FTW Staff Picks - Letter Tycoon
For The Win Board Game Cafe's Staff Picks is a weekly series where we take a quick look at some of the staff's favourite games, old and new.
Genre: Word / Economic
Designer: Brad Brooks
Player Size: 2 to 5 Players
Game Length: 30 minutes
For fans of: Scrabble, Dominion
Before Letter Tycoon there have been 3 very strong pillars in the Word game genre: Scrabble, Bananagrams and Word on the Street. A few other spelling-style games have come out but none that have grabbed the attention quite like that trinity. Paperback probably came the closest, but I think Letter Tycoon fits better into the "gamer" Word game niche.
Letter Tycoon delivers your standard spelling-fare but adds the dynamic of economy to the mix. You can force your opponents to second-guess their moves, as it may benefit you more than them. Owning patents on more common letters like vowels are pricy with likely big payouts, but there are advantages to owning the Q's and Z's as well. Owning the patents of some letters gives the player competitive abilities, such as being able to build two words in one turn.
Letter Tycoon is no more difficult to pick up and play as Scrabble, but provides a completely fresh landscape for wordsmiths. The box is a real eye-grabber. The game stands out on every game shelf, both facing forward and on its side. It's constantly pulled off our shelf without any need to guide players to it. From the components to the gameplay, each element of the game is wonderfully crafted to great detail.