Top positive review
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A fun family game for all ages!
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...