A Word Game 

Robert Harris
Version Date: January 1, 2014

WordCarom challenges a player to make words from a randomly selected set of six letters (placed in the wheel) and a randomly selected vowel (placed in the center of the wheel). The six letters might include vowels also.

Here are the rules:

  1. Words are made by choosing letters from adjacent boxes.
  2. Words must be at least three letters long.
  3. The same box may be chosen as often as you like, including choosing the same box twice (to get EE, LL,TT, etc.).
  4. You may not choose a letter from a box that is not adjacent to the box containing the previously chosen letter.
  5. Create as many words as possible from the available letters.
  6. Plurals, tense, and actor forms all count. Thus, hen, hens, deal, dealer, and hunt, hunted are all acceptable.
  7. When the first player cannot create any more words from the wheel, the second player can poach and add as many words as possible before starting on a new wheel.
Simple scoring counts one point per letter of each word created.
Mega scoring exponentiates points for each letter:
WordCarom Example

Study the path of the letters for the creation of each of the following words and you'll see how the game works.
Words that can be made from this wheel:
Words that cannot be made from this wheel because two or more of the letters were taken from boxes that are not adjacent:

Game Generator
An Excel spreadsheet is available that will generate the populated WordCarom wheel for you. Instructions are also included. The generator selects the wheel letters randomly from 23 letters of the alphabet (omitting Q, X, and Z) together with the vowels A, E, I, O, and U (omitting the occasional role of Y as a vowel). When the generator populates two or more boxes with the same letter, you can repopulate the wheel by pressing F9 a few times. To avoid contention between players, choosing a fixed number of recalculations is recommended (10 is a nice number).

Gamesheet slice

A gamesheet that has space for ten games is also available. The gamesheet can be printed out and the WordCarom wheels can be populated in advance using the generator, or even manually, so that kids (or adults) can play the game on car trips or in waiting rooms. The gamesheet requires Acrobat Reader or a similar reader of pdf files.

Space is included on the gamesheet to play 10 games and to write up to 16 words for each game.

For the younger set, there is a child's gamesheet with larger WordCarom wheels and larger writing areas for the words. This version allows three games per sheet and sixteen words per game. It also features instructions. Once again, Acrobat Reader or a similar pdf-reading program is needed.

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Other word games:
DoDotHot | Extractor | Build a Word | Double Up | Cross 3 | Claim a Word
 Copyright 2014 by Robert Harris | How to cite this page
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About the author:
Robert Harris is a writer and educator with more than 25 years of teaching experience at the college and university level. RHarris at virtualsalt.com