Quick! Game that starts with “S” = Speedy Recall

Recommended Age:6+
Play Time:5-10 Minutes
Company Site:marandagames.com
Skills:Develops strategic skills
Contents:41 Category cards
24 Letter cards
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This is a game of quick thinking and fast talking. I have a love//hate relationship with this game right now. I mean its fun and I love it…but I don’t like to lose and my husband knows more random crap things than I do it seems. See? I hate that part…BUT the game itself is really fun.

Speedy Recall is a fast paced, thought provoking game of who thought it (and said it) first. I found myself saying “I almost had it!” or “Grrahh!!” a lot during this game but I have hope that I will get faster…and start practicing maybe. Let me show you what I mean about the fun part of the game.

I love it when the company explains the game but I will tell you how we played. You know, to possibly confuse you or in case you just really like to read my posts. It’s that last one right? Ok moving on…but it is…right?

There are two decks of cards in the box. That is the whole game right there too! Very portable. Anyway, there is a deck of Category cards with things like Musical Instrument, Part of the Body, Type of Sport or European City. I hate that one…I could NOT name a city that started with N to save my life. The other deck is full of all the letters of the alphabet. One card for each letter.

2014-02-19 16.49.52 copyObjective:

Collect the most Category Cards.


Shuffle the Letter Deck and put it in a pile between all the players. Shuffle the Category Card deck and place it two-ish card spaces away from the Letter Deck. Basically enough space to flip over one card from each deck at the same time.

Now determine who will be the flipper…of cards. Whoever it is will have to be fast and able to focus on the cards after they flip them. Also make sure they don’t flip them facing themselves…they will get an extra few seconds to peek! Not that they will..I mean I may have against my husband…still didn’t help.


The Flipper will flip over one card from each pile at the same time. Now for the fun part! Each player has to think fast and speak faster to say (or shout) a word that starts with the letter shown on the Letter Card. Here is the trick though…the word also has to fit in the category from the Category Card. Yeah…

So if the Letter card is S and the Category Card is “Article of Clothing” you would be able to say Sweater, Shirt, Scarf or Suspenders but not something like Pants, Jacket or Tie. I found myself either saying random items (or cities) or not being able to say anything a lot more than I’d like to admit. When I did beat him though it was so so sweet a victory.

If no one can guess a word with that Letter Card or if there is a tie (in other words if you can’t agree on who said it first) you can flip over a new Letter Card and continue as normal. Now you will run out of Letter Cards so when that happens you shuffle the cards and keep going.

2014-02-19 16.51.10 copyKeep playing until all the Category Cards are gone and then count then up. The person with the most Category Cards wins! However, sometimes, not in my case, but sometimes, there is a tie. When this happens you go into BumBumBumBuuummmm Sudden Death!!!! OooOOooo

Ok really its a tie-breaker flip of the cards. Flip the cards one last time and hopefully be the first to say the right thing to win.

Now if you are trying to play with a younger child who cannot read or has a hard time with sounds I have found a new way to play. The Gentleman is learning to read but can’t yet and even struggles a bit with finding words that start with letters. He CAN do this but only when he wants to so I have no idea how good at this he really is.

Here is how the Gentleman and I played.


Collect the most Letter Cards.2014-02-21 14.45.50 copy


Shuffle the Letter Deck and put it in a pile between all the players. You will have to go through the Category Cards and pick out the categories that your child will be able to even answer. I don’t think many 5 year olds can name Cities or European Cities. I chose just a hand full including:

  • Name of Color
  • Kind of Toy – We treated this like name any Toy with that Letter
  • Type of Animal
  • Item at School

Basically pick Category Cards with categories that your child can name things in. You honestly don’t need many. Shuffle the Category Cards that you chose and place it next to the Letter Deck. You will be flipping the Category Card first and leaving it there for a bit but flipping the Letter Cards often.

2014-02-21 14.47.32 copyPlay:

Flip over one Category Card and read it out loud to your child and make sure they understand what you are looking for. My son didn’t know what a Beverage was so I explained it was a type of drink like milk or water.

Now for the fun part! You can play with you as the Flipper and two kids going against each other of you can play with your child. I played with him and the Letter Cards I won were usually the harder ones like Q or X or Y. This was perfect because he would get the easier Letters and learn something new about the other letters.

The first person to say a word for the Letter Card in that Category wins the Letter Card. I changed it so the Category Card stayed the same until all the Letter Cards were gone. You can also end the game after one category if you want. It pretty much ends at least a round since you use all the Letter Cards for it.

So if the Letter card is S and the Category Card is “Type of Animal” you would be able to say Snake, Skunk, Shark or Stingray but not something like Monkey, Cheetah or Tiger. When my Gentleman wasn’t focusing he would pretty much default to Cheetah or Tiger much to my frustration. When he was focusing he was spitting out all kinds of animals including Tapir, Mastodon (which technically is an animal so it counted) and Tarzier. Not traditional animals but they are real and do count.

If no one can guess a word with that Letter Card or if there is a tie (in other words if you can’t agree on who said it first) you can flip over a new Letter Card and continue as normal. If you are playing with your child and they cannot guess using that Letter Card help them out by giving them 2-3 examples of words that would count. This will help them learn new ones and can keep the game going.

Keep playing until all the Letter Cards are gone and then count then up. The person with the most Letter Cards wins! If there is a tie between kids give them a new Category and a random Letter. They won’t win a card but would win the game.

2014-02-21 14.46.43 copyNow if you have an even younger child that insists on playing (like my Diva) you can use just the Letter Cards to reinforce or teach the Letters too. Like Flash Cards. If they know letters already you can use a Letter Cards to work on Sounds. Flip an F and ask what sounds does F make? and help them learn. This is a great way to teach letter sounds and they think its a game.

Speedy Recall is a fantastic game for all ages. Even if you have to adjust for younger kids it is a great way to start them on letters, or sounds or working out what letter words start with. Very educational for kids and very fun for older kids an adults. I love games that I can play with my husband but then also play with my kids.


“Play gives children a chance to practice what they are learning.”
~ Fred Rogers

Author: sandyz