by John Quiett
So I was recently asked by my mother to find a game that everyone in our family can play together, that wasn’t to silly and was not strategy based. This was a surprisingly tall order when I got around to looking for this game. I have two brothers, we all have wives/girlfriends respectively and then my two parents make a total of eight people who needed to sit down together. The request that the game not be silly came from my dad and sister in-law who dislike having to act or sing or otherwise humiliate themselves in public. Finally the strategy component is something my mom dislikes because she feels she is no good at it. The truth is she just doesn’t have the patients to learn new games, she plays Euchre, Monopoly and Risk quite well. We have tried to point this out to her, but she won’t admit the strategy in all those games.
So with all this in mind I began to scour the internet for something that fit. What I found was not much. There are a lot of family/party games out there but not many that accommodate 8 players, most stop at 6. A lot of them also involve some kind of charades in their gameplay. Strategy was less of a problem because looking for a game involving this many people meant you were helping each other score points to some extent.
The game I found and ultimately purchased for our family game night was “Say Anything” by North Star Games. North Star Games is a company focused on making fun party games and Say Anything is a perfect example. Game play consists of the “Selector” grabbing a card and reading one of the five questions that always starts with “In my opinion…”. The rest of the players write down an answer to the question. This provided for a lot of the fun when we played because no one is allowed to have the same answer, so the rule is first to write it down and place it on the table gets to use it. Several times people would be struggling to come up with a good answer and then one of them would say one out loud and it would become a race to write it down. This probably wasn’t intended to be so much fun, but it was for us. Next the “Selector” secretly uses the “Select-o-matic 5000” to secretly indicate their favorite answer. Since this is opinion there is no wrong answer, just the best, funniest, or coolest according to the “Selector”. Once the “Select-o-matic 5000” is set the rest of the players wager two chips on what answer they believe the “selector” chose. When all bets are made the “selector” reveals their choice and points are awarded. Points go to anyone who correctly guessed the selector’s choice, the person who came up with that answer and the selector, if any players picked their answer. Each round points are maxed at 3 total. Depending on how many players you have you go around the table and gets to be the “selector” at least once.
Sometimes the questions on the cards did get a little risque for the family group I was playing with, but we could easily skip those and choose different cards. Some of the questions were a little obvious based on how well the family already knew each other. We have heard a million times how my brother hates going to Wal-Mart and looking for customer service. He knows it is pointless, but sometimes it can’t be helped.
All in all we had a really good time playing this game. It was a big hit with my mom and the rest of the family. We played three rounds total. The only downside anyone could come up with was the proclivity for ties. We aren’t a cuthroat group of gamers, but we had at least one tie each round with a four way tie on the last of the three that we played. We like games where there is a definitive winner. We could have played some more rounds involving only the players that tied, but we decided not to. The game has a lot of replay potential, there are a lot of topic questions and since each person’s personality will change the answer, it is unlikely the game will get old for quite some time.
Additionally, there is a family version of Say Anything. I imagine that only difference is that those questions that could be uncomfortable in a family play session are removed or replaced.
I can’t recommend this game enough. It isn’t my favorite type of game, but it really is fun