I love Christmas shopping. Now, I don’t mean the crazy crowds or the fighting people in the shop to get the last tickle me Elmo. I mean buying a gift for someone. I love getting them a gift that they will adore but at the same time know it came from me. To this end I sometimes try to get them something I like but will also appeal to them. This normally means someone will get a CD or a game of some sorts. Game wise, buying them either a popular geeky one or a crappy thrown together game is the same thing – cheating. The challenge is to try and get a game that is well made but still easy to learn and has the appeal of the intended target. Today’s game is exactly that so if you are on my Christmas list, do not be surprised if you find a copy of The Big Bang Theory party game under your tree.
The Big Bang Theory party game is a card game for three to seven players and is very similar in gameplay to other question and answer games such as Apples to Apples and the always awesome Cards Against Humanity. The game consists of two sets of cards (A blue deck of answers and a red deck of subjects), point tokens and a set of envelopes to keep multiple answers together. Players get dealt seven blue answer cards which are replenished each time they use one. They take it in turns to draw one red subject card and read it out. The other players then play one blue card that they think best suits the subject card by handing it face down to the reader. Once all the answers have been gathered, the reader then reads all the answers out and ranks the answers from best to worst, awarding points to the top five answers. The game lasts for twelve rounds and the player with the most points wins the game.
Explaining The Big Bang Theory (BBT) party game to Cards against Humanity (CAH) players is a rather easy task – it is the same game with a few extra bits thrown in. The Bazinga card is a welcome addition to the gameplay. The Bazinga card is played after everyone has played their answer. This card causes the reader to discard the current subject card and draw the next one in the pile. The answers are now read in response to the new subject with sometimes hilarious consequences. This is a really good addition to the gameplay as it keeps things fresh and brings an element of the chaos from the show into the game. The point system is also new if you are a CAH player. During playtest, this split the players slightly. Some felt that is stopped the flow of the game whilst some liked the debating and discussion this generated. Personally, I think that the point system would work in a family game with younger players as it follows the “everyone’s a winner” philosophy. For games involving adults, reducing the answers that get points to the top two would speed the game up and add to the competitiveness. The brilliant thing about BBT party game is that it is completely adaptable to the people playing the game. It can be played as seriously, comically or as downright nastily as you wish. The cards are well made and contain a lot of flavour from the show. The answer cards have little quotes from the characters that can be read alongside the answers. Whilst we did not do this, they did provide a few sniggers when players were deciding which answers to play.
The Big Bang Theory party game is a very good introductory game. It introduces a good gameplay mechanic and appeals to fans of a popular television show. It’s one of those games you could use to show people that tabletop gaming is more than just monopoly and can still be for the entire family. Once players are used to this you can move onto games that have the same fun and competiveness but add skill into the mix. Fans of the show are going to love this game as it feels like something Sheldon, Leonard and the boys would play – it’s a geeky game about a geeky show. It would make an excellent stocking filler for the Big Bang Theory fan in your life.