I did however, play games of a different sort. The drive to Wisconsin from New York City took about 16 hours and since my girlfriend doesn’t drive, I drove all of those hours. Aside from listening to the CDs we had brought along, we had to keep ourselves occupied in other ways, and one of those ways was playing Road Games. I’ll share with you my favorite road game, the ABC game, and some strategies in this week’s edition of BC Advanced Strategies.
This one is easy to play and highly addictive. All you need to know is the alphabet. Starting with the letter A, you need to find a word, any word anywhere outside the car that begins with the letter A. Once you find the word, you just call it out, possibly even point to it to confirm it to the other player and then move on to the next letter. The only letters you can skip are Q and X since they are really hard to find and tend to slow down the game almost to a standstill. The way I play is that when I reach the letter Q, I skip it and move on to R but, if you find a Q, you can call it out assuming you reached that point. Also, the beginning of license plates count for a letter assuming, of course, if the beginning of the license plate has the letter you’re looking for.
This game is surprisingly a lot of fun and as a driver, it keeps your mind active which is really helpful on long trips. Here are some tricks to give you an edge if you’re interested.
1. Know what State you are in. If you are driving in New York, N and Y should be a cinch. If you’re driving in Ohio, O should go by really fast. If you’re driving on an interstate, keep in mind what states are nearby as that will help you find some letters really fast.
2. Trucks have a lot of words on them. Trucks usually have warnings about crossing on the left or right, or something about their mirrors. Try to read all of the messages on the trucks; it really helps out when there are no exit signs or billboards. The most useful truck is a Fed Ex Ground truck as that gives you E, F and G all in one go. My girlfriend got me that one. She’s a clever one.
3. Quality for Q, Xpress for X, Zone for Z. Q, X and Z are the hardest letters in this game. Quality is probably the most common Q letter word you’ll see on the road as billboards sometimes say they have the best quality, or you may pass by a Quality Inn. Xpress for X is not common everywhere but in general, some billboards and trucks think they are fancy by leaving off the E in those “ex” words. Lastly, you should see Zone for Z in a lot of places while you’re on the road. Construction signs usually say that this is a “work zone” or maybe you’ll see a “fallen rock zone” sign if you’re traveling in high altitudes.
You can also play with a point system if you want to make things competitive. The point system I suggest is that Q, X and Z are all worth two points while every other letter is worth one. Under that system, there can be some climatic comebacks at the end of the game.
Yes, I know this isn’t a board game or card game yet it’s under the BC advanced strategies segment. It’s close though, I think, and damn it, I think it’s a lot of fun. :-P