Interview: Bob B.

Interview with long-standing Moxie champ Bob B.

Regular Moxie players will recognize Bob B. since he has dominated the high score boards for many months. We caught up with him recently for an exclusive interview.

Q: Hi Bob! What would you like to tell us about yourself?
A: I live in Anchorage, Alaska, USA. I'm an engineer and I’m 42 years old. My hobbies include guitar playing and fishing.

Q: How long have you been playing Moxie?
A: I think I’ve been playing since March 2009.  My wife bought it around that time, and I gave it a try and got hooked.

Q: How often do you play Moxie?
A: I probably play 5 or 6 times per week.  I find it relaxing to play when I have spare time, like when I’m waiting for the kids after school.

Q: Why do you like Moxie?
A: I like Moxie for many of the reasons you mention on the webpage – it is strategic, can be played at a relaxed pace, the games only take a few minutes, and you can stop in the middle of a game if something comes up.  There’s a degree of risk/reward and some luck involved at times.  The other thing I like about Moxie is that I don’t feel like it’s a game that can be “beat”.  There is always potential for higher scores, and a player can compete against themselves, or against the global community.

Q: What other games do you like to play?
A: I play Scrabble (same as the board game) on my iPhone, and either play against my wife, or against the computer.  I don’t really care for the word games like Boggle.  I do play some video games – I grew up with Atari, so I guess it’s in my blood.  We play a lot of the Nintendo games.

Q: What do you score in an average game?
A: I don’t really pay much attention to average, because I’m trying for high scores, so these are guesses:  For Animal it is probably 3000 – 3200, for Mineral, it is probably about 2600 – 2700, and for Vegetable, it is probably 2400. 

Q: Do you have any friends who play Moxie?
A: Surprisingly, not many of my friends have iPhones, so I don’t know anyone that plays it, besides my wife.  She plays occasionally.

Q: Do you prefer to play "Animal" "Vegetable" or "Mineral"?
A: It’s a toss up between Animal and Mineral.  I play all three lists, each has it own challenges. 

Q: Considering that you play all 3 lists, what do you think the potential high score is for each of the lists?
A: I’m certain someone will top 4500 in Animal some day.  With a couple of breaks, my top two scores could have reached that, and a couple other players have put up big scores.  For Mineral, I see a lot of room for potential – I think 4000 is reachable; I’d like to see more people playing it.  For Vegetable, I’ve had a hard time figuring out a way to make a big score, but 3500 is a good milestone that should be reachable.

Q: We know you probably don't want to reveal all of your secrets, but can you share any strategies or hints for folks who want to improve their game?
A: You’re right, I don’t want to give everything away, but here are a few thoughts.  In general, using the Moxie words will help with improving scores, but not at the expense of wasting four or five turns to get a Moxie word.  I’d suggest picking a strategy and sticking to it – look for a strategy that allows you to make points on every turn – you can get 7 or 8 Moxie words and not get a great score.  Don’t be afraid of taking the occasional Twaddle if it leads to a potential to make more words with a different letter combination.  I suspect that the people who are scoring close to or over 4000 on Animal are doing something very similar to what I do.

Bob, thank you for the great interview!