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Subject: User Review: "Cell Eyelid Dull Gum" rss

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In the charades-varient "Mad Gab," players read aloud meaningless phrases from cards while their teammates try to guess the real phrases or terms those meaningless phrases sound like (sorta). Thus "Pretty Share Weighs" = "British Airways" and "Onus Gale Firm Won Toot Hen" = On a scale from one to ten." Like all charades games, scores are tallies of correct guesses.

Originality = B: This is a clever auditory take on charades, though no other original game mechanics appear.

Parts = B: The 3-color cards in black, orange, and blue cards are clear, if a bit dull. The box is a cube---functional but difficult to find a place for on the gameshelf---with a styrofoam insert that holds all parts in place. The variable timer allows less time for more experienced teams, allowing handicapping in mismatched games; its Perfection-like clickety-clickety-clickety is a bit annoying, however, especially because almost every game involves one person who just can't seem to resist playing with it while waiting for the reader to load the fiddly card holder.

Challenge = B-: Like all party games, "Mad Gab" is not meant to be a brain burner. The only "strategy" for readers is to run the clue words together saying the whole phrase over and over without emphasis. Most of the real terms/phrases are commonly known, though obscure ones, proper nouns, and the occasionally oddly-worded phrase can throw teams off the scent. The biggest challenge of the game is figuring out how to properly insert the three clue cards into the odd little card holder, as well as the usually difficulty people have remembering which end of the card box to draw from/discard to.

Fun = A-: The game is fun for a limited time, with its best impact used up in the first 15 minutes, making it best used as filler between other party games/activities.

Replay = C: Because readers just...well, read, there is not much room for creative expression, the best feature of charades and its most successful variants. It will likely spent most of its time taking up inordinant shelf space waiting for the next party when you have 15 minutes to fill with a talkative crowd. This is very likely not the kind of filler, however, that serious gamers will enjoy very often.

Overall = B: "Mad Gab" is clever, the kind of backhanded complement that, as usual, means it has a limited role as a kind of linguistic novelty to bring out every now and then. Consider picking it up used or in a bargain bin, but don't go out of your way to get it retail.
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