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3-7 Players  Aged  8+   20 Minutes   Ludovic Roudy & Bruno Sautter
€23.00 - €35.00  Check it out at your local game store

Christmas, Birthdays and Family/Friends gatherings; these are the times when the small chat runs out, the niceties exhausted and those awkward silences deafeningly fill the air. 

These are also the times when people turn to board and trivia style games to break the ice, fill the gaps, reopen negotiations etc. Many of these games, especially the trivia based games can become (un)friendly rivalry as folk turn into antagonists trying to better each other with their 'superior' knowledge of all things cornflakes, and so the best type of game to bring people together are those where they have to work together. Sometimes this may be conspiring to kill a beast or escape a dangerous room or dungeon, other times it is to beat a game system that seems to be stacked either for or against the players winning.

JUST ONE is a cooperative word guessing game where the players should always win; but it is the degree of winning that counts. Even if you score the highest possible points on your first game it doesn't mean you have broken the game and need not play it any more, you can always play again and again as there are 550 words on 110 cards, ensuring there will always be new words to guess and with new players different styles of clue giving. 

The amount of fun and enjoyment you get out of it is equal to the effort and fun you put into it. If you play it boringly straight then that is how it will come across and there will not be fun for fun's sake. If you spice it up a bit with words that make the guesser think it becomes much more enjoyable even if you don't gain the top score each time - but from our experience we believe it is more satisfying to win and have fun doing it.

So to begin; like most card games the deck of cards is shuffled thoroughly and placed face down to one side. Then 13 cards are randomly drawn from it, remaining face down - the rest of the deck is not required - and the players decide who is to be the first player. Every one is then given a different coloured marker pen and an upside-down V shaped shiny-smooth plastic 'easel'.

The first player takes a card from the 13 and without looking at it places it in the ledge part of the easel so that all other players can see it - this is the part where accidents can happen and the player drawing the card may get to see one or more of the words on the card, and this is why, seeing as it is all the other players who need to see the front (the words) of the card, we have the guesser (active) player close their eyes while one of us takes a card and places it facing us and away from the guesser. While their eyes are closed we have them request a number 1 to 5 to select the random word they have to guess. Example card: 1. Buffy  2. Volcano. 3. Passion. 4. Rooster.  5. Electricity. 

Examples of possible definitions: 
1. Buffy - 'Slayer'
2. Volcano - 'Eruption'
3. Passion - 'Excited'
4. Rooster - 'Cogburn'  (note: you couldn't use 'cogburn' if the word was 'cockburn' as it is pronounced the same even though the spelling is different)
5. Electricity - 'Lightning'
I didn't say they were great examples, they're just off the top of my head while I type examples.

The non-guessers now each know the chosen word and without consulting each other they secretly write just ONE single WORD onto the flat side of their easel, waiting until all have finished before revealing them to the guesser and to each other. The rules are quite specific about the definitions that can be written. You CAN use onomatopoeia (a word with a sound that defines the given word, eg. 'hissing'), digits, SMS (short message service) and some symbols such as those for the Dollar ($) Pound (£) and Euro (€) may be used when appropriate, remembering that such a symbol would count as the one word allowed to be written as the definition.

Players CANNOT use translations of the word (eg. porte (fr) for 'door'), mispellings or alternative spellings, words from the same family (you could for instance say 'King' for Royalty, but not 'Prince' for Princess). You also cannot invent/create words or use phonetics.

When the non-guessers reveal their words some of them may immediately be erased (using the felt end of the marker pens which work remarkably well, but just in case do not leave text on the easels for too long) : Words that are identical (if 2 players have written the same word), Same word family (as described already), variants or alternatives of the word - in fact basically anything that are made invalid by the rules.

If the guesser is successful at guessing the word from the remaining clues then the word card is placed next to the deck and the next player takes their turn as guesser. If the guesser fails then the word card and the top card of the deck are removed from play, thus reducing the possibile score value.

Scoring is based on the number of correct guesses.
13 is of course perfect.
12 is incredible but only possible if the guesser passes once as then only the card in play is discarded. 
11 is awesome
10 downwards means you need to play a few more times
If you get zero (0) correct then perhaps you should buy the game in your language as English obviously isn't your first one.

The marker pens are neatly designed with a felt eraser on their plastic tops; tops that fit securely and keep the pens from drying up. Remember to clean each easel after each game and put the lids back on the pens after EACH use, do NOT ever leave the tops off the pen, and ensure all tops are tight before you pack the components back into the box.

As I said at the beginning, this can be a real fun game but you have to put the effort in, there is no automatic fun factor. If your players are a good, fun group who work well together (a role-playing group taking a break from their adventures makes for a real interesting and cooperative game) then everyone will be amused and entertained, whereas a group of academics etc (people of that work genre) would probably find their fun in specificity and anyone not of their genus playing with them would be snoring within the first 10 minutes - the moral of this being 'play with people who have a similar sense of humour to yourself and you will have a great time.

WARNING: The tops are snug-tight-fit and will break if manhandled roughly. Hold the pen and the top securely and pull them apart without bending them - they will break!



© Chris Baylis 2011-2021