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Subject: One review after two plays with three people rss

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Remus McRhymus
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So, I'm a huge fan of Wits and Wagers and recently entered a North Star Games geeklist contest and won a copy of Cluzzle.

Dominic Crapuchettes, the designer of Cluzzle, was cool enough to ship the game out so it would arrive in time to play with friends and family on Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, Thanksgiving this year was chock full of toddlers and most of the adults had their hands full. There just wasn't time for a game.

Anyway, on Black Friday my friend Brian came over for gaming with me and my wife. The first game we broke out was Cluzzle. Cluzzle is a game for 3 to 6 players and I have a feeling it plays much better with 5 or 6.

The components in Cluzzle are great: easy to understand directions, nice cards, pencils, a pad of sheets to write your guesses, some tokens, semi-circle mats to constuct your cluzzle on, a circular board with score-track, two timers and best of all six different colors of clay.



The way Cluzzle works is this: each player draws a card (each card has a list of different words on it), the player has 5 minutes to pick one of the words and construct a cluzzle (clay puzzle) that represents that word. After everyone has constructed their cluzzles there is a series of 3 two-minute question rounds. During each question round, each player can ask up to four yes/no type questions about particular cluzzles. After each question round, each player has 30 seconds to write a guess down for each cluzzle. If the word(s) you wrote down matches the word(s) on the card for a particular cluzzle you get point(s) and the creator of the cluzzle gets point(s). After round one, you get one point, round two - two points, round three - three points and if the cluzzle isn't guessed correctly after three rounds that cluzzle scores no points. So, you want your cluzzle to be somewhat ambiguous, but not too ambiguous. Tiebraker: whoever can build the tallest clay tower and is still standing after 30 seconds wins the game.

First of all, this game is harder than it sounds. For some reason, we all had trouble coming up with good deductive questions under the pressure of the timer. Yeah, in the beginning we had a few obvious yes/no questions (Bigger than a loaf of bread? Is it organic? etc.) But once the obvious was out of the way, I felt kind of stumped for good questions and ended up asking similar questions that I already asked which ended up not helping much.

Also, I don't think this game is that good with three. I do see potential for this to be a real fun game with a larger group, but with three it fell a little flat.

I'm not suggesting I could come up with a better scoring system, but every step of the way through all three rounds of two seperate games, the score was always a three-way tie. Maybe that was a fluke, but it was odd.

The tiebreaker was a blast though. I won the first game for building the biggest clay tower and Brian won the second game the same way. It's kind of a silly tie-breaker, but hey it's fun.

The second edition comes with cards by Tom Vassel, Alan Moon, Stephen Glenn and Alanis Morrisette. That was pretty cool to check those cards out.

Overall, I feel this game has the potential to be loads of fun with a full six. The chaos during the question rounds is a blast (there's no turn-taking it's a rapid-fire free-for-all).

And doggone it, it's darn good fun to play with clay. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Unfortunately, with three Cluzzle just didn't fly. Well, it is a party game. Six is a party. Three's a crowd.
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Dominic Crapuchettes
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North Star Games designs party games that don't suck! Play them with your non-gamer friends over the holidays.
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First there was Hearts, then there was Spades, and now we bring you Clubs. The suit of clubs finally gets some respect!
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Yeah, I agree that Cluzzle is not as good with 3 people. Did you guys make 2 sculptures each? That is what we recommend doing if you play with only 3 people. Otherwise, the game shines best with 6 people.

Maybe the lesson learned is that we should change the box to say 5 - 6 people...

Cluzzle is such a frustrating game for us to figure out how to market. We have so many families that tell us Cluzzle is their favorite game. But it seems like we get just as many people who tell us the game falls flat. Now I'm wondering if the times when it falls flat is when the game is played with only 3 or 4 players.

Anyhow, thanks for writing about your experience.
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Remus McRhymus
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Maybe making two cluzzles each would've helped. I didn't realize that was the recommended way of playing with three. I was really looking forward to playing this with a larger group over Thanksgiving, unfortunately that didn't work out. I am intrigued by the game and definitely plan on playing it with a full 6 when the opportunity is there. If the experience with 6 improves, I'll certainly post about it.

Dominic - Thanks again for running that great contest, it was a blast and the prizes are so cool and definitely appreciated. I'm looking forward to playing Say Anything as well.
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Eduardo Diaz
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Just wondering is there a way to make this a team game w/ more than 6?
 
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Dominic Crapuchettes
United States
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North Star Games designs party games that don't suck! Play them with your non-gamer friends over the holidays.
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First there was Hearts, then there was Spades, and now we bring you Clubs. The suit of clubs finally gets some respect!
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It's tough to play in teams, because it's hard to decide upon which question to ask and what to write down for your guesses when the timer is running.

But you can add more people to the mix if they are willing to ask questions, but not make a sculpture. It seems counter intuitive, but they will have the same number of opportunities to score as the people who make sculptures (because players cannot make a guess on their own sculpture). The most I've played it with in that way is 9 people.
 
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Saulo Sobrosa
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domcrap wrote:
It seems counter intuitive, but they will have the same number of opportunities to score as the people who make sculptures (because players cannot make a guess on their own sculpture).


Ok, I disagreed with you for a moment before I get the point.
 
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