TTRPG Review: Playing the Classic Word Game Perquackey
By: Jason Daniel
Do you like word games? Do you enjoy fast-paced games? Do you ever feel that your friendships are going too well, and you need to spice them up with some frustration and annoyance? Then Perquackey might be the game for you.
Perquackey is a classic from 1956 that has held up very well and should continue on in that same vein. There have been many types of word games; the simplicity and randomness of this one has helped it to hold my attention for a lot longer than most others. It is different from most word games because it uses dice instead of tiles and has rules in place for team play. Due to the option of team play, this 2-6 player game is great for family game night and large gatherings of friends.
Perquackey is played with ten letter-covered dice but goes up to 13 when you reach 2000 points; that you roll out of a cup and form words with. Points are scored by making 3 to 10 letter words up to 5 times in each size category. Not only do you get more points as you fill up your allowable words by number, but you also get bonus points for completing multiple word size groups. When you break that 2000 point barrier, you are now vulnerable to losing points, but you also get to add three more letter dice to the mix. Now that you are rolling 13 dice, you have to get a minimum of 500 points each turn, or you will lose 500 points and not gain any of the points for the words you formed. You also lose the ability to use the three-letter word category, thereby dropping your group completion chances and those sweet, sweet bonus points. This ability to lose points stays with you until the end of the game, even if you drop below the 2000 point threshold, so be sure to study up on your SAT words so you can stay competitive in this top-speed word game.
For my group of friends and me, it is much more fun to play on teams than not. There is just something about two or three people yelling out words simultaneously to one person while they frantically try to spell out a word that they couldn’t think of on their own a moment ago. Now there is a rule that your team can’t chime in until you have completed the three and four-word categories, but we ignore that at my house because we enjoy the cacophony of craziness that happens when the three-minute clock feels like thirty seconds and everyone is spastically trying to get their words out there to the one teammate who has to form those words out of the letters in front of them to get the points.
Don’t get me wrong, you can play this game calmly and rather quietly, which I do when it is just my wife and me. But, there is just something enjoyable about taking a group of calm friends and getting them rowdy over a game that sounds like a technical term for a duck-centered disease about words they haven’t used in normal conversation since college.