Fewer games can make me feel stupider quicker than anagram games. 4 year olds have been known to beat me at Scrabble, and on one occasion a Spaniard who only spoke 3 words of English. I have a deep phobia of Carol Vorderman and the show "countdown" because of this.
Boggle however does not elicit quite as much fear from me. I think it is the way the letters are set out, that you can get scores for 3 letter words, and that you get to play with dice. These facts soothe me.
Boggle is trademarked by Parker Brothers, a division of Hasbro (that also makes risk, trivial pursuit and monopoly). The game is played using a plastic grid (4 x 4) of dice with letters on them, in which players attempt to find words in sequences of adjacent letters. That sounds complicated, but it’s not. It’s actually quite fun. You get 3 minutes to find the words. So it can be a bit frenetic.
In fact if you took my blood pressure mid-boggle you might call for a doctor. Time-based games like this have a habit of raising some people into almost attack inducing states of pressure!
It’s been quite a popular game, with people - like comedian Josie Long - championing it along with UNO. Lots of computer versions of the game are available for example on Facebook's "Scramble" & "Prolific" applications. As usual with successful games like this there have been several licensed variations on the game like Boggle Junior and Travel Boggle. Though I’m not sure why you can’t just travel with normal boggle.
Boggle fact for the geekier among you: Different versions of Boggle have different distributions of letters. For example, a more modern version (with a blue box) in the UK has easier letters, such as only one "K", but an older version (with a yellow box, from 1986) has two "K"s and a generally more awkward letter distribution.
That’s something for those of you prone to duller anecdotes to whip out at parties. I’m sure I will inadvertently do so in conversation with someone I very much fancy in the near future.