Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Like Wits & Wagers? You bet!

We had a lot of fun testing out the Wits & Wagers Family game by North Star Games.  Choosing from the stack, the first question is read aloud.  Everyone whips out their trusty little wipe-off boards and pens and quickly writes a guess.  The guesses are then placed in number order on the table, or floor, or wherever you happen to be playing.  Then you decide whether you like your answer best, or someone else's.  You have two "Meeples" playing pieces, one large (2 pt) and one small (1 pt), and you use them to "wager" on the correct answer.  You can place both on your own answer, one on yours and one on some else's, or both on other people's cards.  There is always a "1" card available if you think everyone's answers are too high.  When the answer is read, points are scored for the winning guess that is closest to the correct answer without going over, and for any Meeples placed on that card.  The wagering aspect makes it easier for the younger players to get points, since they don't have to think of the correct answer themselves.

Since every question involves a number or statistic of some sort, there is a lot of estimating going on (unless you just happen to know the correct answer -- and, mostly, you won't).  For example:

*In feet, how wide is a regulation soccer goal? 
*What percent of Girl Scout cookies sold are Thin Mints? 
*On average, how many hours per day does a wild sloth sleep? 

Each number answer is accompanied by an interesting, and sometimes silly, fact.  The first player to reach 15 points wins, so the game doesn't last super-long unless you decide to go into extra innings just for the fun of it.

There were only a handful of references that my children wouldn't know (i.e., The Suite Life of Zack and Cody) or that we would not appreciate (i.e., Harry Potter), but these are easily dealt with by skipping the question, blotting it out, throwing it away, or setting it on fire, depending on your level of enthusiasm about it.

The instructions are simple and clear and the wipe-off boards, Meeples and question cards are both colorful and engaging for the prescribed ages 8+.  You can play 3 to 5 individuals at a time, or break a larger group into teams, so this is a great game for a family night or a fun party.  North Star Games also sells a "Party" version of this game.

Wits & Wagers Family sells for about $15.00 at Amazon.  This coming Friday afternoon, you can check out my review of another of North Star Games' fun products, Say Anything, here.

As part of The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew, I was provided this game free in exchange for an honest review.  For more TOS Crew reviews, click here.

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