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on April 15, 2010
Wits and Wagers is a game that is endlessly playable and enjoyable even though you never get the right answer (at first). The appeal to Wits and Wagers is that it is a trivia game with a slight angle. There is one simple rule: no one knows the answers to the trivia (and they're not supposed to).

Of course I was intrigued to hear that there would be a Wits and Wagers Family. I immediately wondered what would be changed and how would the game be similar? I couldn't wait to get my hands on a copy. Luckily for me, I met Dominic Crapuchettes, the designer of Wits and Wagers Family, and got a preview copy to play with my gaming group and to try out with families and younger gamers.

My response is really a combination of my reaction to the game and my fellow gamers' response to playing the game. All of us had previously played Wits and Wagers, so W&WF was easy to teach and easy to play. Overall, we had a very good time.

First off, I think that if people haven't played the original Wits and Wagers, they should buy Wits and Wagers Family first. W&WF is easier to play all around. Instead of a cloth placement with odds listed on the sides, unmarked poker chips with which to bet and insane questions to answer, W&WF uses simple mechanics which showcases one of the best trivia games I've played.

Here's my four main comments about W&WF (and then a couple notes after that):

1.) The game is pared down to an easy 4 step process. The question was read. We all wrote down the answer we thought was closest on our individual boards. We then placed them in ranking order from the lowest answer (behind the board already marked 1) to the highest answer. Then, we used our meoples (which we all loved compared to poker chips) to place our "wager" for the right answer. We could put both our meoples in the same place or on different boards. The big meople was worth 2 points and the small one is worth 1. The board that gets closest to the right answer (without going over) gets 1 point. Simple!

2.) The way of keeping score was just like the board from Say Anything (another staple with my gaming group). I wish the board had a few more spaces for each player because the maximum amount of points you can get in a round is 4. A player needs only 15 points to win, making some games pretty short. The scoreboard is easy and clean, leaving players with no room to make mistakes. Just easy math and easy counting. Great for families and kids.

3.) My gaming group was mixed on how quickly the games went. Some were excited to play another round while other felt like it was just enough time spent. The rounds in W&WF are shorter than Wits and Wagers, but the attention span for kids and families will suit the game just right. After playing once, typically you want to play another round immediately, which goes just as quickly as the first. And that is just fine with my gaming group.

4.) Some of the questions allowed many of the same answers to be written down by multiple players. I've noticed that this has upset some players as noted in previous posts. I understand why this was done, though, and think that it will work great with families and kids. What might be obvious to some players is not so clear to others, so some of the basic questions were fun to answer. It was hilarious to see 6 full grown adults, half of whom did not know how many feet were in mile! Having questions that are sometimes harder to remember (for adults) but are things that kids are learning in school is a great way to keep education going long after the kids are out of school. It also is a way for families to kindly tease each other when they don't know an "obvious" answer.

The only thing that W&WF needs to do is come out with an expansion pack of questions because there are a limited amount of questions that come with the game. I see those cards being run through (with my gaming group) very quickly. Compared to how many questions came with Wits and Wagers, W&WF has a very small, select amount of questions available. I know this is one thing that Dominic has posted that he will do, so I'm looking forward to those new questions!

I also think that W&WF should make writing boards and meoples for more than 5 individual players. I know the rules state that players "team" up when the count exceeds 5, but it is fun to play by yourself and make your own choices. The game should be made for 7-9 individual players at least. Perhaps that is a revision or expansion that could come out with the new set of questions...
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on May 29, 2010
Wits and Wagers Family takes the original game and simplifies it in almost every way possible- while at the same time retaining its charm and challenge.

Changes from the original include.

-WW features permanent betting chips that some players think they can lose. WWF replaces these with Meeples that are easier to keep track of.
-WW ends after 7 rounds. WWF goes until one player scored 15 points.
-WW's betting payouts (3 to 1 etc) can exhaust the chips included with the game. WWF lets you win at most 4 points per round (1 pt for your small Meeple, 2 for your big Meeple, 1 pt for contributing the closest answer), which removes the need for chips and extra components.
-WWF includes questions that are appropriate for the entire family. My wife has taken this to school and played it with middle schoolers, who loved it.

On the downside, we still wish that the caps to the erasable markers contained an eraser. It would be nice to not have to find napkins or paper towels for each team whenever you play.

All in all, this is a great addition to your family game shelf.
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on April 24, 2010
When I first heard there was a family edition of Wits & Wagers I was more than a little surprised. Of all the games in my collection this seemed like one of the more family friendly ones, and I've been playing it with my nephews since they were fairly young. So it seemed almost unnecessary to create a special edition for families. Still, Northstar Games has yet to strike out with me, so I had to give it a shot. But was it a useless republishing of the same idea or a brilliant change of pace? Read on...

What do you get with Wits & Wagers Family? In the box are the rulebook, a score sheet, a pack of question cards, 1 minimum answer board with the number "1" on it, 5 dry erase markers, 5 player answer boards in 5 different colors, 5 small meeples in the same colors, and 5 large meeples in the same colors. (For those who aren't aware a meeple is a little wooden piece that is shaped like a person.)

