DAILY COMBO: Snorta + Boggle

I love it when a combo seems preposterous at first and then something clicks and you have a game. Today’s combo was randomly chosen from my personal collection. In fact I have a new system just for rolling up the bookcase, bookshelf, stack and specific games to be matched up!

Today’s two randomly generated games:
Snorta (2004): Animal sound matching and memory game with colorful plastic miniatures.
Boggle (1972): Timed word-building game with randomized letter board.

Initial thoughts: Snorta is basically “Anomia” with animals. It’s one of those games where you the draw of a card pits you against a random other player and you each have to do something based on what the OTHER player is. In Anomia, it’s naming something from the other players category. In Snorta it’s making the noise of the other player’s hidden animal. It’s hard, but fun, and a little anxiety-triggering for a lot of people. I can’t for the life of me see how one can play Boggle using animal figurines… So we might be left playing an animal-based game using the Boggle equipment, with animal noises thrown in for fun. I still want to keep the “must use the other player’s entity” mechanic, though. Let’s see if I can make it work.

Game Combo: Here’s what I have in mind. Play Boggle, but also assign each player a hidden animal. When the timer starts, each player tries to find words associated with the other animals (not their own), keeping the lists separate for each animal. During play, you may only make your assigned animal’s noise, which will be the only clue as to what animal each player is (no fair staying silent or making an incorrect noise!). When the timer is expired, compare lists just like in Boggle, except for the following additional rules: When your word is not on any other person’s list, it is ZERO points. When your word is on exactly one other list (for that same animal), it scores a point for each letter like normal Boggle. When your word is on more than one other player’s list for that animal, it scores one point LESS for each additional list it’s on. So if you match 2 other players (ie. three of you have that word for that animal) and it’s a 4-point word, your final score for the word is 3. These new rules do basically serve to discourage assigning a generic word to an animal, since others wouldn’t likely assign that word randomly to that animal. Finally, during scoring when you speak up to indicate that a word is on your list too, do so by making your animal’s noise.

Final thoughts: Like many game combos, this might be played only once as described. However I can see many variations on this style of Boggle play. Instead of animals, you could assign famous historical figures to each player, or countries, or cities. You could even just give each player a category that the others have to find word for. For these variations I would NOT recommend hidden identities.