ROCK SCIENCE - A ROCK MUSIC TRIVIA KNOWLEDGE GAME that asks the question "Are you a Poser, a Fan or a Rock Scientist?"
The game was created and produced in Sweden - the rules are in English, German and Swedish, taking just about the space of a single A4.
Since Trivial Pursuit (originally published in Canada by Horn Abbott and designed by Chris Haney & Scott Abbott) came onto the games market
question & answer games have flourished far beyond any other game (that's a guess by me, but I figure adding up the sales of every trivial book,
game, console and PC game would pass sales of the Monopoly, Clue, Carcassonne and Catan etc. games). I have several games based on music,
including the Trivial Pursuit specific RPM version and an American Rock Trivia game that has dozens of questions with the answer "Arrowsmith"
which is an amusing misprint for "Aerosmith" throughout the game. I haven't read every ROCK SCIENCE question yet, that would be cheating,
but the only text mistake I have found is that in the rules they have accidentally numbered the play steps 1, 2, 1, 4, 5, 6 - and only the English rules.
So what makes ROCK SCIENCE different from other trivia games ? Actually nothing really, but that doesn't mean it isn't of value.
ROCK SCIENCE uses the standard procedure which has the player at turn rolling a die and being asked the question that corresponds with the
number rolled. In ROCK SCIENCE the questions aren't numbered on the cards, instead there are three questions per card and six different type of
question. There are two different decks of cards, one that has the questions that will equate to die roll 1, 2 or 3 and of course the second deck equates
to die roll 4, 5 and 6. As the two decks are identical in design it is imperative that when playing you keep each deck and their subsequent discard stacks
separate for ease of setting up the next game. As a designer I can see how the symmetry makes for a better visual effect when admiring the components
but as a player I would have preferred each deck to have something different about them for easier identification, such as a slightly different colour or
a symbol - perhaps a guitar ? - on the top in a corner.
The board is a course of alternating Black and Red sections, each of the Red ones carrying a decal of a rock star - it's fun just trying to recognise the
stars - not being great at faces I recognised Alice Cooper immediately and recognise some of the others but cannot put a name to them and so for fear
of even more ridicule I am not going to name my guesses here - but surprisingly the track lacks a Start Space. I say "surprisingly" because the winner
of the game is the first player to complete a circuit of the board. If you are not playing with the full compliment of six players I would suggest using an
unused playing piece to mark the start space rather than trying to remember which Rock star or Black space you started from.
Talking of the playing pieces, these are in six different colours and are various thickness (in mm's) Guitar Picks. On one side there the RockScience logo
and the date 2011 - the date the game was first published, then on the reverse side it has Dunlop, Tortexd, USA and the "Picks" size. A clever and neat
addition to the game.
Apart from a coloured Pick, each player is given 3 cards - one, the reference card, has the rules, overview of the game and the question categories on it,
the other two cards are BET cards, one with NO and one with YES. These cards are used for betting on whether the player answering the question will
get the correct answer or not - points are scored by the player answering questions and by the players who guessed correctly.
The crux of the game are the question categories: One card from each stack has to be taken by the questioner - ensuring the other players cannot see the
back of the cards as this is where the answers are. Then these cards have to be held side by side so that every player is given the same chance according
to the die roll, that is when a 1 is rolled the question will always be "Song - name the song from some lyrics or other clue".
1. "Song - name the song from some lyrics or other clue".
2. Album - name the Album. You are given the artist's name and some trivia about the album.
3. Rock the Song - You have the choice of 2 songs and you have to get the players to recognise it from your actions, mimes, humming but never singing
or speaking lyrics.
4. Rocker - You are given a Band's name and have to answer questions on its name, members, management etc
5. 50/50 - True or False, Yes or No trivia questions on named artist/band
6. Sex, Drugs and Rock 'n' Roll - all manner of trivia about given band/artist
Players can Bet on all Categories except number 3 - Rock the Song. The player whose turn it is rolls the die to get the Category and then, again apart from
Question 3 Rock the Song, they decide which part of the question they want to answer - POSER (Easy) FAN (Normal) SCIENTIST (Difficult).
Of course the cards have been designed so that you can create all manner of alternate games using them. For example you could roll the die and with a
result of 1-3 you answer one of the questions on the first card and 4-6 your question comes from the second card.
The rules sheet also has optional games such as the ROCK SCIENCE DRINKING GAME - answer a question incorrectly and you have to take a shot,
and the winner is ... ....... who cares ! it's been fun guessing incorrectly anyway.
Game designers Nicke Andersson, Tobias Barth, Sven Folkesson, David Johansson, Tor Magnusson, Tobias Olbers and Sebastian Paez must have wracked
their brains and swotted their LPs. CDs and Internet like crazy to provide the approximate 2500 questions that make this game a must for rock fans who
enjoy a little verbal stimuli and who love to chide each other over their Rock knowledge.
This is a maddening and frustrating game at times. The question is "........ ?" and immediately your mind goes into overdrive and then blank or the answer
trips off your tongue as if you had written the question yourself. How many times have you heard a song on the radio, started to sing along, knowing the
words and the tune, yet for the love of beefburgers you cannot remember the band, or the title, or both. Well try hearing the lyrics spoken by one of your
friends who is reading them from a card in a non-lyrical manner. All of a sudden the words don't sound the same to your ears.
Try this one out yourself and then try it on your friends, note that I haven't taken this from a card in the game, though that doesn't mean it isn't on one (as I
said, I haven't read every question as that in my mind would be cheating and also spoil the game for me playing it again and over again).
Lyric: "people running 'cause they're scared" Can you name the song or/and the band ? Give yourself a moment to think before reading the next line (below).
Lyric next line "The people better go and beware" so the two lines are "people running 'cause they're scared. The people better go and beware" How's that?
Okay one step further. The Band is "Black Sabbath" now can you name the song ?
Finally: The song is "Black Sabbath" by "Black Sabbath". It's a very well known rock song, but when spoken blandly instead of sung against Sabbath's distinctive
musical sound it is very hard to determine.
What I am trying to show by introducing a question of my own is the depth of the knowledge conveyed through the questions in this game and the level of research
the designers have taken to ensure the questions in their game aren't just the same regurgitated questions we have been asked over and over in different but very
similar music trivia games. As far as I can tell, and it is impossible to have checked every music trivia game, the questions in ROCK SCIENCE are unique to the
ROCK SCIENCE game.