North Star Games’s game Cluzzle is loads of fun!
Ok, review over.
I’m kidding. The Geek Husband What Rules and I went to a dinner party Friday evening at the home of a fellow boardgame enthusiast. Liz is the person responsible for introducing me to Bohnanza and Hoity Toity (which she first played under it’s orginal German name, Adel Verpflichtet). She is a fiend for boardgames, and will frequently call me up days or weeks after I’ve mentioned a new game in a passing conversation to find out what it was because she’s jonesing for something new. Liz is a boardgame fanatic.
Cluzzle was actually designed by a friend of Liz’s, and I can best describe it as Pictionary with modeling clay. The game is played in three rounds. You each get a little carboard piece to sculpt on, and two round markers to represent the questions you are allowed to ask with each round and some of the most amazingly durable modeling clay ever.* You start with each person drawing a card that has a list of words on it. Then you choose one of those words and try to sculpt your chosen word. Once everyone has sculpted their representation of their word, everyone gets to ask two “yes/no” questions, of anyone, about their sculpture. Then everyone guesses.
In the first round, if your sculpture is correctly identified you, and everyone who was right, each get one point. If there are any sculptures left, everyone gets to ask two more questions about them, and then there is another round of guessing. This time if your sculpture is correctly identified, you and everyone who was right, gets two points. Then if there are any sculptures left, you move on to round three: two more questions, guessing, and this time if your sculpture is identified you, and everyone who was right, get three points each.
The real skill in this game is in making your sculpture representational enough for people to get it eventually, but not for them to get it immediately. Liz is amazing at this. I don’t think any of her sculptures were guessed immediately. And it’s a game that is amazingly fun to play after or during the consumption of several bottles of wine. Between my seeming inability to sculpt something that wasn’t immediately recognizable (that’s ok, I actually won by being able to guess damn near everything) and some players’ lack of artistic skill, and Liz’s amazing ability to channel Dada-ist sculpture, there was much hilarity.
I give this game an A+ for party gaming. It doesn’t require great artistic skill, in fact it may be to your advantage if you aren’t very artistic. It encourages interaction and silly questions and lots and lots of laughing. Plus, you get to play with modeling clay! Win!
*Edited: I was corrected by Liz. There was a timer, she just doesn’t like it, so she doesn’t use it. I agree with this decision, no one was so slow at sculpting that it pissed anyone off.