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Subject: Rorschach: A Family Game? rss

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Galen Ciscell
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My family got together for games this evening and decided to try out Rorschach (although it is not marketed as a family game). The players were myself (age 30), my sister and brother-in law (late 20s), my parents (late 50s) and my two nephews (4 and 8). The game is labeled as ages 8+. My 4 year old nephew cannot read, but we read the cards to him. We also screened the cards for content ("Which one would you want to have in an orgy?" was right out…) and interpreted them down to my nephews’ level (“elegant” became “fancy”). So how did it play? Read on…

Overview
In Rorschach you attempt to interpret inkblots in the same way as the other players. Once you have matched everyone else at least once, and no one at least once, you win! Even my 4 year old nephew got it after a round of play.

Gameplay
Each player chooses a color. You begin the game by laying out a number of inkblots, each one corresponding to a number. Each round you draw a question (ex: “Which one looks most like a spaceship?”). Each player then secretly chooses the inkblot they think best answers the question. All players reveal their choices and players whose choices match receive a token of a color matching the other player(s) who matched their choice. In subsequent rounds you draw a new question card and repeat the process above. You need one of each color chip to win, and you can only get your own color chip by choosing an inkblot that no one else chooses. Again, no problems understanding the gameplay and selecting inkblots.

Components
The game comes with 50 double sided-inkblot cards and 50 question cards, both printed on glossy cardstock (very nice quality); 7 wooden tokens with the numbers 1-7 printed on them in a unique script; 8 eight-sided dice in eight different colors; and 64 tokens in colors matching the dice. Overall, the components are of fantastic quality and very durable (which can be important when playing with small children).

Value
At only $20 retail, this game is a bargain for what you get. It comes in a tiny box (comparable to two Guillotine boxes stacked on top of one another) and every inch of space is utilized. I love games that are easily transportable and Rorschach is definitely compact.

Overall Impressions
My 8-year old nephew said this game was “awesome,” “terrific,” and “great because it has skeletons in it” (referring, I assume, to what he saw in one of the inkblots). My 4-year old nephew said he loved that he was able to play with everyone and that it was “really fun” (Note: while he didn’t win any of the three games we played, he came close a couple times!). Hearing everyone’s explanations after selecting the inkblot is what is supposed to make this a party game (as far as I can tell) and watching my nephew describe how when he turned his head sideways the blot looked like an alien butterfly was priceless. Perhaps this portion of the game would be less exciting with only adults…

Although not marketed as a family game, Rorschach certainly delivered, allowing both my nephews to participate and have fun and keeping the adults entertained as well. I would certainly play it again with my family and would be happy to break it out at a party (especially since its small enough that I could throw it in my girlfriend’s purse as we head out the door). We weren’t hooting and hollering, but we were having fun and there was definitely some laughter involved! All in all, a solid party game that holds its own as a family game.
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