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Faux-cabulary: Lots of Promise, But Short On Words

“A person who flirts in the most inappropriate situations.”  Would that be a “Babe-o-matic”?  Or how about a “Bang-meister”?  Or even “Uber-funk-ific”?  If those don’t sound like real words to you, it’s because they aren’t.  However, those are all viable answers in the game of Faux-Cabulary.

I’m sure we can all get the gag, via the name of the game.  This is the game of words that aren’t really real words at all.  Kinda like Faux-leather was never real leather, and never will be, but sorta gives you that illusion.  How you create your fake words in this game, is interesting and different, but I ultimately found very limiting.

The back bone of the game is “Apples to Apples”.  You create a combination, pass it to a player who is the “judge” for the round, and they pick the one they like best to receive a point.  Nothing really new and creative there, but so many games have decided to use that mechanic now, that it is hardly fair to harp on them for this alone.

So what do you pass to the judge?  Three cubes with word fragments on them.  At the beginning of each round the judge will read a card aloud.  Each player then draws cubes from the box (I say cubes, not dice, because you never roll them, and they are jumbo sized.  Cubes just seems to be a more accurate description).  Each of your cubes has six different word fragments on it, you arrange these cubes to create a made up word that you think sounds like it might fit the definition just read.  Then you cover it with the special plastic covers included in the game, pass it to the judge, and hope that yours gets picked as the best.

The fun of the game comes in when the words are read to everyone and a single one is chosen.  It’s goofy and usually gets people giggling.  Or at least it does early in the game…

My major complaint with the game revolves around the cubes themselves.  There are only 21 cubes that come with the game.   Yes, that is 126 different word fragments, but over the course of two or three rounds, you see most of them.   I also had players in my group complain that the number of “prefixes and suffixes” extremely out numbered the number of base words.  Making it pretty limiting in game play.  The giggling that was present early in the game, dissipates into more of an “Are we done yet?” after a few rounds with similar sounding words.

The premise of this game is amusing.  When describing the game to people, everyone seemed eager to play, but the lack of possible words squashed a lot of the fun out of the game once we were there.  A bit of redemption?  This game is already slated to have an expansion pack, giving more word cubes and definitions.  This game desperately needs it, so if you are interested in buying this game, I suggest splurging and picking up both, because I just don’t think you’ll be very pleased with the base set as it comes.

My last word on this?  I’ve got to give kudos to the designer for stepping away from cards and going to the cubes and trays, that was innovative, and was what initially drew our attention.  The premise is cute, and funny, and I see a lot of potential for a good game here.  It just needs the addition of a couple dozen more cubes.

This entry was posted by The_Null_Entry on Friday, September 16th, 2011 at 7:21 am and is filed under Board Game Reviews, Party Games, Word Games .
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