Review: Word Master. A board game for fans of Wordle

If you know someone that loves to play Wordle then Word Master from Character Toys is the perfect gift for them. One person becomes the host each round and chooses a 5 letter word for the other players to guess. The host then scores the guess with a green token for each letter that’s correct and a yellow token if the letter is in the word in a different position. Sounds very much like the popular online word game so far right? Well there are some differences and the game won’t appeal to everyone.

Word Master perfect gift for fans of Wordle. Showing tiles and 2 animal word guesses
Word Master is a 5 letter word guessing game

Word Master Review 

I think the game is pretty tough. It says it’s for players age 5 and upwards, but I struggle to play it because my brain just doesn’t work in the right way. I can’t play Wordle very well either. I could do random letters, but to come up with a word each time is a challenge. What helps though is there are category cards you can use eg animals or sports. This obviously helps to rule a lot of words out. If all players are really good at the game though you don’t need to use these category cards and you can select any 5 letter word.

One difference between Word Master and Wordle is that to submit a guess you have to spell your word out using the alphabet tiles. Finding the letters you need will slow people down. Another big difference is that if you have 2 or more people playing then you can learn from their guesses as all players can see how the words are being scored. To keep track of letters that have been ruled out there is a board where letters can be flipped down.

A pile of plastic tiles with a black capital letter on each
Pick up the letters to spell out your 5 letter words guess

Getting Ready To Play Word Master

When you open the box the category and alphabet cards have to be separated from the sheets. You need to slide the alphabet cards into the doors on the Alphabet Board (check the instructions on how to do this).

The alphabet tiles are placed in the middle of the table and a player is selected to be the host first. All the other players take a game rack, 5 green tokens and 5 yellow tokens. The game is for 2 to 4 players so there are 3 racks for guessing the word and one person is the host. 

2 children and a dad sitting at a table playing word master game
Playing Word Master with family

Playing Word Master

The host selects a category card and either chooses one of the words on the back or chooses another 5 letter word in the category. They then announce the category and all players start to build a word for the Alphabet tiles. As soon as a player has created a word they turn their game rack towards the centre for the host to mark.

Going through the word in order a green token is given for a letter in the correct place, yellow for a letter in the word, but in the wrong location and any incorrect letters are flipped down on the Alphabet board. 

You get a point if you are the first player to correctly guess the word and then another player becomes a host and selects a a new word.

A guess of sloth in Word master guessed correctly with green tiles next to each letter in the rack
There are category cards to help you choose a word and narrow down the guesses

Variations of Play

The category cards make it easier to guess the word however there are a limited number of words on the back of them so after playing a few times you will probably want to think of a  5 letter word in the category not listed. You can also move on to not using categories at all to make it extra challenging.

It suggests you could use a timer to speed up the game. In this version you would choose a time limit for each round and if no one guesses the word within the time limit the host gets a point.

Head to Head Gameplay

If playing with just 2 players then the Head to Head version might be better than the standard game. In this version both players select a word at the same time and have to guess the other players word. 

Word Master box received for review
Word Master game review

What I thought of Word Master

I enjoy being the host, but otherwise I personally don’t enjoy playing Word Master. This is no fault of the game though, it’s just not my thing. I would probably get better at it with practice though. I do think it would be a brilliant buy for my many many friends who seem to play Wordle. It’s a slowed down version, but they would still find it a fun word game. 

The Alphabet Board is pretty delicate and the doors keep falling off. If the table is knocked during play it might accidentally close doors too. However the board isn’t a key part of the game as it’s just to track the wrong letters guessed. You can also keep track of wrong guesses (yours and other people’s) on notepaper.

I think this game best suits teens and adults, but you might want to check their thoughts on Wordle before gifting.

You can buy Word Master from Smyths, Amazon, Argos and other places that sell games.

Need Additional Help on Word Master?

While the game is engaging for most, it does require practice. Luckily word unscramblers are an extremely helpful tool in these cases. They can help with words that start with certain letters, words that end with certain letters, and even words by length. While these tools shouldn’t be used to beat the game, it can help players that are still mastering the game.

Disclosure: we received this game for an Instagram ad and I chose to review it here.

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