How to Play
The game of Plext consists of 8 rounds. Each round begins with all 14 dice being randomly rolled. The dice are then placed in the holder and flipped over so all of the players can see the dice at the same time. All of the players then try to use all 14 letters to create words. The letters need to be used in the order that they appear. Players can add additional letters that do not appear on the dice to help create the words. Words that cannot be used in the game include proper nouns, initials, abbreviations, prefixes and suffixes, words acquiring apostrophes, and words requiring hyphens.
Here is an example of how someone could play a round. The dice rolled are as follows IVNGMARLBKSTVL. A solution for this combination could be as follows: living marginal books travel (bold letters are the letters on the dice).
When players have used all of the letter and they are confident that they can’t think of a combination that uses less words, you make a bid equal to the number of words in your list. In the above example the player would bid four words. You then turn over the timer. The other players have a minute to finish their lists and make a bid.
Once the timer has run out, the player who made the lowest bid (or the player who made the bid first if two players bid the same) shows off their list to verify that it is correct. If it is correct, the player receives points equal to 10 points minus how many words were used by the player. The next round begins with the dice being rerolled. If they were incorrect, the next lowest bid gets to show off their list.
After eight rounds, the player with the most points wins the game.
I wouldn’t consider myself to be a huge fan of the word game genre. I don’t mind word games but there are many genres that I prefer. As you have probably already deduced, Plext is a word game. There are a lot of word games on the market and I wouldn’t consider most of them to be very original. Most word games are copy cats of Scrabble that add very little to the genre. While not the best game ever, Plext actually brings something new to the word game genre and is probably one of the better word games I have played.
As far as I know, there aren’t any other word games that utilize the game mechanic that is at the heart of Plext. If I am wrong I would love to hear from you in the comments. In most word games that utilize dice, you use the letters on the dice to form words. What is unique with Plext is that you can add as many letters as you want that are not found on the dice. Being able to add letters adds variety to the game since you aren’t forced to create a bunch of short words that utilize only the letters rolled. In the game that I played, there were a couple instances where two players came up with the same words but for the most part all of the players used different words that utilized different combinations of the letter dice.
You can get quite creative with the words you come up with. Your first instinct is to use words that begin with the next letter in the sequence. While that is usually an easy path to finding a word, finding words that don’t start with the next letter in the sequence usually results in better outcomes.
For the most part I would agree with the games’ age recommendation of ten. The game is not very hard to learn but younger children will have more issues since they don’t have as large of vocabulary to draw words from. I didn’t play the game with any children but I think it would do a good job building vocabulary and improving children’s spelling. Most likely the player with the largest vocabulary will win the game, but even if you aren’t going to win the game is still fun to play.
One thing that I found interesting about the game is that there is a reward/risk aspect to it. You need to decide when it is the best time to submit your words. If you go too quickly you will either be outbid by another player who utilized less words or if you end up winning you could leave points on the table. I really like the scoring system for this reason. The scoring system rewards you based on how well you do. You could submit your bid early and get a few points or you could put more time into it and end up getting more points. You don’t want to take too much time though since another player could submit the same bid before you and they will get the first chance to win the round.
Plext is a good word game but it is not perfect. Most of my issues are with the contents. The gameboard that is included with the game is pretty pointless in my opinion and didn’t need to really even be included. The gameboard is only used for a surface to roll the dice on and to indicate which round you are currently on. You really don’t need the board for either purpose and I ended up just using the scoresheet to keep track of which round we were currently on. The dice are also of average quality. The letters are only printed on the dice and are not engraved into the dice. The dice for my copy of the game haven’t had any issues with fading but with continued use the printing on the dice could wear off and you wouldn’t be able to tell which letter was originally there.
Finally one of the biggest issues with the game is that it is hard to load all of the dice into the tray in the correct direction. When the letters are revealed, some letters are always facing the wrong direction. On some of the dice there is a little dot to help indicate between two letters like “N’s” and “Z’s”. I think the game should have put these small dots on all of the dice in order to indicate the bottom of each dice so all of the dice could be loaded into the dice tray and all of the letters would be facing the correct direction when revealed.
I wouldn’t consider myself a huge fan of word games but I found Plext to be an pretty original and enjoyable word game. I won’t be playing it all of the time by I might pull it out every once and a while. Plext is not groundbreaking original but it does do enough new things to stand out among the many word games that are out there. If you don’t like word games, Plext is not for you. If you are a fan of word games though, Plext should give you an unique word game experience.