Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wits & Wagers by Northstar Games (TOS Review)

We've loved just about everything we've received as part of the TOS Homeschool Review Crew, but I have to admit we were all excited when we learned we'd be receiving a *board game* to review, especially when it arrived during the Thanksgiving holiday season!  

The box was opened as soon as it arrived.  Out came Wits & Wagers Family, a game I had never heard of from a maker I had never heard of (North Star Games).  Wits & Wagers Family is meant to be played by ages 8+, and by 3-10 players/teams.

The game comes with: a scorecard (with circles to color in as you score points); 5 individual white boards and one "1" answer board; five dry erase pens; five sets of "meeples" (one small and one large meeple in colors matching the individual white boards); and a deck of question cards, each card containing two questions on the front, with the correct answers and a bit of trivia about each question on the back).

Easy instructions meant an easy explanation to my girls (8 and 10) who were anxious to immediately play - and play we did!  To play, a question is read (they recommend going through the entire deck by reading the first question on each card, then going back through the deck using the second questions).  Each player writes his best guess of the answer on his white board, and places it face down.  Once all players have guessed, the white boards are turned over and the guesses placed in numerical order (including the "1" card, which is always used). Then each player places his meeples on the guess that he thinks is closest to the correct answer without going over (when I explained this part, my oldest said "Hey, just like The Price is Right!"), which is considered the winning answer.  You can put both your meeples on the same guess or on two different guesses if you're not sure.  If you think all the guesses are too high, you can also put your meeples on the "1" card.

The correct answer is read (along with the trivia, which we thought was always interesting), and points are tallied for the winning answer - two points for a large meeple placed on the winning answer, one point for a small meeple placed on the winning answer, and one point to the person who wrote down the winning answer.  The first person to reach 15 points wins!

The questions cover a wide range of topics - from things you learned in elementary school (the boiling point of water), to things you've never really given a second thought (what percentage of U.S. kids ages 10-14 own a cell phone).  You don't even have to know the answer - you take a guess as to who might know the answer *best*, or just plain take your chances!

Another plus to this game is that it's quick - no two-hour game sessions with this one unless, like my girls, your kids say "Let's play again!" when you're done. 

My only wish is that they issue an expansion pack of question cards soon, because at the rate we're playing, we'll be done with all the questions before the New Year!

Wits & Wagers Family retails for $19.99 - a bargain in my book, considering all the fun my family has already had with this game.  Click here to buy, or visit your local Target, Barnes & Noble, or specialty toy/game store.  The "Buy" section of the website features a "Find a Store Near You" function which as of the date of this review says "coming soon...," but hopefully will be operational soon.

You can contact the folks at North Star Games here, find out current news about the games at the Insider's Corner, and check out their other fun products here.  Also be sure to visit the "Meet the Designers" section of the website for some cool info on who invested these games!

To say my family thoroughly enjoys this game would be an understatement.   If you're looking for a last-minute Christmas gift, please consider this game! 

To see other reviews of this product, click here. For giveaways, other product reviews and other fun things, follow the 2010-2011 TOS Homeschool Crew blog at:

Disclaimer: As part of the 2010-2011 TOS Homeschool Review Crew, I received the product described in this review at no cost in exchange for my fair, honest and unbiased (and not necessarily positive) review. No other compensation was received.

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