How does Wits & Wagers Family work? Each player is given a marker along with an answer board and the 2 meeples that match the color of their board. The "1" board is placed in the middle of the table. Then one player reads a question from one of the question cards. All questions have a numerical answer, so players estimate what they believe the correct answer might be and write it on their answer board.

When all players have their answers written the answer boards are lined up under the "1" card from lowest to highest. Players then place their meeples on 1 or 2 answers that they believe are the closest to the correct answer without going over. Then they look at the correct answer on the back of the question card. One point is scored by the player that wrote the answer which is closest without going over, one point is awarded to each player that placed their small meeple on that answer, and two points are awarded to each player that placed their large meeple on that answer. You continue with more questions until one player has scored 15 points, and wins the game.

What does Blott dislike about Wits & Wagers Family? My minor complaint with Wits & Wagers Family is the reduction of the number of players. Although the game can easily be played as teams, it would have been nice if we wouldn't be forced to break into teams even with 6 players. But my bigger complaint about the game is some of the questions. Put simply, there are some questions in the game where players will know the answers. I often sold people on Wits & Wagers by describing it as a trivia game where you don't have to know trivia, but when people know the answer in Wits & Wagers Family it starts to bring this awesome game system down to the level of the common trivia game. My wife, a trivia game hater (but a Wits & Wagers lover,) complained after our first game because every player except her got a couple questions exactly right. She said that this gave her the same "I feel stupid" embarrassment that she feels when playing a game like Trivial Pursuit.

What does Blott like about Wits & Wagers Family? I love the introduction of simple scoring to the game. In the original version I spent more time counting out chips than I did actually playing the game. This also makes it so that all players totally "get" the scoring. Some people, who aren't into gambling, would struggle with how a 3-to-1 bet works and so they would just rely on a banker to make that calculation for them. The removal of the betting mechanism also takes away the chances that one question will swing the balance in one player's favor. Since they can get a maximum of 4 points on a question it will take several questions for even the most knowledgeable player to win. And, finally, the questions are an amazing variety. They range from things that kids will know well, to things that teenagers will know well, all the way up to things that adults will know well. They run a nice spectrum and many of them are very interesting facts too.

Who will enjoy Wits & Wagers Family? This is an ideal family game. The questions are varied nicely and kids will have just as much chance of winning as anyone else. However, those that loved the strategic edge they found in Wits & Wagers might be disappointed in the changes made for this new edition. The strategy involved in playing the odds is removed. But, clearly, this game is focused towards a different audience. The great new scoring system will make this game more enjoyable for people just looking for a fun party game to play with family and friends. If ever there was a game that should be advertised over the Monopoly, Life, etc. for "family game night" it is definitely Wits & Wagers Family.

Any parting comments about Wits & Wagers Family? Something must be said about these components. First of all the player boards have some cute art on the back which gives each color meeple its own personality. And these boards are really thick, almost too thick, if that's possible. Northstar Games continues their mission to make every component dry erase compatible too, so the erasable score sheet is really nice. A few people complained of issues with the dry erase markers in select copies of Northstar's prior games, but they clearly have a new distributor because these ones work great! The question cards are much smaller for this game. They only have 2 questions per card, but there's enough that you can play a number of games before repeating questions. The question cards even come in a little tray that you can pass around the table, which is a nice addition. All in all, I think that Wits & Wagers Family is a high quality game that simplifies/improves scoring from the original. I have had nothing but positive reactions to the game from almost everyone I've played with and, despite our complaints, my wife and I really do enjoy playing it. In fact, there is a good chance that I will take the questions that I love from the original game and pack them in this box so I can play with the new components/rules. I liked the changes that much!
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on August 31, 2010
The award winning Wits and Wagers game is now ready for fun family play!
This is another great family game that everyone can enjoy.

You simply read the question and then everyone writes down their answer. But you don't have to know the right answer to get points. Because once everyone has shown their answer, you place your meeples (wooden game people) on the answer you think is closest without going over. And if you choose correctly, you get points. The first person to 15 wins.

But what makes it so fun are the questions. They are tailored to a younger crowd - which is great for kids because they have a chance to beat their parents. And they love that.

The first half or our video review explains the game and the final couple minutes show actual game play and how much fun they have with it. Check it out.

You can also read more about our impressions on our game review site TheBoardGameFamily.
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on June 9, 2013
Wits and Wager is a game where you do not have know know the answer to win. A question is read, the answer will always be in numeric form. Players write their answer on a card, cards are revealed and place on table from lowest to highest. A players then vote for what they believe is the answer (not necessarily for their own answer). Answer is revealed, closet without going over is the winner. Repeat for 6 more rounds.

