Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Review: Say Anything (North Star Games)

When our family sits down to play a board game, it is usually a spur of the moment thing.  Often that moment is late in the evening, which rules out long strategy games or games with complicated rules and directions.  We also have some variances in ages and interests, so the selected game needs to be broad enough to appeal to all. Sometimes it is a bit difficult to find a game that fits that criteria.  One that does, however, is Say Anything Family Edition by North Star Games. Last year I reviewed Wits and Wagers, also by North Star Games, which was a hit with our family. I was curious how Say Anything Family Edition would fit with our family.

PhotobucketThe game is very easy to learn how to play.  It only took me a minute to explain the rules to the other players. Each person is given a Answer Card, a Dry Erase Pen, and two colored Player Tokens.  Players take turns being the Judge, who is given a SELECT-O-MATIC 6000 (a small cardboard selector with a pointer) and question cards.  The Judge reads a question from a card, and the other players write an answer and put it in the middle of the table. Answers should be written with the opinion of the Judge in mind.

Once all answers are down, the Judge selects his or her favorite answer on the SELECT-O-MATIC 6000, keeping it from view.  Then, before revealing the selected answer, the other players place their tokens on the answer card that they think the Judge selected.  Players do not need to play their token on their own answer nor do both tokens need to be placed on the same card.  Once the tokens are placed, the Judge then reveals his selection.  Points are awarded to those who placed tokens on the selected answer, to the person who wrote the answer, and to the Judge for tokens placed on the answer selected.  After each person has had a turn playing Judge twice, the game is over.  The winner is the person with the most points.  Simple, eh?

While I definitely appreciated the simplicity, I didn’t realize how fun this game would be until we actually played it.  Much of this has to do with the very serious and thought provoking questions provided, such as:

Which superhero outfit looks the most uncomfortable?
What would make the worst stuffing for a mattress?
What would be the best monster to be?

There are other questions that could be interpreted more seriously, such as,

What company would I most want to work for?
Who was the most important person in history?
What makes people happy?

However, my family somehow managed to come up with silly or unique answers even for these types of questions, which entirely added to the fun.

Also, a bit of knowledge about the other players is not only helpful in coming up with an answer that appeals to the Judge, but also can cause a race to get a particular answer first because the rules state that there can’t be duplicates. For example, the question below came up while my daughter was Judge.

Which celebrity least deserves to be a celebrity?

Knowing my daughter despises Justin Beiber, my son and I had a race to get his name written down on the answer card and placed on the table. My son won the race, but then my husband came in with the answer my daughter actually selected (Lindsay Lohan), making us both groan at our loss.

The thing about this game is there are no wrong answers or any real strategy involved, other than trying to come up with an answer that appeals to the Judge.  It is a game meant to get conversations and laughs going, while learning about the deepest thoughts of the other players. (While my son's answer of "jet packs" for the technology I'd most want was certainly appealing, I had to go for the "cleaning robot" *wink*.)

While knowing the other players well gives opponents the ability to customize silly or serious answers for the Judge, I also think Say Anything Family Edition would be a great game to act as a great ice breaker and get to know others a bit better.  I’m tempted to bring it to our next Mom’s Night Out and see what sort of crazy things come up.

Overall, Say Anything Family Edition is a great game that is easy to learn, can be played by a variety of people at once, and is just plain fun.

Say Anything Family Edition is recommended for ages 8 and up and for 3-6 players. It retails for $19.99 and can be purchased at local and online retailers.  To learn more about this game and others by North Star Games, as well as find a store near you, please visit the North Star Games website.

See what others have to say about this product by visiting the official TOS Crew blog!

Disclaimer: This review was provided as a result of my participation in The Old Schoolhouse Magazine Crew. I was provided the product free of charge in exchange for my honest review. I have received no other compensation. I strive to give a balanced overview of each product, detailing my opinion of both pros and cons and how the product worked for my family. What works for one family may not work for another. I encourage you to read reviews of other Crew members and research sufficiently to determine if any product will be a benefit to your homeschool.


Dominic said...


Which game did you and your family enjoy more? Wits & Wagers Family or Say Anything Family?

Designer of Wits & Wagers
Co-Designer of Say Anything

Heidi said...

Good question, Dominic! We enjoyed both, but I think that Say Anything got the most laughs from my family because the questions were more open-ended, allowing for some personalized silliness. Both games are great, though! Thanks for the opportunity to review them for you.

Dominic said...

You're welcome! Yeah, Say Anything leads to a lot more laughs. I'm glad you enjoyed it.