Truth be Told – a more personalized Balderdash

Early in my gaming experience, I ran across a party game called “Balderdash”.  It’s a game where you have a long complicated word and everyone submits a guess at what the definition is.  It’s really funny trying to pick the real definition from the fake ones, and the game often turns silly and outlandish.  So when I started reading through the rules of “True be Told”, I immediately recognized it as a Balderdash variant.

In TbT, one player reads a card aloud.  The card has a “fill in the blank” somewhere in the statement, such as “When I am alone, I like to ________________”.   The reader writes down a real answer for what they like to do.  All the other players write down answers that they believe would be chosen by the other players.   So for example…

When I am alone, I like to ….

… sing into my hairbrush
… watch TV
… catch a nap
… pretend I am Tom Cruise
… take my dog for a walk

So which answer is the real one?  Do you know?   Everyone casts their vote for which answer they believe is real, writing it onto their paddle.  Everyone reveals their answers and the real answer is announced.  (For example, I really do like taking my dog for a walk when I am alone.  He’s my big baby and it’s good bonding time.  Want to see a picture of my dog?  Click here!) Everyone who answered correctly gets one point, and I get a point for each person who answered correctly as well.  All of the wrong answers have a chance to get points too.  If your answer was chosen to be the right one, you also receive a point for your sly deception.

That’s the game in a nut shell.  It’s really easy, but is it fun?  This is a prime example of “it depends on who you play with”.  I don’t think this game is much fun if you “play it straight”.  If all the answers are serious, it’s really kinda dull.  The fun is when people put in crazy silly answers to get a laugh.  Granted that isn’t a very competitive kind of play, but it makes the game much more fun.  However, this is a great “get to know someone” kind of game.  I even learned a thing or two about one of my friends that I have known for several years.  It’s interesting what comes out.

These are the dry erase boards that we had problems with.  They are smooth and flat, and any friction across the writing takes it right off.

These are the dry erase boards that we had problems with. They are smooth and flat, and any friction across the writing takes it right off.

After the game, I typically discuss with my players what they liked and what they didn’t, and one thing that everyone said was that they didn’t like was the components used in this game.  The game uses dry erase markers and boards, which I appreciate because they are reusable, however, the board that you write your bluff answer on were not practical.  Each player writes down their answer and passes it to the reader, who mixes up the tiles and then reads them all aloud.  The problem?  The answers kept getting rubbed off and becoming illegible during the passing and shuffling of the cards.  This caused us to have to stop and rewrite our answers many times.  On a similar note, my players didn’t like the miniature sized dry erase markers.  They know that any game that we enjoy thoroughly will get played frequently, and those kind of markers won’t last very long.

Ultimately, my group of players were lukewarm on this game.  However, I really enjoyed it.  But then, I really enjoy Balderdash.  Given that the mindset is so similar between these two games, it’s no wonder that a fan of one would enjoy the other, but if you play this game in a serious competitive fashion, it probably won’t be near as enjoyable.

This entry was posted by The_Null_Entry on Wednesday, November 30th, 2011 at 8:10 am and is filed under Board Game Reviews, Party Games . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.


  1. The component of guessing how your friend would answer reminds me a lot of Imaginiff.

  2. It certainly has some similar elements to Imaginiff, which isn’t a connection that I initially made. However, if given the choice between the two, I prefer “Truth be Told”. It’s a little more versatile and I’m a sucker for Balderdash.

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