Wednesday, 4 July 2018

FReNeTiC Family Game Review - from the makers of Accentuate (age 8+)

The people behind popular board game Accentuate have a new game release which brings together English and science and a bit of maths in a quite unique and different way. FReNeTIC is a word game based on the Periodic Table. Two or more players create words using the letters which represent elements and then score depending on the atomic number... and there's a copy for one of my readers too!

In the box are the board itself, pencils and notepads, an egg timer, instructions and the playing tiles, which are stored in a drawstring cloth bag. This is a plastic free box and the only thing to discard is the outer plastic wrapping.

You only need 5 minutes set up before first play, as the cardboard tiles press out very easily. Gameplay is a little reminiscent of Scrabble or Boggle, based on anagrams and jumbled letters, but still very different.

Players all play together each round, and write words on their paper rather than forming them with the tiles. Tiles may have more than one letter, as they are all genuine elements, and the number of tiles in play increases throughout the game, opening up new words each round.

The first active player randomly draws 8 of the tiles and places them in their spaces on the board to start. The timer is turned and all players write down all of the words they can create using only those letters - and if you have a tile with two letters, pb for example, you cannot alter that order or use only one of the letters. You can use the letter(s) on any tile more than once - we forgot this every round.

The active player is first to read out all of the words they created and add up their scores. Then in turn clockwise the other players read out any different words and earn a score from only those. Scores for the 10,000+ words possible can be really varied, and some words can score hundreds of points. This is serious maths for an 8 year old.

For the second and subsequent rounds, take turns clockwise being the active player, and place an additional 4 randomly drawn tiles on the board.

FReNeTiC is much harder than you'd think! It needs 100% concentration and the timer seems to go so fast. It's definitely FReNeTiC! We were all disappointed we didn't make more words really, although as the game goes on, it does get a lot easier and they do mount up.

I was really excited about this game because I love science and think it's a brilliant way to learn your periodic table almost incidentally. There are bonuses for creating element names using the letters, so even 8 year olds can learn facts that will be useful in school. It seems you do have to like words though.

My family are very much mathematicians and scientists, and this is where FReNeTiC fell down a bit for us. Three of our players can't understand why anyone would find fun in a crossword or anagram, so FReNeTiC didn't work for them and I was left to enthuse alone. I really like it!

FReNeTiC is great fun if you like word games, and a brilliant way to cross over to STEM and introduce science and practise maths. It isn't so brilliant in reverse, which is a real shame. It's nicely made and well printed and I would be happy to receive it as a gift. My partner not so much.

FReNeTiC is available now rrp £22.99 from games stockists instore and online, including Amazon.

The people behind FReNeTiC have kindly offered a copy for one of my readers. Entry to the giveaway is by Gleam form below and it is open to UK entrants only.

The winner will need to supply me with a UK postal address to pass on to the PR for FReNeTiC to arrange delivery of your prize. Full terms and conditions are at the bottom of the Gleam form. Entry to the giveaway will close at midnight Sunday 5th August 2018. There are more giveaways on my giveaway page...

FReNeTiC Family Game Giveaway - from the makers of Accentuate (age 8+)

We were sent our copy of FReNeTiC for review. Amazon links are affiliate, which means I'd earn a few pennies if you bought through my link, but you don't pay any more.


  1. I remember doing the screaming jelly baby experiment. It’s a classic science experiment that uses potassium chlorate to oxidise the sugar in a jelly baby which results in coloured flames, smoke and a screaming sound.

  2. It's so long ago, even though I did chemistry to A Level (B) I'm having difficulty remembering. Seem to recall that burning phosphorous seemed quite spectacular at the time.

  3. making a volcano! we had to make in in a team of four and ours was rubbish !

  4. Gosh ! My brain doesnt go back that far - i seem to remember a bunsen burner + litmus paper + test tube = blue to pink !

  5. I Romberg making a rocket with air and water.

  6. The first science experiments at school was growing carrots and potatoes in glasses of water. I loved it. Later, I remember exploding things in tumblers. Great fun!

  7. Robert Mark Ward9 July 2018 at 08:57

    Putting Sodium in water, what a reaction!
    Do schools still do this experiment or is it too dangerous?

  8. i always remember making 'rockets' out of a biro pen casing. i cant remember making them but i remember it being a complete doss leson out on the field setting everyones rockets off

  9. As a Science Teacher I still do science at school lol! A popular experiment is burning metals in Bunsen burners and the flame goes a different colour depending which metal ions are involved 💛

  10. Now i'm going back a few years now, infact quite a few, but we didnt really do many experiments like they do now, it was mostly just little things, like experimenting with litmus papers on different things

  11. i remember dissecting a frog at school

  12. I remember doing something with a potato - something to do with starch but I wasn’t really listening ;)

  13. i cant remember exact experiments i just remember messing around using the Bunsen burners! lol

  14. Oil, water and food colouring in a jar to make a rainbow

  15. Always with bunsen burners! haha! and dissecting a frog :(

  16. I remember dissecting a rat and drawing it at each stage, I also remember we did something with locusts but I couldn't join in as I was terrified of them: yukky things


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