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Subject: Wise and Otherwise: a refinement on the "Dictionary" genre rss

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Ed Sherman
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Colorado Springs
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Beyond Balderdash (and its original version Balderdash) are packaged versions of the classic parlor game "Dictionary," and has inspired several similar games. Of all the games in this genre, Wise and Otherwise is probably my favorite.

Gameplay revolves around a deck of cards with the first half of some very obscure sayings (think "A stitch in time saves nine" but way more obscure -- I've never hears of any of these axioms in all of my reading because a lot of them are foriegn). The active player takes a card and reads it aloud. Then every other player writes up their own second half of the saying -- it could be as serious or silly as the player wishes. The active player mixes up all the sentences with the real one, and then everyone votes on what they think the "real" answer is.

You get points for either:
1) guessing the correct answer correctly
2) other people guessing your (bluffing) answer

The difference between Balderdash and Wise and Otherwise is that while the original game only had the definitions of obscure words, W&O uses these bizarre sayings so that you can write down the most off-the-wall answer and it still sounds somewhat plausible. Think about it: if you had to complete the phrase "the early bird..." without knowing the answer, what would you say? "...escapes the late cat?" "flies out the window?" "...gets the worm?" I think it makes for a very interesting game because these kind of sayings (especially when they are from other cultures) have this bizarre logic all their own.

It's an easy enough game to describe and is good for a lot of laughs. We found this game a lot more fun than the other Dictionary variants because of the obscure logic you can use -- like I said, sometimes even the most off-the-wall answers sound reasonable. I think the game is a good one for groups looking for a nice party game without some of the dumb stunts a lot of party games seem to have (I can't draw or act or sing, but I can play this game). (My rating 8/10)
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