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TOS Crew Review — North Star Games

December 15th, 2010

“Why are they called ‘Meeples’?”

“Because they don’t want to call them ‘bets.’”

So began one of our first conversations about the new Wits and Wagers Family board game from North Star Games. Apparently the Meeples come from another game about 10 years ago and have been used as game pieces elsewhere also, and it makes for a cute playing piece that helps you stake your claim and earn points in this one. But, lets start from the beginning . . .

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Product: Wits and Wagers Family game

Details: A board game for 3-10 (with teams) people that involves guessing the numerical answer to a question. Each player writes down his best guess and then they are placed in order smallest to largest. Each player then guesses which answer he thinks is best by placing his meeples on the numbers. Points are awarded for each correct (or closest) guess whether written or by placing meeples on it.
Price: Retails for $19.99.

What we loved . . .

  • Fun for everyone. Even my 5 year old could play this fairly well because it just involves guessing. Some rounds he did better than others, but every round he had fun. All the kids enjoyed this game.
  • Something unique. I like board games that are new. While this is a new twist on their original Wits and Wagers, it was a very new idea to us. Definitely not the same old, same old. And, with 300 questions you could play for a long time before repeating the same questions.
  • Easy to learn. The box says two minutes, and that’s just about right. This was a quick study!
  • Perfect length. Some games are too long, others too short. This one was just right. About 15-25 minutes depending on how good the guess went. My 13 year old rocked it one round and it ended in 10 minutes. So, if you play against a major trivia buff it could go quickly. No problem, just play for the best 2 out of 3. ;)
  • Might have other uses. Once you have the markers, Meeples, and mini white erase boards you can use these for all kinds of things. Review for upcoming tests (everyone writes down their answer and then all guess which is right), quiz dates from your time line, maybe even use it to brush up on basic math facts. Feel free to think outside the box.

Some considerations . . .

  • Some questions were really easy. Many of them you would have no idea (How many times does the average person blink in a day?) And, others someone might know exactly (how many feet are in a mile?) Most of the questions fall somewhere in the middle, but all it takes is a couple easy ones and a game can be over quite quickly.
  • Accommodating the little ones. My five and six year olds had no trouble playing along with the rest of us, but we did at times give them some advantages. They could have an extra Meeple (or two), or we would give them some verbal prompts in writing their guess after everyone else was done. It was very easy to level the playing field a bit.
  • The answer could be overlooked. Kind of funny how they laid out the answer side of the card. The answer is actually in a lighter gray ink on the side of the card and more explanation about the answer is in bold across the middle of the card. It took us a few questions to realize that the answer was there, we just hadn’t seen it! That made the game a little easier . . .

North Star Games has definitely put together a winner in this game. We really enjoyed it as a family game and a larger group game. I think this one will be coming with us to our family Christmas gatherings as well. It’s a keeper.

For more TOS Crew reviews on this product, check out the TOS Crew blog.

Disclaimer: This product was provided to me free of charge through North Star Games as part of my participation in The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew. I received no additional compensation and the opinions expressed here come from my personal experiences and sincere thoughts.

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