New Boggle: travel-friendly all-in-one game

My family are hardcore Boggle players; it's been our traditional family vacation game for as long as I can remember, and my parents have a first-gen Boggle set with its handsome, round-cornered dice and the seventies orange tray with smoked plastic bubble.

We're all at a cottage in Ontario this weekend, and when we arrived and unpacked yesterday, we realized that we'd left the Boggle set at home. So my wife and I went to town and bought a Boggle set, and discovered that the game had changed rather a lot since the 1970s. The latest iteration comes in a self-contained, electronic flattened disc. Give the disc a half-turn and it expands to give the dice room to shake, twist it back into position and the dice are squared off neatly in the window and the built-in timer (powered by a lithium button-cell) begins to count down three minutes, going from green to amber to red, finally sounding a beep when time is up.

We played a family tournament last night (I won!) and I'm prepared to pronounce the new version good. It lacks a lot of the craftsmanship and style of the original Boggle set, but more than makes up for it by coming in a perfectly self-contained package that doesn't scramble when you accidentally jar it while it's sitting on the table. It's far more compact than Old Boggle, and could survive airline turbulence or being set on an angle on the back seat of a car. It also suits itself well to lying back on the sofa and giving it a shake, then playing a solo round while holding it up like a book.

I still covet my parents' original set for its old school cred, but for practical play, New Boggle has my stamp of approval.