I, like many other geeks, really enjoy the show “MythBusters”. It’s the meeting ground of urban legends, science, and explosions. So when I saw a board game themed around the show, I was very curious. However, I have been burned by tv show board games before, so I approached this game with a healthy dose of apprehension.
“Mythbusters: Hit the Target” is a trivia game and skill game all meshed into one. Each round someone on the team reads the question aloud and everyone turns little dials to indicate their answer. Then the answer is revealed, and everyone who got the answer right gets a prize: They can reaim the catapult, lay down a target, or launch the catapult.
Launching the catapult is the really fun thing about this game. Upon the catapult you place “Buster”, the shows most abused character, a test dummy who takes a lot of damage. Then simply pull back the catapult and let it rip. The goal of the game is to get Buster to land on a predetermined number of targets of your color. There is one small “not fun” part to launching Buster, the catapult slides really easy, which is expressly against the rules. You can have someone hold the catapult down for you, but it still worked sub par. But we found a pretty good solution: rubber shelf matting. We just cut a piece to size and placed it under our catapult. Ta-da! No more slipping. We actually left this in our box at the end, because we know we will want it on subsequent games.
Other than the joy of flipping Buster, the game was simply too easy. Approximately 90% of the questions were answered correctly by all of my players, which seems just too darn easy. Now granted, my friends are geeks like me, and thus have seen a fair number of MythBuster episodes, but the answers seemed almost obvious in some situations. Ultimately this game seemed to be geared towards the 10-12 year old boy, rather than the shows fan base of geeky adults.
However, in the end, that’s just fine. Any game that might get kids interested in Math and Science is a good thing. And if you can put yourself in a kids shoes, and then take a look at this game, it really looks far more exciting and fun. However, for adults, my apprehension about that game seemed to be vindicated. It’s extremely hard to make a game that will live up to the expectations of a fan base.