The Alphabet Game: Fast Version

There’s a game that I learned how to play about a year ago called The Alphabet Game. I suggest reading the Wikipedia article that I linked so that you understand the game before reading the rest of the post (it’s not too long).

One thing that make the game harder to play is how long it takes to finish the alphabet. So I made a few modifications to make it easier to play on shorter trips:

  • I made it Single Player: This way you don’t have to race for the needed letter, and the third change works better
  • You can use licence plates: When I learned it, you were allowed to use words on vehicles so long as they weren’t on the licence plate. You can still play like that if you want, but being allowed to use licence plates for letters like J, Q, X, and Z can speed up the game a lot, making the game more playable for shorter trips
  • This one is the main difference: All you need to do to pass off a word is to say a word that you’ve seen already and remembered. For example, while looking for a word that starts with “A”, I might see a sign that says “Bus Stop”. After I’ve found a word that starts with “A”, if I can remember that I saw a sign that said “Bus” I can just say “bus” in my head and pass off the letter “B” without waiting for another word that starts with “B”. However, if, for instance, I need a word that started with a letter “S”, and I can’t remember that I saw the sign that said “Stop”, then I have to find another word that starts with “S”, or wait until I can remember that the word I’d seen earlier was “Stop”.

Put together, especially the last one, the game can be finished much faster and is easier to play on shorter trips, although it still might take a few hours to complete if you’re unlucky.

Other versions I’ve played to keep myself entertained:

  • Instead of looking for signs, watch the subtitles in a movie for words starting with the needed letter
  • Another way to play it without signs is to listen to people talking, looking for the needed words in the conversation
  • When you start looking for the letter “Z”, start a new game at the same time. You then continue to look for Z-words, but also whatever you’re on in the new game. One time I almost had both games to “Z” before I found what I needed.

Have fun,

~ George

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