The original Wits and Wagers used a Vegas like betting format. The Family edition is much more simpler, there is a scoring board and a mega meeple and a regular meeple, mega meeple is twice the points. I own both the Family and the original. I have to say I like the Family scoring method a bit more. The Family edition questions are great for children, they are obviously more simple but also works for adults as well. Children like the game because they don't feel out of place playing, they don't feel dumb when they don't know the answer. I like the game for the same reason. I'm not good at knowing the latest trivial and entertainment news so I generally never play those types of games. With Wits and Wagers, the odds are balanced out. It's not a deep thinking brain game but every question does make you think a little about the answer. This is a quick game that can be played by everyone without feeling intimidated.

Please click YES if my review have been helpful to you, it will encourage me to continue writing and updating my reviews, and leave a comment if you have any questions, I will be more than happy to answer if I can be of help.
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on November 14, 2012
I teach at a boarding school and need fun games for teenagers once a week. This game passed the test this week when we played it instead of Apples to Apples or Catch Phrase, regular favorites. However, the dry erase markers were cheap and dried up when we opened the box, so we had to use some of our own. I would suggest that the maufacturer do a better job with the markers, and include the kind with little felt erasers on the tip so players don't need "tissues."
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We play lots of board games are our place. It's our favorite activity for family get-togethers and having friends over. A while back we played Wits and Wagers Party Edition at a family gathering. It was fantastic! That is actually what we thought we were ordering when we added this to our cart and checked out. But it was not...this is a different version of the same game.

In the Party Edition players can earn chips as they get answers right, then at the end of the game they can use some, all, or none of them in an effort to win it all. In this edition, however, instead of chips, players have two wooden markers that look like little people, well, sort of. Anyway, the game plays pretty much like other versions of Wits and Wagers, except that in this case after everyone writes their answers and reveals them then then place their markers on answers as they best see fit. If they wrote the winning answer they get a point, if they placed their larger marker on the correct answer they get two points, and if they placed their smaller marker on the correct answer they get one point.

This game is easy to play and easy to explain to newcomers. OK, for example, we had a couple of people over recently as part of a family gathering and they are in their 80s. We wanted to play a game so we pulled this game out. One of them is somewhat notorious for not doing especially well when learning new games, especially games with longer sets of rules (e.g., Settlers of Catan), but he picked right up on this game. We played several rounds, and everyone all enjoyed the experience. We have also played this game with players as young as our little niece who is 8 or 9 and she did just fine.

I have to agree with my wife that while the game is fantastic, it really is designed for players who need a slightly simpler version of this game, such as younger children. And that we miss the chance to bet it all at the end of the game as in the Party Edition. Still, we haven't gotten a copy of the Party Edition yet so we are obviously happy enough with this version.

This is a great addition to any gamers collection for parties and casual get-togethers where you are looking for something fun and straightforward to play.

5 stars
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VINE VOICEon October 27, 2013
Other reviewers have provided in depth information about rules and directions so this will review will skip that.

Our family ranges in ages from 10 to 72. And every single one of us have enjoyed playing this game. The questions run the gamut from trivia you may know to numbers that the children may know the answers to and some that everyone will just flat out guess. All of us have enjoyed making guesses that are completely wrong but hilarious and even better, guessing close to the actual answer. There have been many laughs during this game.

The game takes just a few minutes to set up and a few minutes to learn. It doesn't take very long to play. I would say on average, with a seven of us playing the game it might take 45 minutes to play a game from start to finish. This is a plus when you have impatient children or only a few minutes for a game.

We have played this game for the past year and it remains one of our go to games.
Well worth the money.
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on June 23, 2010
Wits and Wagers Family takes the core idea of the original Wits and Wagers and makes it into a great family game.

The premise is pretty simple. Every question has a numerical answer. Each player writes down their answer, then all the answers are arranged in order on the table. Players then try to guess which answer is right without going over. They have a big marker worth two points and a smaller one worth 1. When the correct answer is revealed everyone who wrote or placed a marker on the number which is closest without going over gets points. The most you can get in a round is 4 if you wrote the right answer and placed both your scoring markers on it.

The game plays to 15, although you could agree to a longer or shorter game by using a different target. The questions are fun and run the gamut from things some players will know to things pretty much everyone will have to guess at. This makes the game educational since players will eventually learn some actual useful information (like how many justices there are on the Supreme Court).

I've played the game with my parents and with my boy scouts and both groups loved it. It's easier to understand than wits and wagers and the lower scores per round help keep the game a little closer so you never really feel like it's hopeless.

It plays quickly, a whole game can take less than 15 minutes, which I think is a great design element - it helps to keep kids focused until the end of the game. If they're still interested, you can always play another round. It also makes losing less painful since you can easily play 3 or 4 in a row and will probably have a variety of winners.

This is a great family game even if your family is really just a gang of boy scouts. My wife also played it in her classroom of first graders and they loved it too.
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on December 7, 2013
Got this as a gift for my son and his family who are big game lovers. They have the regular Wits and Wagers game, which they do not like. We played this version and everyone in the family absolutely loved it - even my husband, who isn't big into games. This is a great choice for a family game that everyone can play, from kids to adults, and have a blast. Highly recommended.
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