Ever since I started learning Korean back, I always wished there was a type of Korean word game that I could play just for fun. It would test my skills of how many words I knew and keep them fresh in my mind.
Back in the states, you have plenty of word games that have been around for a long time, but none in Korean that were similar.
Yangmal Game is taking that first step towards getting the Korean word game space trending.
Ryan Kulp, the creator, has always wanted a Korean word game for Koreans and Korean learners, so he stepped up and put in the time and effort to make his own game and spread it to the masses.
The basics of the game are really simple. For starters, you get a bag full of Hangul letter tiles for making words.
It took a lot of trial and error when developing the game to figure out the right ratio of letters to make the game run smoothly, but in total, the pieces come out to 126 with every letter included (some more than others).
Next, you spread the tiles on the table (flipped over so you can’t see the letters), and each player goes clockwise taking turns flipping over the tiles.
When you see a word that can be made, you call it out, then arrange the letters to make the word. Once the player who called out a word finishes, the game continues on in the same manner clockwise until all tiles have been used, or until there are no more possible combinations.
Once the game is finished, everyone counts their tiles and the player with the most wins.
Things to keep in mind:
- Only nouns can be made from the letters. This is due to the fact that all Korean verbs have ‘다’ at the end which would’ve been a headache in trying to get the amount of tiles right for the game.
- Stealing words is possible. To steal, you would call out a combination that anothe player missed. For example if someone called out and made a word from 입 + 구 (입구 = entrance), but didn’t also call out 구 + 입 (구입 = purchase), then a player could steal those points.
- Combining words is also possible. For example if Player A has ‘차’ and Player ‘B’ has ‘자동’, any player may call out ‘자동차’ and get those points as well. (Every letter must be used when combining).
Once you get going, it becomes an easy, fast-paced, and fun game. Hyo ended up winning all of our games for obvious reasons, but that just means it’s time for me to study more and learn to be quicker!
You can purchase the game from the official shop here. There, you’ll also find more in-depth rules and information. Ryan hopes to have the game available in more places soon, so be on the lookout!