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Subject: Party On? A Review of Partini rss

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I grew up playing family games like Pictionary, Balderdash, and more recently, Cranium. I moved on to Eurogames a few years ago, but my family didn't follow. So when get together for a game night, it's group games or bust.

Partini is a newer game for this category that is intended for larger groups of people and as a mixer game with different ways to engage, similar to Cranium.

We picked up Partini used for 15$, a bargain off the 50$ price, and packed it away for an upcoming wedding.

We cracked it open with about 20 players later that month. The simple gameplay (you grab a coaster, figure out what to do, try to win) and easy components made it fun to play with the range of players.

So, is it for you? Well...

What's to Like?
Simple Gameplay. Easy to learn, and fun to play. Few people will be confused, and if they are, they'll get folded in to a team.
Lots of people can play at once. Unlike most party games, this game can hold many players. More than that, players can move in and out, so if the loudmouth in the back gets bored and wanders away, you haven't your team won't be crippled.
Fun Categories. There will be some laughs, and the categories are light and easy. No trivia or heavy word games, which also benefits younger players. Though this game is billed as "adult," the categories are actually easier than most party games so kids can jump in.

What's Not to like?

Too similar to better games. Cranium trumps this for me unless I have over eight players. The mixed gameplay is close enough, and not as well done, as similar games of its nature.
Loose Mechanics. Though it's nice to be able to let people in and out, and have sort of a wide-open game play, it can make the game unfocused and take too long.
Unbalanced Categories. Like must "song" sections of party games, this game doesn't have a good selection of well-known songs. The "Questionables" round can get boring, and the pairs of people for the match-ups can be terrible. There isn't an easy way to catch up if you're far behind, so the game get boring and frustrating.

In the end...

If you love party games and can't wait for another on your shelf, this isn't a bad choice. However, if you're not often with more than four players, I always pick my other selection over this one. Great for a light, party game with tons of people. Maybe your next family reunion?
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