GUESS WHAT !
Designed by Jack Hanauer and illustrated by Charlotte Bey for Blue Orange
110 Tiles, 4 Player Boards, 1 Gameboard, Lots of Fun
I’m not sure about the “!” at the end of the name as the title is more of a question “?” than a statement or exclamation. Other than that, and even now I’m not sure it’s actually an error, this is actually a very clever family game that is playable by almost any age player, as long as they can identify the pictures on the tiles.
The game utilises a 3x3 grid board with each row of the board being a different colour, Blue, Yellow and Green and the grid is marked A, B & C across the top, marking the columns, and 1, 2 & 3 down the side marking the Rows.
Each player has their own selection board which doubles as a score board. These player boards have a wheel and a window through which you can see their current score, the wheel changes is used to change the score as necessary. Also on the player board are three more windows and wheels marked A, B & C which can be rotated so that you can read the Blue 1, Yellow 2 or Green 3 that the player chooses.
On their turn the players randomly place 9 of the tiles onto the spaces on the grid. Then after some short deliberation in their mind (ie the player whose turn it is has to think, and not aloud) they announce a single clue that links three of the pictures on the tiles. The main rules are that the clue must link one tile in each column, though they can choose 3 of the same colour, 2 of one colour and one other, or three separate colours.
The clue can be a single word, a phrase, a song or movie title or a poem or just about anything that is not absolutely direct, they may not mention the actual pictures on the tiles. Then the other players have to turn the wheels (or dials if you like) on their personal boards so that they represent which pictures the active player has chosen. For example, the active player secretly (mentally) decides on pictures of a Gorilla, a Building and a Plane. They could give the clue “King Kong” as all three could conceivably suggest that movie.
On hearing the clue the other players spin their wheels and adjust them to show the Column and Row for the three pictures they believe make up the clue. If a player guesses all three correctly they score a point and so does the active player.
There is some room for score manipulation – by this I mean deliberately selecting the wrong picture to prevent the active player overtaking your score. In family games that could be seen as cheating, but if gamers are involved, even gamers with families (yes it’s true, gamers have families too) then look for the tactical or dirty manoeuvre on occasion, they just can’t help themselves.
This is a great game for bad puns and cryptic clues as well as a good variation on all the guessing games we like to play at holiday and festive times. Bring it out at Christmas to play with the younger members of the family while the older folk sleep off their Christmas dinner. It has hours of attention keeping fun going for it, or you can play a game in just a few minutes if you just play a quick round or two per player. Excellent family fun for all.