Saturday 11 January 2014

Say Anything

A genuine crowd-pleaser and social lubricant. Best played with good friends.

Name: Say Anything (2008)

Version: There's a Say Anything (Family Edition) [blue box] but it plays less people (ie. 3 to 6). I'd recommend this original version instead [pink box, as above] as it plays two more people which makes a real difference.

Publisher: North Star Games

Players: 3 to 8. Very strange with 3 people, barely playable with 4. 5+ is ideal, the larger the better.

Age: 8+

Time to play: Can be quick but probably around 20 to 30 minutes.

Price Range (AUD): $28.50 to $70 (if shipped online). $28.50 is quite a good price. Anything over $35 is probably too much.

You could play this game without buying it but it would be quite hard - the components make it a lot easier to manage.

Availability: Quite widely available online and in some local shops.

  • Party
  • Pseudo-Trivia/General Knowledge (if any, very mild)
  • Family
  • "Getting to know you"

Andre Lim's Rating and Brief Summary:

8.25* out of 10. (Great - See my Rating Scale)

I think this is an almost essential party game that plays very well with large groups. It's a shame that the game can't accommodate more people, but I suppose that playing time would become a bit long-winded if that were the case. I have experienced this game with 'teams' but it gets a little strange as you have to decide what two people simultaneously like.

Basically the game involves guessing what people like by betting on a range of answers written. In short, someone asks a question and everyone else has to write answers down based on what they think the asker would like - then everyone bets on an answer they think the asker would choose (see "Rules & Components" section below).

Whilst this may sound a bit cheesy, regardless of whether you play with new acquaintances or close friends, you will find yourself learning more about the people you play with (and vice versa). This can act as a very useful icebreaker in certain situations.

Some, however, may feel that the game is a bit too awkward to play with complete strangers: either because they may feel that the questions asked are a bit too personal OR they may simply feel awkward about not knowing enough about the stranger in question. But in any case, it's very unlikely that you'll be playing with a group of complete strangers and even if that is the case, not everyone thinks this is a problem. If you play with a sizeable group of friends, especially close friends, the game is even more fun.

Note that one of the downfalls of this game is that the questions are quite limited - the cards supplied may ask a question that belongs to a particular niche for which no one even knows how to answer (Eg. A made up example: "What's the best song of the 70's" - some young people would have no idea). It's usually best to choose an open-ended or broad question. But if you aren't happy you can always make up your own questions.

*August 2014: Improved from 8.05 to 8.25 - it's such a flexible and easy-to-learn party game. How could I not improve its score?

The Good:
  • Great for large crowds
  • Very easy to play, explain and set up
  • Quick gameplay
  • Usually different each time you play it
  • Game encourages crazy, creative and fun answers that will make people laugh (subject to the kind of group you play with)
  • Generally a broad range of questions to ask

The Bad:
  • Many of the questions are too restrictive and closed - sometimes you may have to invent your own questions or sift through multiple cards before you are happy with the question you chose
  • Some people don't like playing this game with strangers or people they don't know well
  • You will need some tissues to wipe off answers
  • Dry board markers supplied tend to run out quickly from my experience

What makes this game fun? 

If you enjoy a game that provides a good laugh and has the added bonus of getting to know your friends better, give this a go.

- This concludes the basic overview of the game.
If you are interested in reading about the components & rules to the game, please read on -

Rules & Components

This game is very easy to explain.

Everyone gets a whiteboard of their colour and two betting tokens of their colour.

Nominate a person to go first.

They draw a card from the deck shown above and pick one of five questions to ask. If they aren't happy with the questions on that card they may keep drawing from the deck until they find a good one, or they can make one up.

Then, everyone else writes down an answer that they think the asker would pick. They reveal it openly to everyone.

If two or more answers are the same, the person who wrote it first keeps theirs and the runners-up have to change it.

The asker then secretly picks an answer using a special dial (no one is allowed to bet/vote until the answer is picked)

Everyone then votes/places their bets - they may hedge their bets (1 bet each on two answers, or they may commit two bets on an answer). The answer is revealed and the score is tallied.

You get 1 point for each betting token that was placed on the correct answer. The person who wrote the correct answer receives an additional point. You can play for 12 rounds (or more if you want). Highest score wins.


So, for example, if the question is "What is the best thing to eat?", then a range of possible answers might be as below:

The asker then secretly picks their answer on the dial provided, which could be as follows

Asker indicates that "Beef Burger with the lot" is their selected answer

Then everyone bets on the answers as below:

Green decides to go all-out on her own answer
Purple hedges their bets - 1 each on their own and Blue's answer
Blue and Orange go all out on Purple's answer

The scores are tallied as below. Green gets 3 points as she wrote the correct answer (which is worth 1 point) and she receives 1 point each for her 2 tokens, making a total of (1+2=) 3 points. Everyone else gets nothing.

Suppose that the asker actually chose Potato Chips (Purple's answer) instead. Then Purple would get 1 Point for writing the correct answer and 1 Point for betting on their own answer giving a total of 2 Points. Orange and Blue would receive 2 each for their respective bets. Green gets nothing.

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