Glenn Robson
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Hi everyone. Like many others I feel like the scoring system provided in the original game is garbage. And I feel that the cooperative elements of the game could have been exploited more to raise the stakes in the game. As such, I developed a cooperative variant that also allows for a 2 player game. It also makes the supplied lightbulb tokens a bit more meaningful IMHO. Enjoy and let me know what you think! If people seem to like this, I will try to devise a competitive variant.


Concept-Cooperative Game Variant

Goal: Work together as a team to discard the pool of single bulb tokens before the pool of double bulb tokens is depleted. Each double bulb token signifies a round of play (maximum of 12 rounds) and each single bulb token signifies a point needing to be discarded.

Number of players: 2-12+ players or however many people you want to play with.

How to play: Use most of the basic Concept rules for game play. However, you can choose to have only one person provide the clues for the Concept each round while everyone else guesses. This makes a 2-player game possible. There is, of course, no reason why you can’t have 2-person teams providing Concept clues, as in the original game.

Set aside one pool of the 12 double bulb tokens and one pool of single bulb tokens. The number of single bulb tokens in the starting pool depends on the difficulty level your group wants to play against:

9 single bulb token pool = Beginner
15 single bulb token pool = Intermediate
21 single bulb token pool = Advanced
27 single bulb token pool = Legendary (since most cooperative games seem to like this term)

After a round of play is complete, you return one double bulb token to the box. Therefore, the 12 double bulb tokens function as a countdown, which your group is racing against.

Use either a countdown timer set at 3 mins for each round or an appropriate sand timer (I use the one from Escape the Curse of the Temple since I never use the included sand timer for that game and it is just about 3 minutes; if you’ve played it, you know why).

Without looking at the card, the guessing group mutually agrees upon what difficulty level they would like to attempt for that particular round (ie. easy/blue, medium/red, or hard/black on a Concept card). This introduces a push-your-luck element to the game.

The person or team providing the Concept clues then draws a card and chooses one of the 3 Concepts from the previously agreed upon level.

Complete the round as you would in a regular game of Concept.

If the Concept is successfully guessed within the time limit, your group discards the number of single bulb tokens based on the chart below.

Easy/Blue = 1 single bulb token
Medium/Red = 2 single bulb tokens
Hard/Black = 3 single bulb tokens

This means that the harder the level you choose, the quicker you can deplete your single bulb token pool. But of course, if your group is unable to successfully guess the Concept, you do not get to discard any single bulb tokens. So your group will have to gauge whether or not you have what it takes to attempt the medium or hard level Concepts. It is of course totally possible to win a Beginner game within 12 rounds by attempting only Easy/Blue level (1 point) Concepts.

You win as a group if you are able to discard all your single bulb tokens on or before the 12th round. You lose if you still have single bulb tokens left when you need to discard the 12th double bulb round token. Depending on the difficulty level you've chosen for the game, it is entirely possible to discard all your single bulb tokens before the 12th round (ie. you can attempt and successfully guess 3 Hard/Black Concepts on Beginner difficulty (9 single bulb tokens) within a minimum of 3 rounds).

Your team is ultra-legendary if you are able to discard all 27 single bulb tokens on Legendary Difficulty within the minimum 9 rounds.

Other suggestions (disclaimer: some of which I've "borrowed" from others):

-If you want to play an easier game, you can set the timer at either 4 or 5 minutes. I wouldn’t recommend more than 5 minutes, since games will likely drag on and the stakes will seem pretty low.

-Use the black sub-concept pawn and cubes to signify “what the concept is not”.

-You can play with any number of players. However, the more people you play with could make the game significantly easier since you have more minds working on a given Concept. I wouldn’t suggest any more than 12 people. But if you want to play in a larger group, it may be good to set a limit on the number of people who can guess during a round (ie. if you are playing a 12 player game, you could have 2 people provide the clues while you rotate each round between two 5-player groups of guessers). Really, do whatever suits your group.
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Jonathan Meltzer
United States
New Hampshire
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Eight ball, corner pocket
I like this a lot...will consider trying this the next time we get Concept to the table!
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