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Saturday, December 28, 2019

Off Topic Holiday Party Game Review

Looking for something to do for your next party, like New Year's Eve? Consider the card game Off Topic. How's it work? Quick, name two things that start with the letter K for the topics TV shows, Excuses to call in sick, Hippie hobbies, and Words to describe your grandma. Well... that's basically the game, and you only get points if your answers are unique among all the players. So, if you think grandma is kind, you'll probably get no points, as many people might think of that, but if you use the word knowledgeable or are lucky enough to have a Korean one... you'll probably have a better chance to score, unless playing with a sibling.

There aren't many pieces to the game. You have eight dry erase boards and markers, so up to eight people can play. For larger groups, you can alternate teammates or try to share. Sharing would be difficult, though, because you don't want other people to hear your answers, and arguing over whose answer is better could get a little loud. There are sixteen unique cards of eight topics each, where each card has eight copies, one per player. There is a twenty-sided die, to be rolled to determine starting letter for that round of answers. There is no I, Q, U, X, Y, or Z on the die, to not make things too difficult. And, there is a two minute sand timer. And, the instruction booklet.
Each game is made up of five rounds, just be sure to start each round where everyone has the same numbered card. It doesn't really matter who rolls the 20-sided die to see which letter should be the first letter of each answer, but the rules call for the youngest person to roll first. Then, flip over the timer and think real fast as players need to quickly come up with words beginning with the letter for each of the eight topics on the designated card.

After the timer runs out, the fun part begins, reading the answers. As you only get points for unique answers among the group, players might come up with some really off-the-wall answers with the hope for uniqueness. However, any answer can be challenged for validity, and majority rules if there is disagreement. So don't be too creative with your answers, and no phones allowed to prove validity. The game isn't a race to see who can name the most answers with the given letter. Only two are allowed. So, make sure they're the best / most likely to score you points.

The game is rated 13+, but it can quickly get into some more kinky answers. Decide before the game starts on what you want to allow. There is also an alternative rule of not allowing generic adjectives. So, if the card calls for the topic to be Vehicles and an B is rolled, you can't answer blue truck with the alternative rule, but can with the original rule set. And, articles like a, an, and the don't count as starting words, but can be included in your answer. Movies titled like "The Shining" start with the letter S (from Shining) not T (from The).

With only 16 cards you might think the game could get repetitive. However, with the 20-sided die, the chances of two games being the same are rare. You only pick five cards out the 16 and the chances of rolling the same five letters for the same five cards is more than likely just not going to happen. Certainly possible, just not likely. Hopefully, in time, the vendor releases new card sets. It does seem that the company had ideas for a larger original card set size, as the box says there will be 18 cards, but that didn't happen.

Don't miss out on the chance to play for your next party night, or board game night. While there isn't technically a game board involved, there are handheld white boards. The $29.99 price seems very reasonable.



Disclosure: I received the above mentioned product for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received. This post contains affiliate links in which those links are clicked I may be compensated for. All opinions stated are my own and may differ from yours. See my disclosure policy for more information.


2 comments:

  1. This sounds like fun game, thanks for your review.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This sounds like a great game which would be great for a party night!

    ReplyDelete