Search and Replace

From Ludocity
Revision as of 17:59, 18 January 2009 by Kevan (talk | contribs) (Adding an example photo of "Toffee Republic".)
Search and Replace
Toffee republic.jpg
Designer: Kevan Davis
Year: unknown
Players: 2+
Stuff required: Category lists. Cameras. Scrabble tiles, or some other physical letters, or just a pen.
Crew required: None.
Preparation: Five minutes.
Time required: Ten minutes upward.
Place required: Any urban space.
Activities: Finding, photography, wordplay.
This is an untested game. Its rules are written, but it hasn't been tested out yet.
This game is made available under an Attribution-Noncommercial Creative Commons licence. (What does this mean?)

Grab a set of lettered tiles and head out into the city, to twist the roadsigns and headlines to your will.


Prepare a category list for each player - this should be a list of ten or so categories (such as: food, a city, a boy's name, an animal), which the players will try to find words to fit.

If you've got the resources, give every player a handful of Scrabble tiles, or equivalent lettered objects - it needn't be a full alphabet, seven or eight should give a good balance of freedom and challenge. If you're on a low budget, you can just give people pens, and a number of cardboard squares equal to the number of categories. (And if you're playing this on an unprepared whim, players can just write letters on scraps of paper, or their fingers.)

If you've got a lot of players, if not everyone has a camera with them, or if you just want a more social game, you can group people into pairs or teams, each team working together as if they were a single player.

Hand out the lists and tiles, agree on when the game will end, and start searching.


Given a list of categories, you must find words or phrases that fit those categories, in the environment around you. Shop names, roadsigns, posters, newspaper headlines, café chalkboards - any printed or pre-existing written material is fair game. Find it, and take a photo of it.

The only restriction is that you must change one of the letters (and only one letter), by holding up one of your Scrabble tiles when you take the photo. You can't just take straight photos of words that fit, you have to change one of the letters.


When the time is up, all players must return to the starting point. You should then go through each category in turn, and have each player call out the word they took a photo of, showing their camera screen to the other players.

If you got a photo for a word, you get one point, unless someone else also got exactly the same word from the same source, in which case you get zero points for it.

If there's a moderator running the game, they can veto any word photos that they feel are too tenuous. If you're playing without a moderator, the players can vote on anything they feel is a bit dodgy.

Whoever has the most points wins.