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Game Review

The "Mystery-Word" Game

Game © 1989 The Huggermugger Company
Huggermugger setup

2-4 Players
or teams
30+ minutes


"Huggermugger" is a trivia-type game with an emphasis upon english vocabulary. Players move their pieces around the board and answer questions about spelling or word definitions. Certain places on the board allow players to uncover one of the letters in the "mystery word." Determine the "mystery word" to win the game.


Before play begins, the mystery wheel is set to a word number that has not yet been played. (There are 90 to choose from.) Players then select their marker & are given paper and a pencil.

Each player spins the spinner and starts on the number that the spinner determined. Play then begins with the player who had the highest spun number.

On his/her turn, a player spins for the number of spaces they are allowed to move -- moves their piece and then answers a question based upon the symbol on the board. Here are what each symbol and category mean:

  • Bowl of alphabet soup: Unscramble the letters to form a word

  • Bumble Bee: "Spelling Bee" -- spell a word

  • Skeleton Key: "Key of Knowledge" -- choose the correct definition of a word

  • Double Horseshoes: "Luck of the Draw" -- a random trivia question or "list 10 words..." type of question

  • There are two other symbols on the board that do not require a question to be answered.

  • Frog on a bicycle: spin again (no question)

  • Pointer finger: next move must be in this direction (no question)

There is a 60 second time limit for each question to be answered. Any correct answer to a question allows the player (or team) to spin again.

When a question is answered correctly on a space that also has a number, the player may peek at that number's letter on the "mystery wheel."

The game ends when one player (or team) correctly reveals the "mystery-word."

sample card

Winning Conditions:

  • The first player or team that correctly guesses the "mystery word" wins.

the wheel

Our Opinion:

Thumbs Down! Huggermugger is a fun game for a high school english class. It emphasizes spelling and vocabulary, and plays "hang-man" at the same time.

The Baroness and I find the game either way too easy or impossible -- depending upon the questions drawn. For us, the "key of knowledge" and the "spelling bee" questions don't often strain our vocabulary -- But the "Luck of the Draw" questions can be utter hell to answer. In "Luck of the Draw," we like the "list 10 words that rhyme with spot" type of question: these are fun and frantic, but the trivia questions are so vague our brains hurt; Questions like "What do the letters in NAACP stand for?" are the easy ones -- usually you get asked things like "In what sport do you find a chukker?" The "Luck of the Draw" category lives up to its name.

In our house, we instituted a house rule limiting players to revealing only one letter of the mystery word per turn -- otherwise, the game ended in one turn with only one player actually getting to play. The questions in this game are too easy if you have some college education and possibly too easy if you are beyond a sophomore in high school.

We recommend this game for teachers to use in class and people who like word definition games; Even if you like spelling games, like boggle, this can be fun -- but it will be way too easy for most people who have a good vocabulary. As a party game, it doesn't hold up because of its ease.

Where to buy:

Any game stores and toy stores -- Our copy was from a Kay-Bee toys and cost about $10. It's older, so it will be hard to find.

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