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NY Toy Fair 2012: R&R Lives Up to Its Name with a Trio of Party Games

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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So, New York Toy Fair 2012 – an event that ended on the previous Wednesday and to which I'm only now getting around to reporting on in detail (aside from my overview of how the hobby and mainstream markets are blurring). I blame children and the diseases they carry. Curse you, little ones!

In any case, now that I can sit upright again without feeling queasy, here's an overview of the new titles from R&R Games. Since I've created game listings for each of these titles, I'll reprint my game description from those pages to make things easier.

First up is Pluckin' Pairs, a party game from Stephen Glenn due out in May 2012:

Pluckin' Pairs embodies the same spirit as the classic party game Compatibility in that you want to match images with other players in order to score points, but the game play is more free form with everyone competing individually instead of in teams.

At the start of a round, eleven images are laid out on the table. All players secretly pair off images – say, coins and a manhole cover because they're both round, or a mirror and a building because they both reflect light – and write these pairs on their player sheet. One image will be leftover as the outcast.

After everyone has finished, you compare your pairs with those of other players. If no one – or conversely if everyone – created the same pair as you, you score no points for that pair. If only some of the players created that pair, each of those players scores as many points as the number of players who record the pair. (You can optionally compare outcast images as well, scoring points based on who had the same outcast as you.) The player with the most points after a certain number of rounds wins.

Next is Pass-ack Words, a game for four players only from Dave Arnott and Aaron Wiessblum due out in April 2012:

As the name suggests, Pass-ack Words turns the long-lived game of Password on its head, with players now giving clues that they hope their "partner" will not decipher in the right way.

As in Password, four players compete in teams of two; unlike in Password, you and a member of the opposing team take turns giving clues to the remaining player on the opposing team. How this works is that the clue givers have a device that shows a list of clues. Each turn, one clue giver chooses one of the listed clues, presents it to the opposing guesser, and hopes that he presented it with the wrong intonation so that the guesser won't guess the secret code word. As the crummy clues are used up, the clues will get better and better, so your challenge as the clue giver is to quickly figure out what might give a hint to your partner without giving the thing away entirely – which again is pretty much like Password!

Finally comes Double Take, due out in June 2012:

Double Take is a charades game built for two, so to speak. Each round, time willing, two players will present clues for a half-dozen familiar phrases that all have something in common. A sample category, for example, is "Something's Wrong" with the words to be guessed being divided as:

• Play | Foul
• In the Closet | Skeleton
• Sheep | Black
• Gun | Smoking

Each clue giver acts out one side of the card, and since they're facing the guessers, the phrases will be acted out in left-to-right fashion ("Black Sheep", "Smoking Gun", etc.) If someone guesses one side of the card, that player scores – but the clue givers score only after both sides of a phrase have been guessed, so they need to work together – but separately – to make their clues clear.

Alas, I did my usual good job of forgetting to take pictures of anything, being more of a word guy than an image guy, so you'll have to use your imagination to picture how these games might look. I've requested images from the publisher and will get them in the system ASAP.

More reports soon!
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