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You Must Be an Idiot!» Forums » Reviews

Subject: You don't have to be an idiot to enjoy this unique trivia game rss

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Ben Lott
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I'm really fortunate in life that my wife, Rikki, shares in my love of the board gaming hobby. And every once in awhile there are games that she picks out herself. In the case of You Must Be an Idiot! I think she was drawn in by the funny title. She had been eyeing the box several times when we saw it at our local game store, and often read the back of the box to see if it would be fun. I never pulled the trigger on the purchase, so she added it to her birthday wish list that year, and received it from my parents. But was there more to this game than just a goofy name? Read on...

What do you get with You Must Be an Idiot!? In the box you get a rulebook, a game board, a pad of paper and 6 pencils, 18 player pawns (3 in each player color), a very large deck of trivia question cards, and a smaller deck of identity cards.

How does You Must Be an Idiot! work? Each player places one of their pawns on the start space of the score-track running around the outside of the game board, and keeps the other two on the table in front of them. Then each player is dealt a question card with 4 trivia questions on it, and is given a piece of paper to write answers on and a pencil. Players take turns being the "genius" and read a question from their trivia card. Then the other players are all dealt an identity card. These cards show all sorts of silly people, but 12 of them have a man holding a sign that says, "You’re an Idiot!" Players secretly look at their identity card and then leave it facedown on the table.

Players then must write down an answer to the question, but if you have an Idiot card you must write down an incorrect answer. Once everyone is done writing down an answer the players one-by-one reveal their answers. If they answered correctly, they show their identity card (which shouldn't be an Idiot card) and they score 2 points. If they answered incorrectly they keep their identity secret.

In the center of the board are 6 rectangles, one in each player's color. When all the answers are revealed, each player gets a chance to accuse a player who had an incorrect answer. They do this by placing one of their remaining pawns on the guilty party's rectangle in the middle of the board. (You are not required to make an accusation.) Then all the incorrect answerers reveal their identity. If a player correctly accused an Idiot, they receive 2 points. If a player incorrectly accused someone of being an Idiot, they lose a point and the accused party gains one point per false accusation. If a player was an Idiot and went undiscovered they score 3 points.

Then the role of genius passes to the next player, and each player gets a new identity card. Each player gets 2 turns at being the genius and then the game is over. Whoever has the highest score is the winner.

What does Blott think of You Must Be an Idiot!? I always liked trivia games, and I'm a huge fan of party-style games, so this one is a hit for me. One of the most interesting parts of the game is when players start to realize how valuable bluffing can be. For instance, everyone knows I'm a huge football fan, so if someone reads a question like "What NFL team is found in Detroit?" and I don't answer "The Lions" everyone will assume I'm an Idiot. However, if I'm not an Idiot, I might choose to answer incorrectly because I could possibly score more points from the false accusations than I will from guessing correctly. That is the fine line that You Must Be an Idiot! walks. Are they bluffing or did they just not know the answer? Can you afford not to accuse them? Those kind of tough decisions in a party-style trivia game are something I've never seen before, and I really like it.

Who will enjoy You Must Be an Idiot!? I think that You Must Be an Idiot! is an ideal game for people who like bluffing and trying to read their opponents. Non-gamers will learn the game easily, and most of the questions aren’t real brain-burners. There is more to think about in this simple trivia-style party game than in most games in the genre, so I suspect it might attract a lot of gamers who normally shy away from this style of game. And there are many satisfying moments, like when you're able to trick other players into accusing you, or when you're able to avoid suspicion. I've seen a lot of finger pointing and laughter around this game, which means it probably has a place in a lot of peoples' collections.

Any parting comments about You Must Be an Idiot!? One thing that I've heard some complaints about is the fact that many of the questions are too simple. People have said that being intelligent almost works against you, because any time you answer incorrectly because of an Idiot card, people instantly assume that is why you got it wrong. But this is where a well-timed bluff can help out. If you bluff people into voting for you one round when you aren't an Idiot, then later they will wonder whether you're bluffing again. And I have to give kudos to the game designer/publisher for the inclusion of so many question cards. There is a nice big stack, and since you're only using 2 questions per card each time you play, it has a ton of replay value. If you are intrigued, I encourage you to check this crazy game out.
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David Short
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Thanks for the review. This party game has been on my radar for a while. It sounds like a good mix of Wits & Wagers and Balderdash.

What is the ratio of idiot identities to non-idiot identities? I think this would be a key element to making the game fun. For instance, in Saboteur I've found that I have had to tweak the distribution of Saboteurs to Dwarves to make the game more fun. What is your option of the distribution of identities in this game?
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Ben Lott
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dshortdesign wrote:
What is the ratio of idiot identities to non-idiot identities? I think this would be a key element to making the game fun. For instance, in Saboteur I've found that I have had to tweak the distribution of Saboteurs to Dwarves to make the game more fun. What is your option of the distribution of identities in this game?


It looks like there are 60 identity cards (called "Who-Am-I?" cards in the rules) included in the game. Since 12 of them are Idiot cards that means that you should average about one idiot per round (depending on the number of players.)

I think the mix is quite good. Some rounds there won't be any idiots, and other rounds you could have 3. What is really funny is that between bluffing and people not knowing the answers, on a round where no one is an idiot you could still have a bunch of wrong answers. They also throw in another rule that once the 12th Idiot card has been seen, you can reshuffle the identity cards. This keeps the tension and mystery going.
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David Short
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Blott wrote:
dshortdesign wrote:
What is the ratio of idiot identities to non-idiot identities? I think this would be a key element to making the game fun. For instance, in Saboteur I've found that I have had to tweak the distribution of Saboteurs to Dwarves to make the game more fun. What is your option of the distribution of identities in this game?


It looks like there are 60 identity cards (called "Who-Am-I?" cards in the rules) included in the game. Since 12 of them are Idiot cards that means that you should average about one idiot per round (depending on the number of players.)

I think the mix is quite good. Some rounds there won't be any idiots, and other rounds you could have 3. What is really funny is that between bluffing and people not knowing the answers, on a round where no one is an idiot you could still have a bunch of wrong answers. They also throw in another rule that once the 12th Idiot card has been seen, you can reshuffle the identity cards. This keeps the tension and mystery going.


That's the exact answer I wanted. Now I totally want to play this. Thanks for another great contribution Blott.
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