LinguiSHTIK®: The Creative Language Game®

LinguiSHTIK®® is an open-ended language arts game for two or three players, created by Robert W. Allen, Director of the National Academic Games Tournament. Players use letters on cubes to form words and make Demands on other players. The basic game can be played by children; yet the variations challenge adults. LinguiSHTIK®® deals with many aspects of modern and traditional English grammar: spelling, vocabulary, word functions, sentence patterns, and sentence structure. The game is played with 23 cubes on which are imprinted various letters of the alphabet, a mat containing two sections: Letters and Demands, a one-minute sand timer, and a challenge block, which is placed equidistant from all players.

LinguiSHTIK®® play proceeds as follows.

  1. The players in the match each rolls a cube of the same color. The one whose letter is closest to "A" will roll the cubes and order the letters on the tops of the cubes so that all three players may see them.
  2. Within the first minute, the first player chooses a Sentence Designation that will ultimately be written by all solving players.
  3. The second player (to the left of the shaker) then has one minute to choose apart of speech Type Demand that each player will have to form. A green or black cube is played to the Demands Section of the mat.
  4. Unless Interjection is called, the third player then has one minute to stipulate the Function Demand in the sentence for that part of speech. A green or black cube is played to the Demands Section of the mat. If Interjection is called, the third player makes a general Demand or plays a cube to the mat. If there is no third player, the play alternates between the two players. Each player, thus, stipulates the guidelines for that shake.
  5. From this point on, each player in turn has one minute to play one of the cubes to the mat in either the Letters section or the Demands section. Only green or black cubes can be used to make demands.
    • If the cube is added to the Letters section, the letter on the top of that cube is available to be used in the word that is to be formed.
    • If a black or green cube is added to the Demands section, the letter on the top of the cube is forbidden to be used in the word, and the moving player will add a Demand to the word.
  6. Players continue to add cubes to the mat until one of the players feels there should be a challenge. To challenge, a player must pick up the challenge block and state the challenge.
    • Challenge Win means there are enough letters available on the mat to make a word meeting the sentence designation and all the demands by using only one more cube. Everyone may solve by writing a grammatically correct sentence that meets all the demands. However, only the challenger must solve. Other players may declare Neutral within the first minute to abstain from solving. Any players not declaring Neutral must solve.
    • Challenge Impossible means that no word meeting all the demands is possible no matter how many letters are taken from resources. The last player to move must solve. The challenger may not solve, and the third player must declare Neutral within the first minute to avoid solving.
    • Challenge Trap means that the challenger feels a player before him/her should have challenged to win but did not. The cubes that have been played since that challenge should have been made are moved back into resources, and the players solve as if Challenge Win has been called.
    • Forceout means means that the challenger feels that there is nothing he/she can do to keep someone from calling a challenge win after his/her move. Since there is no Avoid Move as in the math games, the player calls Forceout before playing the cube to the mat. All players who agree write a sentence. Those who disagree may Challenge the Forceout.
  7. Solving players then attempt to form a word and use it in a grammatically correct sentence that meets all the demands. Spelling must be correct. End punctuation must be correct, and direct quotations and appositives must be punctuated correctly.
  8. Rulings favor those players who concern themselves with the subject matter of the game as opposed to those who have come up with "gimmicks." For example, the word to be formed must be used in a sentence the way it is normally used. Players cannot call any word an adjective simply because it was used as an adjective in the sentence. On the other hand, players should not confuse the "gimmick" with the reality that some words can be used as more than one part of speech.
Players involved in LinguiSHTIK®® improve their grammar skills of sentence construction, vocabulary, and spelling. The demands differ for Elementary, Middle, and Junior-Senior Divisions with progressive difficulty on each level.

For further information about National Academic Games, please contact: Marlette Price.

Please check out the other pages on this site:

National Academic Games Home
History of National Academic Games
Robert W. Allen, Founder of National Academic Games
Board of Directors & National Rules Chairpersons
National Academic Games Tournament
National Academic Games Tournament Official Games
Annual Leslie Nielsen Achievement Scholarship
Outstanding Senior
Outstanding Co-ordinator
Robin Trice Humanitarian Award
Ding-a-Ling Award
Authors & Founder Scholarship
National Academic Games Links

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