Boggle Deluxe is in the running for Best Word & Trivia Game of 2007 at the upcoming Zeeby Awards. We chatted with Jim Stern, VP of Product Development at iWin, about what makes Boggle Deluxe special and why it deserves to get your vote.

Can you give us insights or fun facts about the development of this game?

When playing this traditional word game at home, people set up their own house rules as to what words are acceptable. For questionable findings, some allow using a dictionary to prove their erudition. We initially put together a very comprehensive dictionary, being fairly lenient on some of today’s common and slang words. What we hadn’t factored into the game, however, was the licensor’s adherence to strict family values.

As such, not only were certain words forbidden, but the result of the dice roll could not obviously display these words either. This presented us with a bit of a challenge since we wanted to retain the true sense of random rolls while maintaining the licensor’s guidelines. We cleverly devised a way to keep the randomness in the game, but ended up having to remove a handful of words that had double meanings – can you guess what those words might be?

What makes Boggle Deluxe special, and why should people vote for it?

Boggle is one of those classic word games that never goes out of style. Very simple in structure, players form words of 3 letters or more (minimum 4 in Big Boggle) based on the random throw of lettered cubes.

The fun in this game that we wanted to capture in differentiating it from all other games was in making it multiplayer. To do this, we provided a few different options – you can play against the computer AI with a comparable skill to yours, you can play in a turn-based mode with family and friends competing on the same board, or you can compete against anyone from around the world who has a comparable overall rating to yours.

This last method of matching real players in tournament-mode for a downloadable casual game truly sets this game apart from all other Boggle games. For the first time, your results are compared to other people of a similar rank who are playing the exact same board. For beginners and experienced word game players alike, this game will truly have you wanting to play “just one more board.”

Besides your own games of course, what other games impressed you in 2007?

One of the sleepers for me was The Scruffs. I was doing some research on hidden object games and stumbled across this humorous, tantalizing game. The dialog is witty, self-deprecating and offers a fresh look at this genre. Plus, the mini-games of finding the latest scribbles was just plain fun.

If you win a Zeeby, how do you plan to celebrate (aside for going to Disneyworld,
of course)?

Creating a 5×5 grid board version of Boggle with the letters “WEWONAZEEBYAWARDFORBOGGLE” and have a contest on who can generate the highest score – the winner takes all!

Any final words for your fans?

Even if you have a modicum of typing abilities, I suggest using the keyboard for playing the game. While the mouse allows you to connect letters as you go along, typing the answers speeds things up significantly.

Voting for the Zeebys runs from now until July 5. Click here to vote for you favorite casual games of 2007.