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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wits and Wagers Family Game Review

Quick! How many people have walked on the moon?

Not sure?

That's okay, with Wits and Wagers Family by North Star Games, you don't have to be sure.

You don't even have to be just have to be able to figure out who IS, and place your Meeples accordingly. Wits and Wagers Family uses trivia questions of all sorts- from concrete facts you learned once upon a time (like the boiling temperature of water) to modern facts whose answers have to be qualified by noting the year the statistic applies to (How many Webkinz figures have there been as of 2009?). Then, each player/team (from 3-10 according to the game instructions, but there are 5 individual scoring cards, so really any more than 5 and you are playing with teams-and you really could play with teams of more than 2 each) records their answer on a small dry erase board. Once everyone has guessed, the cards are laid out in numerical order (with one board that is pre-printed with a "1"). Then, the fun part starts. You get two Meeples ( cute little start shaped figures that are now being used by several game companies, especially abroad) with which to "wager" on whose answer you think is closest to right. Think it's yours? Put both Meeples on your card. Not sure? Split you Meeples over two cards to hedge your bets. Think everyone might be over? Vote on the "1" board, because in this game, it's the answer closest to the correct number without going over that wins points for anyone who voted on it AND for the person who wrote that answer.

The Pros: My kids LOVE LOVE LOVE this game. My 5 year old was in tears last night because her siblings picked a movie with daddy over playing Wits and Wagers Family with her (although they are the ones who got it out and played it earlier in the day). While the box says 8+ for the age, as long as your child can write a number and then divide their Meeples accordingly, they can play. Sari at age 5 does fine with it. We are a game playing family, but my kids really enjoy Wits and Wagers Family more than many other games on our shelf. I like that the range of cards balances the playing field. I might know the boiling temperature of water, but I have NO IDEA what percent of teens have their own cell phone. We've played the game over and over, and the winning has been evenly dispersed over all the players, which I think makes it more fun to play.

The Cons: I don't love all the questions. As much as they might help balance the playing field and increase interest in the game by the younger generations, I can't help but think that some of those questions will be dated quite quickly. It's kind of like if there was a question about what percentage of homes in 1970 owned a record player...I could guess the number would be high, but really, 40 years later, I have no idea. And my children would be left asking, "What's a record player???" There are no questions we've come across that reference anything that far back, but some day the more modern statistic questions in the game will have the same effect. (Can you tell we love this game if I'm already figuring we will still be playing this 40 years from now?) That's not to say their presence takes aways from them playability of the game though, since the wagering is even more important (point wise) than knowing the real answer, but I guess I'm just attracted more to the real, concrete, never changing questions like, "What year did the Statue of Liberty arrive in the United States?".

The bottom line: Wits and Wagers Family is a great game that's fun for all ages. It plays fairly quickly too, which can be a plus when playing with little ones. My kids beg to play it daily, and I like it enough that I'd even look into the other games by North Star Games too. I'd highly recommend Wits and Wagers Family as a great Christmas present ('Tis the season ;-) ). Or birthday present. Or hostess present. Or just-for-fun gift. It really doesn't matter WHY you buy it...just DO!

To order Wits and Wagers Family online, go HERE and click on the shopping cart. Or just google it, because the link currently takes you to Target's online site, and they are sold out. The game retails for $19.99 and may also be available at your local stores that sell games.
To read what other members of the TOS Crew had to say, go HERE.
Legal Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Crew, I received the game Wits and Wagers Family for free in exchange for my honest review. That game was the only compensation I received.
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