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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Morphology, a game review


MSRP: 29.99

Ages 13 and up

can be modified for younger players

available at and various retailers

If you build it…

…we can only guess what it is.

Can you guess? (answers to follow, no peeking!)





Morphology is a game of imagination,

of building,

of acting out,

and of stretching the outer limits of abstraction.

It’s fun.

It’s also challenging.

What comes in the box?


  • Rules
  • game board
  • hour glass style timer
  • die
  • cards (each has an easy side and a hard side)
  • 4 frog playing pieces
  • various and sundry items for creating


It all fits neatly into this box.


How do you play?

The basics

  • You divide your players into teams and decide if you’ll be using the hard or easy side of the cards.
  • Each team member takes turns being the team’s “morphologist.”
  • When it’s your team’s turn, the morphologist chooses a card from the deck without showing it to anyone.
  • The timer is flipped and the morphologist starts building the word.
  • Other members of the team start guessing the word.
  • If you guess correctly, your team can move their frog to the next lily pad.

There are also special lily pads and you can add in the die for a more challenging game---imagine building with your eyes closed or building using only the string, that kind of challenging.


What did we think?

My husband and I played Morphology with my 4 kiddos: David (age 11), Mary (age 8), Peter (age 6), and Emma (age 2).

We played by the rules, but without the timer, the die, or the board. Oh, and we were all one team. ;0)

We also allowed the 2 non-readers to create their own without using the cards. (Shh, don’t tell!)

Now, that does take away the competitive nature of the game, but it doesn’t interfere with the challenge of getting it.

And it is a challenge.

We had a lot of fun, but Morphology really makes you think (I like that), it stretches you cognitively, and forces you to think outside of the box.

It’s different from Pictionary. It’s different from Charades. It’s much more abstract and, I think, requires more creativity.

You have to see a glass pebble as something other than a glass pebble. You have to see a bead as something other than a bead. You can’t just draw what you mean.

And you never know what you are going to get. It could be a noun or a verb or ? There’s no particular theme. Mary got this one:


How might you do that one?

I found that some of the “hard” words seemed easier than some of the “easy” words, too.

Morphology game can be very open-ended depending on how you play it and I loved letting the children exploring the pieces and seeing what they came up with. I’m looking forward to slowly moving towards using the timer and the game board as they get older.

I hear that they are also coming out with a Junior edition. We’ll be looking for that.

So what were the answers?


soup by Mary


a man being beamed up by a flying saucer as an alien monster emerges

by Peter (yeah, that was his own creation)


loud by David


a pumpkin patch

by Emma (yeah, also her own creation)

Morphology has made it onto our short list of favorite games!

Disclosure: I received Morphology for free to keep in order to facilitate my review. I received no compensation and all opinions expressed here are my own.


  1. That is so awesome! After you stated what the stuff was, I was like, "It totally is! How could I have thought it was anything else?"


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