several variations on the Boggle idea. Big Boggle upped the grid to 5x5, for a total of 25 letters. On the other end of spectrum, Boggle Junior simplified the game for those still learning the writing ropes. The Twister-like Body Boggle had gamers spell the words on a large floor mat, while Boggle Bowl added a board game element to the familiar Boggle routine. In the latter 90's, the classic game even got a CD-ROM update, with five new ways to play.
Any way the letters lined up, it spelled another word game classic, one that has thrived for more than a quarter century. Boggle might not have been your grandmother’s word game (then again, we don’t know your grandmother), but it certainly knew how to liven up a spelling lesson.
Release History of Toy1973 - Boggle
1979 - Big Boggle
1984 - Body Boggle
1987 - Boggle Bowl
1997 - Boggle CD-ROM