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I’ve never heard of Michael Feldman’s show, but that didn’t stop me from being interested in a party game from Out of the Box Publishing (Apples to Apples, anyone?). Whad’Ya Know (Out of the Box Publishing, 2004 – John Kovalik) is a party game based on the popular public radio show. I did some internet research and found that Whad' Ya Know is a comedy/quiz show; and listening to clips of it, it did sound pretty funny. This made for a promising game.
Unfortunately, I recently played Wits and Wagers, by Eagle Games. Both that game and Whad’Ya Know have the same basic premise – just how much do your friends know about a specific subject? Wits and Wagers was easier, more fun, and simply just a better game. This doesn’t mean that Whad’Ya Know is a bad game, but the humor from the show doesn’t come packaged in the box; and while the game is fun, it’s simply a nominal party game. I enjoyed my playings of it but don’t feel a great need to play it again. I WILL say that the price is good; the game covers up to ten people, and it will teach you a bunch of useless facts.
Each player is given a set of answer cards marked “A”, “B”, and “C”. One player is selected to be host and given the Michael Feldman Bobblehead, and the box of quiz cards. The first round is ready to begin…
In each round, the players to the right and left of the host are the “contestants”. The host draws a quiz card and reads a question that has three answers. (ie. “What percent of leftovers in doggie bags actually make it to a doggie?” A. 13%, B: 27%, C: 39%) All other players who are not the contestants or hosts pick the answer that matches and play their corresponding answer card face down. All answer cards are revealed, and the other players (the “audience”) try to persuade folks to pick their answer. Contestants then talk to the audience and each other and then each select an answer card of their choice. The host reads the correct answer to everyone and awards points that are given out in the form of scoring chips.
- Everyone who picks the correct answer, whether contestant or audience, receives one point.
- If both contestants have picked the correct answer, they both get one bonus chip as well as any audience member who also picked that answer.
- If both contestants have picked the same incorrect answer, then each audience member who picked that answer gets a point.
The player to the left of the host and all the positions change, including that of the contestants, for the next round. Play continues until one player receives a certain amount of scoring chips (ten to sixteen, depending on the number of players). That player is then the winner! In case of a tie, a special Tie Breaker segment is played, in which questions are guessed until all of the tied players but one are eliminated.
Some comments on the game…
1.) Components: The box is a long, thin, sturdy one, with cartoonish artwork of Mr. Feldman decorating the light blue background. The cards are of good quality, with the same blue and purple artwork on them. The chips are simply purple tiddly-winks and are functional, if a bit small. Of course, the most striking component is the bobble-headed Michael Feldman. Now, I’m not sure what the big draw of bobble-heads are, or why I would be interested in one of a radio talk show host; but if that’s what you’re interested in, here you go! I will admit that it is certainly the most unique game piece I’ve seen in some time, and a friend of mine modified the one in my game so that it looks slightly like myself, and it now sits on my desk, rather than in the game. All of the components fit inside a nice custom-sized plastic insert in the box.
2.) Rules: The game is extremely easy to learn from the six pages of rules, which also include a decent amount of information about Michael Feldman’s radio show, and some humorous disclaimers. The rules are easy to teach (typical of OOTB games), and I’ve had no problem even teaching the game to youngsters, although they don’t always understand the questions and/or the humor.
3.) Questions: When it comes to the questions, I usually had no clue as to which answer was correct. And when I say no clue, I mean that I was rarely even able to make the slightest educated guess. Take the question I used in my description of the rules, about “doggie bags”. Since I almost never even take a doggie bag (I eat all my food) and don’t own a dog, the question hasn’t come up in my life. So I can guess, but that’s all it is – a guess. Now, I know that this is the way the game is supposed to work, but many of the people I played with complained that they would have liked to have some inkling of at least a few of the questions. It’s hard to bluff and convince someone that you know the right answer, when everyone knows you don’t.
4.) Bluffing: But even though it is hard to bluff, it isn’t impossible; and the players who can most make the other players believe that they have some idea of the answer will have a great advantage. Players who are lucky guessers will be the winners in many cases, but it doesn’t hurt to get those extra points on the way.
5.) Wits and Wagers: I hate to compare two games; but Wits and Wagers is very similar to Whad’Ya Know, because both games ask players to make an educated guess. Wits and Wagers is in a much bigger box and is certainly more expensive, which might tip the scales towards Whad’Ya Know in many cases. However, when those two considerations are not taken into account, I must say that I enjoy Wits and Wagers quite a bit more. It doesn’t force players to pick between three answers but allows them to make up their own answers. The questions also deal with topics that one or more players most likely will have a decent knowledge about; Whad’Ya Know’s questions are much more obscure. If money is no object, I would recommend Wits and Wagers.
6.) Fun Factor: There are some moments in the game, in which one player manages to convince both contestants to follow their incorrect answer that are quite funny. And the questions are often interesting, and debate can often follow them up. The game can be fun in the right circumstances, and in no way am I stating that it's a bad game. I just think that it would have been better if Mr. Feldman had come packaged in the box, rather than just his bobblehead.
So should you purchase this game? Well, if you're a fan of the radio show - certainly! If you're looking for a game in which you can guess at obscure facts and have a chance of winning, with a smidgen of bluffing thrown in, then perhaps this is the game for you. For myself, while I enjoyed my games, I've found that other party games, and most especially Wits and Wagers, do the same thing in a better and more fun way. Try this one before you buy it.
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