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Subject: Preview of What?!? Oh... rss

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Sarah Reed
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Rancho Cordova
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This is a special preview of a Kickstarter game.

Brief Synopsis:
In What?!? Oh... the players are having a conversation. Depending upon on the players, it can be as real or imaginary as you like it to be. The cards that are used for starting the game help dictate this tone by giving you an emotion to feel, a setting that the conversation should take place in and a brief sentence that gets the ball rolling. Rounds are ended when someone does not comply with a demand or question and they are caught by the player who played the demand or question. So this game is just as much about speaking as it is listening.

Introductory Thoughts:
This game is a great way to start off an evening of gaming and also an ice breaker at a party. It gives you a conversation without having to come up with the content yourself since it inspire content. This is definitely a fast and fun game, one not to be taken seriously at all. The moment you get started, there are charming as well as funny moments. For the most part, the communication style is light-hearted and positive, and the meaner elements have a playful hint to them. This allows for a varied level of maturity to be read into the conversations.

The 6 C’s

Chance: The way you steer the conversation is done completely by the cards you draw. This definitely forms a very luck-base system. However, with a creative mind, these cards should simply represent challenges in which you can insert yourself into the conversation.

Choice: From your hand of four cards, you choose one to play and often get to fill in the blanks. So you still have quite a lot of choice in which random card you play. Additionally, many cards have blanks spaces where you can choose how to craft the sentence. In a 3-4 player game, you have the additional choice of when you enter the conversation.

Character: The game is about people having a conversation and you are those people having a conversation. Imaginary elements do sneak in with the setting and the options of saying something funny or serious. In a highly creative group, this game could be taken to new heights if everyone chooses a simple character to portray each round. This could be a good acting exercise. Basically, the theme is as much as you put into it.

Conflict: Everyone is trying to trick everyone else into slipping up, but it’s not aggressive. Otherwise, it feels like a cooperative party game where everyone is working together to make an interesting narrative. And there will be moments when someone slips up and you almost want to ignore it just so the conversation can continue.

Clarity: While the rules weren’t completely clear, it only took playing a round of the game to fully comprehend what was going and what the goals were. Since rounds can be relatively short, this isn’t a hard game to get into. Since I am reviewing a prototype copy, hopefully the final rules will be clearer.

Concealment: This is not a game for those with vision disabilities. It’s supposed to be played fast and furious so any delays in people reading the cards will lessen the enjoyment. Also, those that have trouble seeing people’s facial expressions won’t get the full effect of the many of the action cards. Having said that, my husband and I still had some great moments when we played, laughing loudly at each other’s antics and statements. We often read the action out-loud while overly exaggerating the action. Which was super hilarious when my husband did it as I don’t have the vision problems.

Conclusion
While we enjoyed the game overall, there is one weak point and that’s the starter conversation can easily get lost as players waver between themselves and the imaginary setting. This means that it falls completely on the players’ shoulders to carry this level of imagination throughout the game. Frankly, the game is fun even without the setting and players can just play as themselves. The reason is this game promotes good communication. It requires you to listen and respond, and ultimately that’s what healthy conversation is – the exchanging of ideas.

If this game sounds like fun, please check out the What?!? Oh... Kickstarter page, which is going on until November 11, 2013.

For more tabletop game reviews, check out my blog @EuroGamerGirl on Games.
 
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Playing this game will cure your ADD !!!
 
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