Monday, May 30, 2011

Say Anything Family!

A little while back, the kind folks over at Northstar Games sponsored our very first contest by sending a copy of Say Anything Family to one of our lucky blog readers, and as a bonus they sent one to us too! We had high hopes for Say Anything Family because as some of you may remember we absolutely LOVED Wits and Wagers Family. Let me tell you up front that this game did not disappoint, it is one of the funnest family party games I’ve ever played.

It’s Really That Simple
The game is easy to learn and explain. One person draws a card and selects a question from it to read out loud. Everyone else writes down an answer that they think the reader will think is the best answer. All of the answers are played face up, and the reader secretly selects the one they like best. The other players now try to guess which one the reader picked. Players score points for writing the winning answer, voting on the winning answer, and the reader gets points for people guessing right. It kind of reminds me of a cross between Apples to Apples (the playing and picking answers), Wits and Wagers Family (the betting aspect), and any one of a number of party games that rewards you for knowing the other players well or provides an opportunity to get to know each other better. While that may sound like a bit of a mash-up, it plays very smooth and really hit the sweet spot for us.
Looking Under the Hood
This game is about the experience, but here’s a few quick thoughts about the rules/components/etc. I appreciate that this game is easy to teach, and that you really can just jump right in and play. No one seems to have any questions, it’s nice when the rules just blend into the background and the focus is on fun. I really like that each card has three possible questions and the reader gets to choose which one to pick. Aside from increasing replayability, this is an opportunity to direct the game a bit, avoid something you don’t want to talk about, or explore what the other players might think you think on a fun topic.  This is the type of game you could really play for any length of time, but the scoring system seems to have the game play out for just the right amount of time. I did miss the meeples though! We love betting with the meeples in Wits & Wagers Family, and with the art of the game showing meeple images I found myself looking through the box a couple times to try to find them. There are tokens that are used instead, but I like the meeples better and wish they had been included in this game as well.
Say What?
Wits and Wagers Family was a big hit with my extended family over the holidays, so I was really excited to give Say Anything Family a try at a recent family get together. I was able to easily convince my mom and grandma, my aunt Judy, and my uncle Rob to give it a try. This game had us laughing, groaning, telling stories, and having fun together right from the get go. We were grossed out by the idea of kissing a urinal, imagining what the best part of being a dog is, pondering how lottery winnings would be spent, discussing who would be the most fun to have dinner with (Gene Simmons in full costume?!!?), and laughing about what the weirdest family secret might be. We kept a causal pace throughout the game, with lots of conversation and smiles. It really was an amazing experience, and I’m looking forward to many more plays. It was a big hit, and we ended up with a phenomenal 12 thumbs up, everyone loved it!
Good ol' family fun!
Up Next…
We’re going to try to play this game with Katie soon. Reading is the biggest barrier here, but I think it will be possible to help her through it, or to have her team up with a grown-up reading buddy. I’m sure her ideas will amuse and delight everyone playing, kids say the most interesting things!

by Angie


  1. Good review. Both of the Say Anything games are terrific social games. Highly recommended!

    EndersGame @ boardgamegeek

  2. Woot! Thanks for the review.

    If you get a chance, would you mind re-posting this review on Amazon and the BGG? We would appreciate it. You could also include a link to your blog as a way to increase traffic.

    Either way, enjoy Say Anything! And let me know if Katie likes the game. We're still trying to figure out the best age range for the game.

    Founder of North Star Games
    Co-Designer of Say Anything