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Published by Eagle Games
Designed by Roger L Schlaifer
Party Game for 2-4 players or teams
As this is Eagle’s first foray into party games, I wasn’t sure what to expect. But, honestly, I really should have known what to expect when I opened the box, at least.
I was really surprised at the quality of the components. The poker/betting chips included are a nice sturdy plastic in multiple colors, stamped with their value and the game logo. There are die-cut counters and a green faux-velvet bag for the “Grab Bag”. Two dice are standard far, but the third gives direction to your rolls and is whole out of the box… no need to affix “dice stickers” (a pet peeve of mine) in this game. The cards are large and colorful, and the component tray holds all the pieces well. Even the included lottery tickets are four-color and fit well in the tray. The pieces look like little pikes upon which you place “dingers” when you get wrong answers, until you hit five, when you get to put a little dunce cap on the piece.
The board is a different breed. Though interesting due to its unusual shape, it is almost too interesting… it’s very busy with different kinds of spaces. In addition, every player moves on the board in their own track, advancing levels of the concentric tracks when you hit the arrows of your piece color. Still, it does have its own feel, and I really like the betting area in every player’s quadrant of the board.
The amount of time I spent prepping this game for play was less than five minutes. Perfect for an adult party game. Eagle proves that they know components once again.
The gameplay combines trivia with betting. Here is the game at its simplest:
A player rolls the dice and moves his or her token. Everyone antes a dollar amount based on what scoring track the active player is on. The active player is asked a multiple-choice question. ALL the other players read the card so they know what the correct answer is. All the other players then bet on whether they think the active player will answer correctly. Then, the active player bets on himself or herself. He or she may only bet to get the answer correct. Once the active player finishes the betting, he or she answers the question. Other players are paid for correct answers at odds of one-to-one. If the active player got the answer right, then he or she is paid at the odds of the space he or she is on. Also, if the answerer is correct, he or she gets to take the action allowed by the space they are on. The game ends when the first player reaches the center of the board. The winner is the player with the most money.
The board is covered with all kinds of special spaces. Most numerous are the “Odds” spaces, which increase the active player’s odds anywhere from 2-to-1 to 5-to-1. There are also “Snake Bite” spaces (something bad happens), “Grab Bag” spaces (wherein you draw a tile from the Grab Bag and do what it says, an odd movement space (it doubles a die roll in movement, but can force you to move forward or backward), and the “Cow Chip Flip” wherein you flip the included “Cow Chip” and call heads or tails for a little extra cash.
Every time a question is asked, a lottery number is read from the top of the question card. The numbers are different based on the number of people playing If there is a matching number, that player wins the Lottery. The lottery is seeded by the bank ($500), but all losing bets go into the pool. As the game goes on, the lottery winnings get larger and larger. You are allowed to buy one lottery ticket every time you advance a level on the board, to the max of three. Lottery wins can have a large say in the winner of the game, but not as much as you might think.
While some are trivial in nature, most of the cards give odds, ratios, and numbers as their answers. Many of the cards are common sense. They come in 14 categories, but the categories are just there for show. You can’t choose a category when you answer a question, you just get the next one in the box. We found the questions to be easy, with a vast majority answered correctly. No one got close to the dunce cap.
Yes, there is some real strategy to this game. I was surprised, too, because it looks like purely a lucky betting game. With the exception of the blind-luck lottery, the rest of the game requires you to look at the board, especially your opponents’ bets, and make decisions. Here are some contributing factors to each decision, to give you a flavor for this very interesting part of the game:
-How much have your opponents bet on you getting it right? Wrong? (Opponents have no restriction on how much they can wager on you)
-What odds do you have if you get it right? (Anywhere from even money to 5-to-1 odds, and since the active player can only wager 4x the ante, the odds matter a lot)
-What will the space I’m on allow me to do if I get the question right? (Most spaces only activate if you get the question right)
-Can I afford to lose an ante and a bet?
-Can I afford to get another “dinger”? (If you get five wrong, you lose half your money and go back to the start)
And these are just some of the decisions I noticed during two playings of the game… I’m sure there are more subtleties I have missed.
What is odd about the reaction to this game is that two of the people in the group like strategic and deeper games, one LOVES luck-based games, and the last is in the middle of the road. The middle of the road person and luck person did not like this game much, while the two deeper players liked it a bunch. One said it’s his favorite party game in years.
I like the game, and find the depth of play surprising for what appears to be a simple trivia game with chips. I would play again given the opportunity.
Amy – 4
Jennifer – 5
Christopher – 7
Tom – 8
Note: We played with four people, and I felt that the game would work best with four people or teams. With fewer than that, there might not be enough betting to make the decisions tough.
I just bought this Odds'R game before Xmas. In your article you say that when you get 5 wrong, you lose half your money and go back to start. Doesn't say that in my rule booklet. Mine says that when you get 5 questions wrong, then you get dunced, and you must put $500 in the lottery pool, and you lose your next turn. Once you've paid this penalty, then you can turn in your rings and dunce cap, and if you have any money left, then you're right back in the game and on the same space. Is your game another language, edition, or version?