Allegro: words unleashed!
Each player starts with a hand of eight cards facedown, each with a letter of the alphabet on it, and maybe a wild card. The next card from the deck is the face-up discard-pile card that starts the game.
Everyone lays out their cards face up. The first player announces a word that uses the discard letter as its first or last letter, then spells out that word with his cards. When playing with three or more, the poker-chip-like Turn Token designates whose turn it is.
No word play from your hand? Players can also match the discard with a card showing the same letter. Other rules apply, too, like swapping cards with the deck when you can’t make a word; stealing cards from other players to make a “big word”; dumping cards on a player who comes up short on cards to spell his word; and challenging iffy words. Like in Scrabble?, the best strategy is to make up longer words, since you win by running out of cards.
Allegro is a fun and short (15 minutes per game) wordsmith game with some thought-provoking intensity and educational value.
Don Oldenburg ©2018 Parents’ Choice
A former feature writer and consumer columnist at The Washington Post for 22 years, Don Oldenburg is the Director of Publications and Editor of the National Italian American Foundation, in Washington, D.C. He regularly reviews books for USA Today and is the coauthor of “The Washington DC-Baltimore Dog Lovers Companion” (Avalon Travel). The proud father of three sons, he lives with his journalist-author wife, Ann Oldenburg, in McLean, VA.