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Heximania is a game that invites the whole family to a fun half-hour of strategic word play. Strategic word play. Family. These are ideas normally don't go together, but Heximania is simple enough for a first-grader to enjoy playing, and interesting enough to produce parental glee.

The game includes a collection of haxagonal letter tiles (thick, smooth, colorful) in a drawstring bag (well-made, with a locking closure), a hexagonal board (raised, 4x4x4x4x4x4 haxagonal grid, integrated turning base) 4 tile holders (plastic, ample), and a sand timer. The letter "A" is placed in the center of the board. Players each take 5 tiles from the tile bag and then take turns, adding one more letter to the board. The new letter must be adjacent to the last letter played. And it must make a word. When a letter is played, that player writes down all the words she can think of that begin with her letter, and can be formed from adjacent tiles. As the game progresses, a single tile placement can result in a surprising number of words. So surprising is the number of possible words that the player can easily miss one or several - especially with the pressure of having to complete the turn before the sand timer runs out. This adds significantly to the fun of it all, because the rest of the players can add to their score if they can find any words that were missed.

It reminds you of several good word games. Boggle®, Scrabble®, especially. But it's different. It's hexagonal, for one thing. For another, you build one letter at a time. For another, it's especially fun for kids, and just long enough to grab the collective attention span of the entire family.

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