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Subject: The Love Child of Wits & Wagers and Apples to Apples rss

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Jeffery Qualey
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Odenton
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The Usual Crowd
First, I’ll put in perspective the type of games my usual group plays. We enjoy primarily light to middle weight Eurogames. Among us, we have a hundred or two from which to choose. Occasionally we’ll throw in a dexterity game or a party game. Out of the top 100 dexterity games, we have played Pitchcar, Tumblin Dice, Jr. and Sorry Sliders. Out of the top 100 party games, we have played Wits & Wagers, Liars Dice, Saboteur and Apples to Apples.

Where Say Anything Fits In
Say Anything is to me the perfect combination of Wits & Wagers and Apples to Apples. It is very much like Apples to Apples in that you have to supply an answer to a question. However, you are not limited by a hand of meaningless cards. You can “say anything”, or actually “write anything”, on your dry-erase card that you desire. Write a sentence or a paragraph, if you actually think it will be the best answer. The wagering is, of course, much like Wits & Wagers. You can place your two chips on two separate answers or both on one answer, but I’ll say more about the specific rules later.

Components
In the box, you will get 8 dry-erase cards (with a different color and symbol on each), 8 dry-erase markers, 1 dry-erase score card, 2 chips per person (with color and symbol), the rules, a stack of questions (5 questions per card) and the “Select-O-Matic 5000”.

Durability
The dry-erase cards clean easily with a dry napkin or paper towel. As with all dry-erase products, I recommend completely erasing all cards before returning them to the box.

The dry-erase markers tend to dry out very quickly. Half of my original pens were not functional, but the company replaced them very quickly. After a dozen or more gaming sessions, 1 or 2 of the pens are not functional. This poses only a minor inconvenience when playing with the full complement of 8 players.

In game #1, the flat disc that held the arrow onto the Select-O-Matic 5000 broke off, n’er to be found. Again, this is only a minor inconvenience as the arrow stays put reasonable well.

The Rules Are As Simple As This
1. Player one selects a card and reads one of the five questions aloud.
2. All other players write down an answer they think is the best, from the perspective of the person asking the question.
3. Once everybody has answered (or chosen not to answer), the person who asked the question privately selects the color/symbol of their favorite answer, from the answers that are offered, on the Select-O-Matic 5000.
4. All the answerers use their chips to bet on which answer or answers they feel are the best.
5. The person who asked the question reveals their selection on the Select-O-Matic 5000 and everyone, including the asker, is scored for up to 3 points per round.
6. Play moves clockwise to the next player.

Note that everyone gets a chance to ask a question at least once (once for 7-8 players, twice for 5-6 players and three times for 3-4 players).

Scoring
The scoring is simple, but it may take a few seconds, so make sure everyone knows not to take their chips off the correct answer immediately. The person who asked the question will get points equal to the number of chips which are on the answer he/she chose with the Select-O-Matic 5000 (up to a maximum of 3 points). Each other player will get points equal to the number of chips they have on that chosen answer. The player who wrote the chosen answer will get an additional point.

Strategy?
Everyone has the opportunity to get up to 3 points per round. As the asker, you may have a choice to make between the answer you KNOW is best for you, or the answer you feel will get you the most points. Being a close friend with the person asking the question, therefore, may give you a slight advantage with certain questions, but you never know until the round plays out.

It will always be challenging to provide “good” answers, especially when you are with a group of people you do not know at all. I had a heck of a time, as a 40+ male, giving “good” answers to teenage females. But I had a great time trying!

Regardless, expect a half hour of laughing as the group really finds out how well they know each other!

Players 3-8?
Do not try this with only 3 players. You will only have two possible answers in any round.

Overall Impressions
*The quality of the dry-erase markers is suspect, but the company is very customer focused and easy to deal with.
*Very quickly, you will see questions that you feel you have already asked. Move on to another card and ask any question that you like.
*This game is great fun in any environment, though you may want house rules for mixed company. This game is often requested by our monthly boardgaming group meeting which takes place at a church and is frequented by a number of church families and their teenage children. We obviously take care in limiting rude answers (though “Boobies” tends to find its way in as an answer in every game).
*I find it to be most enjoyable to ask the questions which, for me, don’t have one exactly right answer – like, where I would want to go on vacation (or similar question). Sometimes, I just want to see what kind of answers the group comes up with!
*As a party game, it fits any crowd, is easy to play, and is often requested and enjoyed. Thank you North Star Games for a game that has been well worth my money and my (play) time!
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Dominic Crapuchettes
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Bethesda
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North Star Games designs party games that don't suck! Play them with your non-gamer friends over the holidays.
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Jeff, thanks for the great review! I have only one two comments:

Pepsi4Me2 wrote:
In game #1, the flat disc that held the arrow onto the Select-O-Matic 5000 broke off, n’er to be found. Again, this is only a minor inconvenience as the arrow stays put reasonable well.


The SELECT-O-MATIC 5000 does not come with a "flat disc" to hold on the arrow. We received two sample SELECT-O-MATIC 5000 from the factory before manufacturing, one with a "flat disc" and one without. The one without the "flat disc" worked better so we went with that model. The good news is that you did not lose anything from the game!


Pepsi4Me2 wrote:
Players 3-8?
Do not try this with only 3 players. You will only have two possible answers in any round.


Say Anything is better with more people, but 3 players can still be fun. In fact, just today I ran across this post from Jeremy Goldberg (quoted below):

Jeremy Arcus-Goldberg
United States
Natick
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tevacircus wrote:
Just picked up this soon to be group favorite! I am getting ready for a 7 player family night, so I opened this up and played a 3 player game on Thanksgiving Day. We played 3 rounds, and all completely enjoyed it!


So don't shy away from a 3 player game too much (especially if you have alcohol)...
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Jeffery Qualey
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Thank you for the clarification - no wonder we didn't find it (the non-existant disc)! The arrow popped off the first game and we were sure someone had fooled around too much and broke it. As you would expect, it works fine.

In many situations, I'm sure the 3 player game is great. I prefer having many more options/answers. I also like, in a bigger game, that more than one person's answer does not get picked.
 
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