Review: Pick Two Deluxe — A Game Night Favorite

As the year winds down, it’s time to start thinking of fun things to do during the semester break. How about Pick Two Deluxe, a delightful game that almost anyone can learn and enjoy?

Pick Two Deluxe game review.

Our family enjoys playing games. When we get together with extended family or with friends, chances are that we’ll be sitting around the table with a board game or cards before the evening has ended. Our favorite games include Scattergories, TriBond, Cranium, Mille Borne, and a few others. (Amazon are affiliate links — details in footer).

However, a new game has taken center stage since we first discovered it this summer. Pick Two Deluxe, billed as “The Definitive Crossword Game,” is fast, fun, and even educational (though many people don’t even realize they’re sharpening their brains as they play!). This super simple game comes with 240 letter tiles, a pencil, score pad, and a velvety bag for the tiles. (There a non-deluxe Pick Two, but it comes with fewer tiles, so you can’t play with as many people.)

How to play Pick Two Deluxe

To begin the game, everyone draws eight letter tiles, and at the starting signal, flips them over and begins creating words in classic Scrabble fashion. The distinctive thing about Pick Two is that everyone is playing at once, and each player builds an individual crossword on the table, using his or her own tiles. (Fast start tip: Lay your eight letter tiles face down on your hand, then when someone calls “start,” you can just flop them onto the table right side up, and go.)

When you use all the tiles in your hand, you call, “pick two,” and everyone has to pick up two more tiles to add to their crossword. Sometimes the “pick two” calls come fast and furious, and you’re hard pressed to find a place for everything, but you can move your tiles in your crossword an unlimited number of times in order to use the maximum number of tiles. Unlike Scrabble, letter value doesn’t matter in the composition of your words.

The object of each round is to go out by using all your tiles. People who are left with tiles in their hands have to add up the face values of the tiles, and the score is recorded on the score sheet. After five rounds, the person with the lowest score wins.

Pick Two Deluxe game evaluation

So, is this the perfect game? It meets a lot of our criteria — fast, fun, easy to learn, and playable by 3-8 people, ages 8 and up. Although it’s a little too fast-paced for conversation during the rounds, there’s time in between to talk, and the rounds are short enough that no one gets grumpy waiting for it to be over. When I’ve played it in a large group setting, we have even rotated during rounds to let more people play.

From an educational standpoint, Pick Two Deluxe scores fairly high. The challenge of quickly creating words and blending letters in new and creative ways exercises language arts skills in a delightful way. In addition, Pick Two helps develop important skills such as decisiveness, flexibility, and strategic thinking. It’s a friendly game — each player builds his own crossword, competing primarily against time and the letters, rather than against other players.

Each time I’ve shared this game with someone, they’ve had so much fun that they ended up buying their own. I’m not sure if there really is a perfect game, but Pick Two Deluxe scores high in all the important criteria. It would make a delightful gift for anyone who enjoys games- I highly recommend it!

Where to find Pick Two Deluxe

All the game titles in the review are linked to Amazon (affiliate links, of course — see footer for details). I believe that the game was published in Canada, so it’s not always easy to find at neighborhood stores.

Enjoy! I’d love to hear what games your family plays, so feel free to comment.

6 Responses

  1. Vicki says:

    What a great game!

  2. Mara B. says:

    Janice, Pick Two looks like a lot of fun! I just found a copy of the game on eBay, but in a different box, for $18.81 (Total)as a buy-it-now. They had 5 left when I bought my copy. Here’s the information: Pick Two English sealed Board Game
    Item number: 290174252597
    I wasn’t sure if it would be okay to post the actual link, but thought this information might be alright.

  3. Thanks for posting that- it’s a wonderful game, and I hope you enjoy it!

  4. Karen Davis says:

    That does sound like fun and a great Christmas present. One of our all time favorites is Uno. Great for teaching numbers and colors at least and players can start pretty young.

  5. Since Pick Two arrived this week in the mail and we gathered the family to play (with our 3 college kids) I wanted to say, “It is great fun and challenging!” We are avid Scrabble, Boggle, & Rummikub players during cold stormy winter evenings!
    I have inquired of Outset Media by email if they will consider making a more substantial, durable game. After 1 day the ink on the tiles was smearing and wearing away. For the high price, the tiles are thin (like the plastic from a milk jug) and poor quality. (Made in China on the box)It is important that the game stand up to handling. We always wash our hands when we gather for a game and therefore enjoy the game for years to come! Hope that people will request the company to manufacture a better Pick Two Deluxe game! write David Manga of Outset Media Corp. (this information is supplied on the game box!)

  6. I’m glad you’re enjoying the game– it’s definitely fun!

    I’m surprised you’ve had difficulty with it– we’ve used ours nearly to death, and our tiles are in great shape. The first time we encountered it at a retreat, the tiles spent several days being smacked back and forth on dusty outdoor surfaces by dozens of hands, and didn’t seem to show wear at all.

    It’s possible that you may have gotten a faulty set, or that they’ve changed something since we got ours earlier this year– our tiles are a good bit thicker than milk-jug plastic as well. Writing to the manufacturer is always a good idea!

    I hope you enjoy family game time for many years to come.

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