“Well, we have a group of six of us, wanna play a party game?” We scanned the pile of several new party games, and settled on one that we liked the description of. After a couple moments of reading the simplistic rules, we were off. The game was easy enough, but ultimately, and unfortunately, we simply weren’t grabbed.
The game we had chosen for the evening was “Likewise!”, a party game where you try to match the answer of your opponents. Each round a die is rolled that dictates the precise rules of the round (more on that in a moment), then two cards are flipped: an adjective, and a noun. Players must write down something that fits into the category, created with those adjective and noun cards, that they believe will be written down by others. For example, some of our categories were “trendy” + “bathroom items” and “classy” + “power tools”.
So about that die roll… The die has three different options on it: Likewise, doodle-wise, and wise guys. Really these themes are not very different at all, and thus we didn’t see too much point in the die. Likewise is the basic game, as I just described above. Doodle-wise forces players to draw the items, but words are allowed intermixed. And lastly, Wise Guys allows two players to partner up to formulate a guess. Either way, you are trying to match the other opponents. We just didn’t really see the point in this, it was pretty much the same regardless.
But the real problem came down to the fact that the game just wasn’t very fun. It wasn’t compelling. It didn’t make us think. It really wasn’t very funny. The game “worked”, it didn’t have any major design flaws that inhibited its ability to be played, it just wasn’t very exciting to play. At the end of the game, when somebody actually got enough points to win, there was no celebrating by the winner and whining by the losers (as there typically is), instead it was just… “Meh, ok, what’s next…”.
The most fun we had in this game came towards the end of the game, when everyone had seemingly decided they really didn’t care anymore about following the spirit of the game and simply decided to come up with silly answers. And that’s when it dawned on me what the crux of this games’ problem is: games like this are funny when you are A.) silly or B.) referencing inside jokes or C.) in some way clever and think outside the box. However, in order to keep to the spirit of this game and actually try to match other players, you had to think inside the box about things that they were also likely to think of. This eliminated the possibility of silliness, inside jokes, or cleverness.
One small bit of praise? I really like the games components. It comes with silly dry erase paddles that everyone writes/draws their answers onto, and the score board is dry erase as well. We actually had a fair amount of fun just screwing around with drawing on the faces and giving them speech bubbles. And the best part of the paddles? They are really heavy duty and seem like they will hold up for a long long time.
It really is a shame we didn’t have a very good time with this one, as we thought this would be the most fun out of the few we were picking between for the evening. Maybe for some families this game would be good, or maybe this could be good for younger kids, but for our group of adults it was a bust. Oh well, better luck next time.
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