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Game Preview for SPIEL '18: Just One, or Everyone Be Unique or Else!

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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Board Game Publisher: Repos Production
Whenever I think about party games these days, almost everything is judged in terms of Codenames. This isn't necessarily a surprise given how dominant and successful Codenames is in that design space: You can explain that game and start playing in a couple of minutes, the game accommodates a large number of player counts, it's incredibly replayable out of the box because the interconnection between the words in play forces the cluegivers to be original, players can drop in or out of the game without affecting gameplay, you can apply the game system to components not in the original game, and it retails for only $20.

Just One from Ludovic Roudy and Bruno Sautter ticks almost all of those same boxes, although it provides a different type of challenge since the game is co-operative instead of competitive.

Your goal in Just One is to correctly answer thirteen secret words, and each round one player tries to guess the secret word via single-word clues given simultaneously by all the other players. The catch is that if more than one player gives the same clue, then all instances of that clue are removed from the round and never seen by the guesser. Thus, you want to be unique in your clue-giving, yet if you're too unique, then the guesser might not be able to grasp how your clue relates to everyone else's.

That's pretty much the game, other than the scoring: Guess correctly, earn 1 point; pass on guessing, earn 0 points; guess incorrectly, lost 1 point acquired previously. For a perfect score, you need thirteen correct guesses.

I've played Just One six times on a mock-up copy from Repos Production with player counts from 3 to 6, and it's fascinating to see how having more players in the game doesn't help since the increased number of clues in a round often means you increase the odds of having common clues knocked out. I haven't tried the game with ten or more players yet, but I'm curious to do so to find out how that experience compares to the "normal" game. Maybe you can join me at BGG.CON 2018 in making this happen...

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Subscribe sub options Tue Aug 21, 2018 2:48 pm
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