Approaches to Playing Boggle
There are several overall game strategies to use to become a successful Boggle player. Which overall Boggle strategy you select depends on your personality and the type of people you are playing Boggle with. Once you have a basic Boggle approach in place, there are then a series of smaller hints which will increase your Boggle points and develop your Boggle fame!
The two basic approaches to the Boggle game are a focused approach or a global approach.
1. The Focused approach to Boggle is the one I personally prefer. When the Boggle game begins I start at one small section of the board and try to find every word in that area. I then proceed, one small area at a time. This helps me be as thorough as possible. The only thing to watch out for in this approach to playing Boggle is the timer. It's important to be thorough in each small area of the Boggle board, but you don't want to spend so much time methodically teasing out every word in the first two areas and completely miss some prime, easy Boggle words on the rest of the board. I prefer to use this methodical method when playing Boggle, but I will usually go over each small area more than once. For example, I will find a bunch of Boggle words in section one, same in sections two, three, and four. Then, I go back and repeat the same process. The last thing it's important to remember when using this approach to playing Boggle, one must not have tunnel vision. Yes, you want to take one section at a time, but you don't want to miss words that happen to traverse more than one section of the Boggle board! This approach works very well for me, but Boggle does require some attention to the global approach.
Pros and Cons of the Focused Approach to Playing Boggle
- Easy to be thorough and not miss words
- More likely to find all variations of a given word (See hints below)
- Provides a framework for Boggle game play
- Can lead to tunnel vision
- May miss some of the Boggle board due to time constraints
- May lead to an inflexible approach
2. The Global approach to Boggle is also valid, and realistically a mix of both approaches is probably best (even though, as I said, I'm a devotee of the Focused approach to Boggle). In the Global approach you allow your eyes to take in the whole Boggle board all at once, to roam freely across all the letters. This means that your Boggle word search is not limited by boundaries and that you will more likely find words which traverse the sections which may limit a player using the Focused Boggle approach. Proponents of the Global approach to playing Boggle also sometimes like to physically turn the Boggle board a quarter or half turn sometime during the round to gain a new global perspective on the game. This drives some of us Focused Boggle fans crazy as it interrupts the methodical process! Depending upon who you're playing Boggle with, you may or may not want to try this! If you're playing with a group of Global Boggle people, give the turn a try. But be careful...you've been warned!
Pros and Cons of the Global Approach to Playing Boggle
- More likely to find words which traverse the Boggle board
- Running out of time is less of any issue
- Provides a framework for Boggle play
- May miss some word variations (plurals, etc.)
- Less structured approach
- Turning the Boggle board during a round may drive other players crazy!