Saturday, October 22, 2011

Review: Say Anything Family


PhotobucketOur family was lucky enough to receive not just one North Star Games product to review this year, but two. I cannot tell you how excited my kids were when they tore open that box and found two new games.

Earlier today I posted a review of Wits and Wagers Family by North Star Games (here). Say Anything Family was just as big a hit with my family, and it perhaps even squeaked ahead to claim the spot as "favoritest" game we've played in a long time.

How to Play:
Each player chooses a color and receives a marker board and two colored tokens. For each round, one person gets a turn to ask the question.The "asker" gets to choose from three question options, all of which are open-ended or opinion questions.

The remaining players write an answer on their marker board and place it face-up in the middle of the playing area. No duplicate answers are allowed; first come, first serve. In our family, that rule sometimes means you have to write (scribble) quickly.

After all the answers are placed, the player that originally asked the question uses the Selectomatic 6000 to record their favorite answer. (The Selectomatic 6000 is simply a cardboard circle with a spinner that you move to your choice. It sounds so much cooler if you call it "The Selectomatic 6000" in your best TV announcer voice.)

After asker picks a favorite, the other players use their tokens to vote according to which answer they thought the question-asker picked. You can see both the answer cards and our tokens above.

Scoring is fairly straight forward. After all tokens are placed, the asker reveals the choice that was selected on the Selectomatic 6000. The person who wrote that answer gets a point. Other players receive points for each of their tokens on the chosen answer. The question-asker/answer-chooser gets up to three points for the number of tokens on the chosen answer board.

After each person has a chance to be the asker two times, the points are tallied and the game is over.

What we loved about Say Anything Family:

* Fun for all ages. We played games with just the kids, kids and parents, and even a few games of kids, parents, and grandparents. All were fun games, and we all had a blast.

Lauren is technically under the 8+ age recommendation, but she is able to play with a little help writing her answers. She loves this game so much that she woke up one morning begging to play, even though she and I were the only ones awake. She persisted, and I found myself playing with Lauren and several imaginary friends before I even had my first sip of coffee. Needless to say I lost. (I suspect that there was some sort of conspiracy amongst Lauren, Lenny, and Jose. I didn't stand a chance.)

* Builds great thinking skills. You have to think about an answer the asker would pick, not just write down a good response. For instance, one question we had asked which TV character would make a good teacher. My dad was the asker that round, and I knew he would be more likely to pick Andy Griffith than a modern day character. The more that you can put yourself in the other players' shoes, the better you will do.

* Doesn't have to be taken seriously. The open-ended questions lend themselves to all sorts of answers -- some serious, and in our family, a whole lot of not-so-serious. For instance, we were once asked, "What two flavors would make the worst ice-cream combination?" Our answers: sardines and caramel, cockroaches and peanuts, earwax and vomit, turnips and liver, spinach and cauliflower. There are definitely times when we say anything.

North Star Games has created several fun games for families, including both Say Anything Family and Wits and Wagers Family. (Note: they also have adult versions of those games, but I haven't seen them and can't vouch for their appropriateness.) According to their website, North Star Games are available at Target, Borders, and most specialty toy stores. They also have an online store finder to locate a store in your area. Say Anything Family retails for $19.99.

If you'd like to hear how much the other members of the review crew enjoyed Say Anything Family, please visit The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew blog here.

I received a Say Anything Family board game as a member of the 2011 TOS Homeschool Review Crew, and I received no other compensation. In return, I agreed to give an honest review of the materials and how they worked for my homeschool family.


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