Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Family Game Night—Wits and Wagers Family Edition

We were recently asked to try out a new family version of the multiple award winning game Wits and Wagers by Northstar Games, so we took it over to my brother’s house and had a Family Game Night with him and his family, Bubba and his lady friend, and my folks.

It was a big hit. Let me show you why:

wits wits2

What’s included in Wits and Wagers Family Edition:
  • 1 score board
  • 150 question cards
  • 5 large Meeples
  • 5 small Meeples (in 5 colors)
  • 5 answer boards (in 5 colors)
  • 5 dry-erase markers
  • 1 rulebook

Here’s how the game works:
  • Everyone (or each team) chooses a color and takes a dry-erase marker. the coordinating answer board, and the matching large and small Meeples (2 for each player or team). Since the answer board is completely dry-erasable, your kids can have fun personalizing the picture of the Meeple that is printed on the back…mine did.
  • The box of question cards is opened and the placecard is moved to the rear of the deck. The idea is that once you ask every top question on a card, you will know you read each one by reaching the placecard again, then you ask the bottom questions. The top question on the top card is asked by any player, as long as they don’t turn the card over and peek at the answer…but what we did is that I was the moderator and asked all the questions and kept score, while the others played. It worked better for us that way.
  • Once the question is read, players (or teams) decide what their answer is and write it on their card, then place the card in the center of the playing area. There should already be a black card in the center with a “1” on it and this is placed under everyone’s responses, then you can let the younger players practice numerical order by putting all the responses in order above the “1” from least to greatest.
  • Once that is done, folks have to decide whose answer is the best and to place both of their Meeples on whichever answer(s) they like. Now the questions are pretty random in content, and many of them are impossible to know the real answer (except for maybe Alex Trebek), so usually it is just a matter of deciding who you think is the best guesser and going with their response...or your own…or hedge your bets and place one Meeple on one response, and another on a different response.
  • Now, the large Meeples are worth two points and the small ones are worth one. If the answer you choose to support is correct, then you get the value of the total number of points of YOUR Meeples that are on that answer. If you put the small one on it, you get one point. If you put both on it, you get three points. If you miss altogether, you get no points. Keep in mind, that the winning answers are not usually exact. It is the answer that is closest without going over that matters, hence the “1” card, which you can always take a chance on if you think everyone guessed too high.
  • The scorekeeper marks the number of points gained by each player (team) on the provided scoreboard and whoever gets fifteen points first wins.

What age group is the game targeted to? The manufacturer recommends ages 8 and up, but we found that 7 year old Ladybug enjoyed playing as part of a team.


Here’s what we liked about the game: 
  • sturdy, well-constructed components
  • clear directions
  • easy to use
  • good for all ages, especially using the team design
  • It was fun to play trivia that removes the “I feel stupid because I don’t know this answer” problem of other trivia games.  It wasn’t so much a test of intelligence,  as it was an ability to guess well, with perhaps some scattered knowledge of random facts thrown in.
  • fast-paced and interesting
  • room to be silly and play around…by the middle of the game, my family was beating a drumroll on the table before I announced each answer and making quite a ruckus.
  • very entertaining
  • the kids liked using the dry-erase boards and we also found them to be easy to clean
  • educational…sort of….if you consider the fact that the answer cards included extra bits of info to share with the players, and everyone in our group thought that was interesting.
Here’s what we thought could use some improvement:
  • There are only 150 cards, with two questions on each, which means that if you played for an extended amount of time, after just a few games you could be out of questions. I noticed on Amazon that there is an expansion pack of cards for the regular Wit and Wagers edition, so perhaps there is one in the works for the Family edition.
  • Some of the questions were just too pop-culturish to be used by folks that don’t spend their time following Hollywood. We just skipped those, but then that cut into our number of available questions (for example, “How many movies has Will Smith been in?” My kids have never seen a Will Smith movie, so this just didn’t work for us. I asked it anyway because my brother was behind and I figured he’d know the answer, but it turned out to be Tex who randomly guessed the answer. Ha! I suppose this is why the game works overall. You could expand your playing time by trying to list all the Will Smith movies you know, after everyone has responded, before you read the answer.

Overall, how did we feel about the product? We thought it was great! We will add it to our list of favorites, especially for playing at family gatherings. It was appropriate for all ages (it was easy to skip questions that didn’t work for younger ones), it was simple and fun, and it was an overall good time for everyone...even those who didn’t win. That’s awesome! I feel I can recommend this game for most families, though I will be even more enthusiastic about it when there is a large expansion pack available.

If you are interested in finding out more about this game, you can visit the manufacturer’s web site HERE.

I really do think you will like this one, so if you get a new family game for Christmas, like we do, this would be a good one to buy (as long as most of your potential players are 8 and over). If you think you would like to purchase this game to add it to your collection of fun family favorites, the click HERE and order it in time for Christmas!

I hope you have started having Family Game Night at your homes. If you haven’t, START TONIGHT! You will be so glad you did.

If you would like to see the experiences other reviewers had using this game, check out the Review Crew blog HERE.

Blessings to you and yours for a Christmas filled with many fun family memories,


As a member of the TOS Review Crew I was given this game in return for my honest review of the product on this blog. I do not guarantee your experiences with this game will be the same as mine, but the information you see here is what I experienced and believe to be true. 

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