All truth

Published on April 5th, 2012 | by Greg


Game Days (Buffalo): Truth Be Told, Likewise, Last Word

We love a good par­ty game- which we’ll de­fine as a game that’s good for a group larg­er than four, that isn’t par­tic­u­lar­ly strate­gic, and is easy to learn. We’ve seen lots of games that we love in this cat­e­go­ry, though opin­ions are cer­tain­ly di­vi­sive- Ap­ples to Ap­ples in­spires both love and hate, but is fam­i­ly-friend­ly, and our new fa­vorite game to bring out amongst adults is called Cards Against Hu­man­i­ty (high­ly rec­om­mend­ed).

The three games to­day are from Buf­fa­lo Games, and we’ll ad­dress each in turn. Truth Be Told is pret­ty straight­for­ward- a game with cards of­fer­ing in­com­plete sen­tences such as “My fa­vorite snack is __” or “My least fa­vorite house­hold chore is __”. Each turn, one play­er is the lead­er, and write their true an­swer, while oth­er play­ers of­fer al­ter­na­tives that they think are plau­si­ble (or fun­ny). Ev­ery­one votes, and points are as­sessed in the time hon­ored fash­ion- trick­ing oth­ers in­to choos­ing your an­swer earns points, no one can vote for their own of course, and choos­ing the right one al­so gets you points. Like Dix­it and oth­ers, it changes the game dras­ti­cal­ly if you re­al­ly know some­one, but it’s worse here- peo­ple who don’t know oth­ers will find them­selves kind of left out. Aimed at 3-8 play­ers, 14 and up, it’s a sol­id game with some de­cent ques­tions- but we would def­i­nite­ly pre­fer a fun­nier, more in­sight­ful ver­sion aimed at adults. $14 or so, avail­able on­line.

Like­wise, is, um, like­wise a par­ty game, though meant for slight­ly small­er groups of up to six. It re­quires a bit more room or set­up (but on­ly a tiny bit) as there are two decks of cards. A play­er grabs two, one de­scrip­tion and the oth­er a sub­ject (think ad­jec­tive and noun), and ev­ery­one then writes down an an­swer, or oc­ca­sion­al­ly draws it. The odd part is the scor­ing- play­ers earn a point if they have the most com­mon an­swer amongst the group. It meant that cre­ativ­i­ty was a lit­tle sti­fled, but it did work well for var­ied ages. The ma­te­ri­als are de­cent- dry erase mark­ers and pad­dles, and 71 of each type of card. Not ev­ery com­bi­na­tion worked, but most did- “goofy ac­tor” or “old book”, per­haps less so for “slip­pery su­per­hero”. Avail­able now, for un­der $20.

The last of the three is Last Word- and again, a sim­ple con­cept of cat­e­gories and let­ters, but with an ex­tra twist. Each of the two to eight play­ers is shout­ing out words for a giv­en cat­e­go­ry (an­i­mals, veg­eta­bles) that be­gins with a cho­sen let­ter. And the trick is the ran­dom timer- play­ers are com­pet­ing to be the last to shout out an an­swer be­fore it buzzes. Over­all, it’s a bit of a mix, since you might not want to be the first to yell, but in­stead wait un­til you can find a few in a row. But our is­sue was that larg­er groups re­sult­ed in some cross-talk, as play­ers say words at the same time, and then time can be wast­ed dis­en­tan­gling the or­der and avoid­ing du­pli­cates. Al­so, folks who are qui­et or shy, or those with over­bear­ing loud voic­es, can dras­ti­cal­ly change the game. You can al­ways cre­ate your own cat­e­gories, and it is quick- rounds last less than forty sec­onds so ev­ery­one can get in and play. Of the three, it was our least fa­vorite, but the most fun for a cou­ple of younger play­ers. Around $20, and over a mil­lion copies have sold.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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