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Etc.» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Fast-Paced, Fun, and...Overlooked! rss

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There is a war on for your mind...
Production Factor (game components/theme):
Comments: The great detractor to ETC. also happens to be the first thing you see. Etc comes in a rather flimsy box but the worst part is the plastic molding glued to the front which sticks way out to prevent you from shelving/stacking the game. The plastic can be removed, but not without tearing the printed layer and removing the title. The score chips should have been the only plastic in the box but instead you get cardboard pogs. As you swipe and slam your way to victory, the printing will show wear. If the wear is particularly uneven, and you have dastardly attentive friends, you'll have to shuffle and grab them in order to keep the game fair. Note that these can all be replaced. The heart of the game is the clue cards (which rattle around inside the oversized box that you should dispatch of anyway). A nice touch would have been to include a few blank clue cards for the wanna be developer in all of us. I don't know who put the packaging together, but we can all rest assured, he is no longer employed.
Bottom Line: Judge by the cover? No

Fun Factor (gameplay):
Comments: If you can get beyond the ugly first impression, you will be rewarded with a versatile and clever word game. Each card has 5 clues. Each clue has an answer (person, place, thing, phrase, etc.) that begins with the same initials. The first player/team to FINISH shouting out the answer to a clue gets to take one of the face down scoring chips. The chips are valued 2, 2, 4, 4, and 6--thus a team could answer two of the five clues and score anywhere from 4-10 points. While that may seem brutal, we have not found it to be unevenly punishing and it keeps games unpredictable. The instructions need not be rigid. You can play to any score you like, you can set any time limit for answers you like (an estimated 60 seconds is our general preference), and you can play with as many players or teams as you like. I've played this game with as few as 2 players going head to head as they take turns reading clues, all the way up to 4 teams of 4.
Bottom Line: Highly replayable? Yes

Cost Factor (bang for your buck):
Comments: Perhaps the most endearing factor of Etc. is the cost. A copy will only set you back the equivalent of a hill of beans. As far as party games go, you could do MUCH worse for MANY more of your hard-earned dollars.
Bottom Line: Avoids buyer's remorse? Yes

Overall Impression (Final Comments):
Comments: This has consistently been the highlight party game when stacked up against the mainstays of Apples and Wits and Wagers. The clues are clever yet never misleading. Even players who are a little slower to produce an answer find great satisfaction as others occasionally get hung up on a clue then they come to their team's rescue with a correct response. Get ready to cheer as you flip over that coveted 6 pointer!
Bottom Line: Recommended? Yes!

Try this game if you like:
• Outburst
• Catch Phrase
• Joe Name It
• Say Anything
• Name Chase

G.P.'s standard review disclaimer:
Relatively new to gaming, and even newer to the Geek, if you're factoring my recommendations into a purchase, know that I generally prefer light to medium weight games. Thanks for reading!
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