Review: The Game of THINGS

Ever wanted to make people read something out loud that you know for a fact will embarrass them or make them feel awkward? Now’s your chance: The Game of THINGS tests your ability to know how your friends and family think, and in doing so opens up the door to produce some incredibly funny moments.

The idea of Game of THINGS is extremely simple – a card is taken which has a question on it, something like “something that hurts” or “things you shouldn’t do on your office desk”. Everyone writes an answer on a slip of paper and passes it to a non-guessing player known as the reader; this role rotates each round so you’re never out of the action for too long. The reader reads out all of the responses, and everyone else takes it in turn to try and guess who wrote what, with a player being eliminated if someone guesses their reply correctly. This continues round until every player has been eliminated, and whoever gets the final guess right scores a point (although scoring soon takes a back seat once the game really takes off).

Initially, or at least this is how it went with us, the answers are fairly tame, with people trying to come up with funny answers while also making it as hard as possible to know it was their response. But it only takes one more risque reply, one slightly more blatant drop of innuendo and that sets the course for the rest of the game. Let’s make one thing clear, when you get a question like “things you shouldn’t do in a church” you can imagine the kind of things people would write down once everyone is feeling more confident that more adult replies won’t cause a problem. As such, this isn’t a game to play with strangers. It’s not something to play when you first meet your in-laws. In fact I’d go as far to say that if everyone is holding back and being polite, it’s not really that amazing.

But get the right group of players, the right atmosphere, and the right amount of alcohol involved and this very soon descends into a huge amount of laughter and fun. When, in response to “things you wished you knew beforehand” you can get your mother-in-law to read – out loud, of course – some very perverse sexual thoughts (as more than one of us did throughout our various games) you know you’re onto a winner.

That said, there are a couple of things that might put a dent in your enjoyment. If, like me, you have a sense of humour that is a little more bizarre than others in the room you’ll need to hold back your first reaction unless you want people to know your reply straight away. While that doesn’t make the game less fun as a whole, it can be a shame that some of your funnier responses might need to be put to one side just to stay in the game a little longer. After a while I just abandoned that idea and happily got booted out just so I could come up with some funnier replies, and get certain family members to go a bit red in the face by having to read things that they usually wouldn’t think of themselves, but if you’re likely to get fed up by always being guessed first then you might want to rethink whether you play this.

Either way, if you’ve got a decent sized gathering going on (we played with 8 people each time) with people who know each other and don’t mind being made to feel a bit embarrassed, then you can have a fantastic time for a couple of hours with this. If I had to compare it to a more famous game in terms of awkwardness at times you could look at Cards Against Humanity; if you can imagine playing that with your intended group without someone storming off in an enraged offended huff, then this will work every bit as well.

If I were you I’d get a copy in for the upcoming festive period, and grab it off the shelf when you go and fetch more wine later in the evening. You won’t regret it.


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