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Last Word
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Store:  Family Games, Party Games
Genre:  Word Games

Last Word

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Product Awards:  
Games Magazine Awards
Party Game Nominee, 2006

Ages Players
8+ 2-8

Publisher(s): Buffalo Games

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Product Description

Subject: Vegetables... Letter: C. Players race opponents and the random-interval timer to yell them out... Carrots! Cucumbers! Corn! Cauliflower! "tick-tick"... The player with the Last Word in before the timer sounds advances. ...Oh! Celery! BZZZT!

Get the Last Word in before the buzzer, and advance. Beware! The timer has been cleverly programmed to go off at random intervals!

Product Awards

Games Magazine Awards
Party Game Nominee, 2006

Product Information

  • Publisher(s): Buffalo Games

  • Year: 2005

  • Players: 2 - 8

  • Ages: 8 and up

  • Weight: 1,141 grams


  • Playing Boards
  • 230 Subject and 56 Letter Cards
  • 8 Colored Pawns
  • 8 Trade-In Pieces
  • Electronic Random Timer (includes 3 AAA batteries)
  • Instructions
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Product Reviews


Average Rating: 4.1 in 4 reviews

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by Riley
Friends and Family Game
April 11, 2008

This game has been my family's favorite for ages! I love to play this game with my friends all the time. We play every time we see each other because it never gets boring. Unless of course there is something better to do, which there never is. This game is a game for kids and adults alike. Kids down to 7 can play, and adults up to infinity can play also. This game brings together family time at my house. I guarantee if you like family type games, this game is definitely for you!!!

Too chaotic to be much fun.
November 10, 2007

Last Word: the Game (Buffalo Games, 2005 - Garrett J. Donner, Michael S. Steer, and Brian S. Spence) has the tagline of "An uproarious race to have the final say!" The board and cards look like your typical party game that could be picked up at a specialty shop, and I wasn't really fast to get it to the table. Once I read the rules, however, I found it interesting, as players compete to be the last one to shout out a word in a category before the buzzer goes off.

That's pretty much the game; and if you thought it sounded a bit chaotic, you would be absolutely correct. In fact, Last Word is one of the most chaotic, loud games I've played and really isn't that fun because of it. Kids will tolerate the sheer noise and quick speaking more than adults, but I have to say that it started to grate on my nerves during each game. Adults will argue to the bone, who said something; and some categories are so thin that there are long, painful silences (I know that's ironic in a game I complained about the noise). Last Word is a game that really doesn't work because of its frenzied natures; it will irritate more than entertain.

Players place a board that contains a track (with nineteen spaces) on the table and place a piece of their color on the "start" space. Each player is given a "trade-in" piece, and two stacks of cards: letter cards and subject cards are shuffled and placed face down. A random timer is prepared, and each player draws one Subject card, reading it secretly. The first round is ready to begin.

One player flips over the top Letter card, beginning the round. Any player may play their subject card, with the first being played becoming the topic of the round. Topics include:

  • Things That are Fast
  • Things on or Near the Road
  • All about New York City
  • Foreign Cities
  • Things People Do in the Morning
  • Reasons People Go to the Doctor, and more!
The player who played the card reads the subject out loud and says a word that meets the requirements of the subject and starts with the letter on the Letter card. They also start the electronic timer, which ends at a random time

At this time, all players start shouting out words that match the category AND start with the letter on the Letter card. This continues until the buzzer sounds, at which point the LAST player to say a word before the buzz gets one point, moving their token forward one spot.

Players may call a "Jump Start" whenever a letter is revealed. All players must say a word that matches the subject card in their hand AND starts with the letter cards on the table. The first to do so advances one space on the track. If no one can do this before the buzzer sounds, the person who declared a "Jump Start" gains two points.

Players get a new subject card after they've played one, but a player can also get a new subject card by discarding their "Trade in" piece once per game. Players can also challenge incorrect words by other players, etc. The game ends when one player's pawn reaches the Finish space - they are declared the winner!

Some comments on the game…

  1. Components: The game is very nice, and the components are high quality; but everything has a kind of generic "greeting card" look about it. I don't mind the green color that seems to seep into the components, but there's really nothing that distinguishes this game from any other. The timer itself is pretty neat; it flashes a small LED for a random time period (five to ten seconds) before emitting an annoying buzz. The cards are of good quality, and everything fits fairly well into a box that is much bigger than it needs to be. Of course, you don't really need the board either, but it's a nice addition to the game.

  2. Rules: The rules are printed on a large sheet of paper, which is fairly easy to read, despite the reverse white printing on the (yet more!) green sheet. Everything is clearly printed out, with some pictures - but the game is easy. Just tell people to yell, and they'll do fine.

  3. Cards: There is a decent array of categories amongst the subject cards. Some will be hard for some players (like Famous Brits), some seem like they are begging for trouble (4 Letter words), and some are quite open in their possibilities (Things that make people smile.) With two hundred and thirty of them, the game has a decent amount of replayability. There are some concerns in the rules, in case you get a subject you can't deal with; but really it's not a big deal. Players can use their Trade-In token or simply play off other people's subjects.

  4. Jump Start: I've NEVER seen this work, even when there is a letter that seems difficult. So in the groups I've played in, no one even attempts this anymore.

  5. Chaos: Everyone figures out quickly that the timer takes at least five seconds. So why shout out any word you know in the first four seconds? They are dead words, a waste of time. Everyone holds out for a bit then starts shouting like mad. This makes for a loud time but not necessarily an enjoyable one. Since people are bellowing simultaneously, it's rather difficult to always determine the clear winner of each round. This leads to arguments and complaints about who was exactly last.

  6. Fun Factor: The aforementioned arguments I could deal with if they had a deal of spirit and fun about them. There is likely spirit, but certainly no fun. People get annoyed when they can't think of a word for a topic; and the joy they get when they finally think of a word is trumped, because someone else was simply a half second slower than them. The rules of the game don't lead to competitive play; they lead to chaos and confusion.

Buffalo Games has made some tremendous party games - Faces being one of my favorites. However, this one simply doesn’t cut it; there is too much thinking being crammed into too short of a time. In some rule sets, this can make for a hilarious game, this one just comes across as an annoying activity that everyone can't wait until it's over. With no distinguishing characteristics and a lack of fun, my "Last Word" is "negative".

Tom Vasel
"Real men play board games"

by Vasel
Fun, Fast, and Fantastic
September 29, 2007

This game is truly fun, fast, and fantastic. It's got a flavor of Scattergories, as you have to come up with items in a given category that start with a certain letter. Players shout out as fast as they can answers, and the last person to say a word before the timer goes off wins the round. This game has quickly became a family favorite. It's a little difficult for our 10 year old, but she is still able to be successful. We all love it!

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