Thursday, October 27, 2011

Family Game Night--Say Anything Family Edition

Our family loves to get together and play board games. We have LOTS of favorites. Unfortunately, we just don't get together to play our board games often enough. Days go by and the good intentions are there, but then Fun Friday rolls around again and something else comes up...a good movie, an activity, an outdoor adventure, life (sick kids, gardens that need tending, an invitation to meet friends)...

In spite of the busy-ness of our days, I want my kids to have fond memories of us playing games together as a family, just like we did when I was growing up (we played Sorry! and Uno together when I was a kid), so when the opportunity to review a game comes up, I always try to get in on the action. There's nothing like a review item to excite the troops at our house, and if that item is a GAME (instead of work), then the general consensus around here is to bring it on!

Last Crew season we had a great time reviewing Wit and Wagers Family Edition by Northstar Games. This season we were the recipients of the game Say Anything Family Edition from the same company. If you'd like to see how we all liked Wits and Wagers, you can check out my review, but I will tell you briefly that it was a real winner at a pre-Christmas dinner party last year. The whole family, from ages 5-50+ sat around the table and had a whole lot of laughs together thanks to that game.

Our experiences with this game were very similar, only due to illness and timing, the gaming pool was limited to our own family, ages 2-40+ (did you really think I was going to tell you how old I am??). However, that did not diminish our enjoyment of the game one bit. We sat down and set up the game. We assigned Ladybug and Cowboy "partners" (though it was a token gesture to make Firefly and Boo feel included), handed out the nifty marker boards (this is everyone's favorite feature of the game...who doesn't love using a marker board?), and for simplicity's purpose (since we were playing with the younger kids), I stood as judge for the whole first game, and then we tried it the regular way (each player takes a turn being judge, going around the table as you play) for the second game.

Here are the basic rules:

  1. Each player is issued a marker board and marker with which to write their answers, a score keeper takes the score board to keep track of points earned, the judge handles the "Selectomatic 6000" and the deck of question cards.
  2. Each turn, the judge draws a card and reads one of the three choices of questions on the card. This works well for all ages, since the questions vary in appropriateness for differing ages. In the Family Edition, all the questions seem to be content-appropriate, but not all will be relevant to the younger ages. If you like, you can always read the first question on your first time through the deck, then move on to the second question the second time, and so on. If you have a variety of ages, you can simply choose the question that works best for your group. That is what we did.
  3. Each player (or team) answers the question asked by writing their response on their marker board as fast as they can, then they toss their board into the center of the playing area. The reason you must move quickly, is that duplicate answers are prohibited, and the slower individual must change his answer. The judge moderates all disputes.
  4. Once everyone has answered, the judge uses the Selectomatic spinner to indicate which answer they prefer, and places it face down on the table...this may take some time, as players can (in a friendly way) attempt to sway the judges opinion by telling why their answer is the best one. Once the judge decides, the other players  place wagers (just like in Wits and Wagers) on which answer they think the judge will choose as their favorite.
  5. Lastly, the winning answer is revealed, points are distributed, and everyone laughs at how ridiculous your (or my) answer was...then it starts all over again until every player has had a chance to be judge twice, or (as we did...our own version) one player (or team) reaches twelve points.
What did the troops like about this game?
  • Need I say it again? The marker boards, of course!
  • The humor, the silly and interesting questions, the fun quotient
  • The interactivity, the crazy conversations, being a part of a cooperative, slightly competitive (in a fun way) activity
  • The crazy things you learn about your family...who knew that Tex would like to spend the day with the Human Torch...Flame On! Should I be worried?
  • The simplicity of the game play
  • The multi-age appeal
  • The quality of the product
  • The fact that there are three questions on each side of the cards...more choices, more games to play!
What did they not like about the game?
  • I think they would only say two things (and they are very tiny things). The first is that it was a bit hard for the younger kids to keep up with writing their answers (but we were patient and appreciated their invented spelling).
  • The second is that there were some questions we simply had to skip because they did not apply to us at all...especially to the younger crew members...there were numerous ones on celebrities, TV shows, and rock music, and we just don't get into that stuff...but they'd be easy enough to re-word, if we ran out of questions, so I'm not too worried about them. The questions certainly apply for other families. Just not ours.
Here are a few examples of questions you might see on the Say Anything cards:
  1. What would be the coolest make-believe animal?
  2. What tourist attraction would I most want to visit?
  3. If I was 50-feet tall, what would be the best way for me to make money?
  4. What car would I most want to own?
  5. What doesn't taste better with ketchup?
  6. What two ingredients would make the best candy bar?
  7. What's the funniest movie?
  8. Which book character would I most want to hang out with?
  9. What would be the coolest thing to have in my back yard?
  10. What would be the worst job?
Say Anything Family Edition is all about knowing yourself, getting creative, thinking outside of the box (if you want to impress the judge and win!), and getting to know your family just a little bit better. It will add fun and warmth to an otherwise gloomy and cold rainy night, excitement to one of those "same old, same old" school days, and a feeling of connectedness and camaraderie to a week where everyone has been running in a dozen different directions.

I hope you will give Say Anything Family Edition a try. Perhaps you can add it to your Christmas shopping list. We like to buy a new board game for the family every year at Christmas time, as a tangible reminder to get together and have some fun. All work and no play makes Fun Fridays not so much go out and have a great time playing a game tonight...together!

If you'd like to see more reviews by other members of the TOS Review Crew, you can do so HERE.

You can buy Say Anything Family Edition from a store near you  or an online source such as Amazon for about $19.99.


Disclaimer: I received a copy of this game for the purposes of trying it out so I could review it here on my blog. No other compensation was given, and the opinions you read here are honest and my own. If you have any questions concerning this review, please feel free to contact me.

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