The new Word on the Street game review

Word on the Street board game

A new version of Word on the Street has arrived.

When we started reviewing family board games in 2009 a word game was published that we really loved – Word on the Street by Out of the Box Games.

Not being huge games of word games like Scrabble and Bananagrams, we were pleasantly surprised by Word on the Street. Since it’s a team game we especially found it to be a great party game and love playing guys vs. gals at our couples game nights.

Out of the Box Games also published Word on the Street Junior and later an expansion for the original game.

They’d also run life size versions of the game at board game conventions. They even played a humongous game of Word on the Street during halftime at a BYU football game 5 years ago.

Unfortunately, Out of the Box Games is no longer around.

Fortunately though, Educational Insights is now publishing a new version of Word on the Street!

So if you don’t yet have a copy of Word on the Street for your family you don’t have to try and track down the original game. You can get the new version and have lots of fun battling over words on the street!

Word on the Street board game

Try to get 8 letters to your side of the street.

 

How to play Word on the Street

Word on the Street board game

The tug-o-war over letters is a lot of fun.

Word on the Street is a super simple game to play. If you haven’t seen our original video review by our daughter Brooke, we’ll give you a quick rundown. If you have, you may just want to jump to the “what’s new” section below.

In Word on the Street, two teams compete to be the first to get 8 letters off their side of the game board.

On a team’s turn, they first draw a category card. Once it’s been read, the sand timer is flipped and the team has until it runs out to come up with 1 word that fits the category and to move the letters in that word one space closer to their side of the board.

All of the letters (except vowels, J, Q, X, & Z) start in the middle of the street with two lanes (spaces) on either side. For every occurrence of a letter in the chosen word, that letter moves one lane closer to the team’s side.

Once a letter is moved off of one side of the board, that team has claimed the letter and it can’t be moved again. Future words can still use that letter, it’s just that it won’t get moved any more.

The game ends as soon as one team has claimed an 8th letter. They can do whatever victory dance they’d like.

Word on the Street board game

Come up with a word to fit the category.

 

What’s new on the street?

We’re happy to report that the game play hasn’t changed at all in the latest version of Word on the Street by Educational Insights. It’s still the fun tug-of-war game over letters.

The differences are found in the components of the game.

The first thing everyone will notice is the box art.

Word on the Street board game

Old vs. New box art.

The original game box doesn’t have much flair to it. The red box would stand out on game store shelves, and the box front shows that it’s clearly a letter tile game.

The new box art gives a sillier impression of the game with cartoony visuals and lettering. The tagline, “The Hilarious Tug of Words” is unchanged, but there are also other words in speech bubbles coming out of traveling cars. The new box front is also devoid of showing tiles or letters.

The next big noticeable difference is seen as soon as you open the box.

The new Street has a big artistic change.

Word on the Street board game

Old vs. New board.

Rather than just a paved road like in the original, the new street board is full of artwork.

The letters still run down the middle of the board with two spaces on either side. But no longer are those spaces lanes of a road. Instead the roads, cars, people, signs, buildings, and other roadside attractions are all over the board.

While the new board may look fun and entertaining, we’ve found it incredibly distracting during the game.

It may be fine when you start the game since the letters are all lined up nicely in the center. But as soon as you pull letters off the center line, they get lost in the background.

Word on the Street board game

I can come up with a word, but locating the letters to move is a challenge.

Since players are up against the clock to move the letters closer to their side, trying to actually locate the letter tile in its row amidst the visual bustle can be frustrating.

The last noticeable change is the letter tiles themselves.

Word on the Street board game

Old vs. New letter tiles.

In the original game, they tiles are a nice chunky material and the letters each have a unique street sign shape around them.

In the new version, all the letter tiles are the same shape and are made of a thick cardstock. They also have color borders that match the colored lines for their row on the board. The border and grey background help a little in identifying them when looking to move them on a turn, but unfortunately it’s not enough of a visual break to combat the distraction of the background art mentioned before.

We haven’t compared category card by category card between the two versions of the game, but the categories in the new version are just as fun as the original.

Word on the Street board game

Old vs. New category cards.

 

Our final verdict

Word on the Street board game

Which version do you prefer? (Note: the letters in the same locations on both boards.)

If you haven’t guessed, we prefer the original game components over the new version. The old version may not be flashy or entertaining, but the simplicity let’s the game shine through.

However, even with our nitpicks about the new components, Word on the Street is a fantastic family game to own.

If you don’t yet have a copy of the game, we highly recommend you buy a copy today!

It’s a game that has a timeless feel to it and is simply fun to play.

You may think you’d go back to the same words for a particular category time and again once you find a great word with lots of consonants. But that’s not the case. Because inevitably the next time you get that category, you’ll be wanting to pull different letters your way. So you’ll have to come up with something else to get that darn “G” or “W” back your way. Plus, there are 432 categories in the game!

So there’s plenty of replay value and fun for under $20!




We’d like to thank Educational Insights for a review copy of the new Word on the Street.

 

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