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Introducing Say Anything

There's a reason we call them "non-gamers". It's because they don't play games - at least, not the ones we like. And let's face it, we're not going to be successful in turning every non-gamer into a gamer - no matter how hard you try, some people are never going to like the gateway staples like Carcassonne, Ticket to Ride or Settlers of Catan. But what if you could find a game that they would like? A game that you also like? A game that both gamers and non-gamers can have fun playing together? Say Anything is a great and relatively new game that fulfils those criteria. It's a party game, but not quite your traditional party game. And it's a successful game - just look at some of the awards it's won:



Did you notice it? Look again. Closely! See it? It mentions BoardGameGeek.com on the box! The fact that Saying Anything won BGG's Golden Geek Award for Party Game of the Year in 2008 itself makes it worth buying! An award like this means it's not just non-gamers that like it, but also geeks! And this was no accident, because Say Anything went on to win the Origins Award for best Party Game of the Year in 2009 as well! The list of other awards is quite extensive: Major Fun's Funnest Game of 2008, The Toy Man's 2008 Award of Excellence, Dr Toy's 2008 Best Product, Creative Child Magazine's 2008 Game of the Year, and Toy Wishes Magazine's 2008 Top Pick, just to name a few.

Sufficiently convinced that it's worth checking out? I hope so! Let's go find out more!





Introducing the Designer

But before we get to the game itself, let me introduce you to the designer. Dear reader, meet Dominic Crapuchettes, who designed the game along with Satish Pillalamarri. Go check out some of his contributions in the forums and elsewhere, and you'll quickly see that he's a friendly and helpful guy. Now I don't normally waste time in a review talking about a designer, but this chap is worth making an exception for. Here he is, pictured with the game:



Notice anything unusual about that picture? I'll give you 20 seconds to figure it out. 10 seconds. Okay, time's up. The answer is that this is in Barnes & Noble! Here's a modern designer, one of BGG's own, who managed to get one of his games into Barnes & Noble! Congratulations sir!

But it gets better yet! Dominic and North Star Games (his publishing company) have even been successful in getting another of his games into Target! If you're a BGG regular, you'll undoubtedly have heard of Wits & Wagers, his successful trivia-game-for-people-who-don't-like-trivia-or-aren't-good-at-trivia, which is now being promoted by and sold in Target stores! Fantastic!



That's great news, not least because Dominic has plans to publish a eurogame in the next couple of years, and already having his foot in the door of a big chain department store could open up great possibilities. I take off my hat to him, and wish him the very best. Getting designer games like Wits & Wagers and Say Anything into mainstream stores is an excellent achievement. Dominic has done a lot for board games, actively supports his products, and also hosts very popular Game Show events with his games at conventions like Origins and GenCon. He even hosted a giant group Wits & Wagers game for a surprise 50th birthday party. I say this guy is cool!



In his own words, here's how he describes Say Anything:
"Say Anything is a mix between Wits & Wagers and Apples to Apples. It is our most true party game so far, meaning, you will have a great time laughing with friends when you play it. Here is a blurb that we are using to describe the game: Say Anything is a light-hearted game about what you and your friends think. It gives you the chance to settle questions that have been hotly debated for centuries. For instance, “What’s the best music band of all time?”, “Who is the most beautiful actress in the theaters today” or “What would be the best thing to teach a pet monkey?” So dig deep into your heart or just come up with something witty – this is your chance to Say Anything!"
To see the rest of this interview, go here. A big thank you to Mr Crapuchettes for giving me the opportunity to review this game - so let's get to the party!

COMPONENTS

Game box

The box cover features bright pink and green - it's bold, it's brash, it's noisy, it's cheerful - clearly this game is crying out for our attention!



Now the rules of this game are simple. So easy, in fact, that if you read the back of the box you almost know how to play the game already!



Maybe not quite, but awfully close! But now you do know the core idea of the game: a question is asked, and everyone writes an answer, and then for points you try to guess which of the submitted answers the "Selector" would choose!

Component list

We open the box and look inside:



There's a nice box insert to store everything neatly. So what's all in the box?
● 80 Question cards
● 8 Dry erase markers
● 8 Answer boards
● 16 Player tokens (2 of each colour)
● Select-o-matic 5000
● Score board
● Rules



Rule book

The rules can be explained in 60 seconds, and fit on a single sheet of paper. In fact, the designer has posted them right here on BGG:



You can also download them here: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/31352

You already know how the gist of the game works by reading the back of the box. Add in the scoring, and you pretty much have mastered the game! If you do have questions, there's also a short F.A.Q.



Question cards

Let's begin by cracking open that shrinkwrap on the deck of question cards.



There are 80 question cards, each featuring 5 questions, like this:



That's 400 questions altogether! A few other examples, to give you an idea of the kinds of questions in the game.



There's several things I really like about these questions.
1. I really like the fact that the person who is "Selector" gets to choose any question they want from a card. This prevents the game from bogging down as a result of inappropriate questions, or ones that just don't work for the group.
2. I really like the fact that these questions are about personal opinions, preferences, tastes and ideas. As the tag-line of the game says, this game helps ask "What do your friends REALLY think?" So it's not just a game, but it's very much a social experience. It's one of the reasons why people who are usually non-gamers can really have a fun time playing this.
3. I really like the fact that the questions are also very open-ended, and you can literally "Say Anything"! You don't need to be smart or well-educated to win this game - any answer can stand a chance at winning. And even if you come up with a bad answer yourself, you can still win by picking which answer you think the Selector will like the most.

Answer boards and Markers

We have questions, but we also need answers! There are 8 dry erase Answer boards, so each player can have their own board in their chosen colour.



But this also means we need dry erase markers. 8 of them come with the game, one for each player.



There have been reports of the dry erase markers in North Star Games arriving in homes with dried up markers, but mine were perfectly fine. The quality of the markers has caused the publisher some headaches, but posts on the forums and elsewhere indicate that the publisher is more than ready to give replacements if your game came with duds. North Star Games has a remarkable "Free Parts Replacement" policy, so if any of your game components fail in the first year of ownership, they'll send you replacement parts for free - check out their website for more details. Now that's publisher service! Obviously dry erase markers are expendable and won't last forever, so you may need to replace these eventually, but fortunately they're readily enough available from stores.

The rules advise you to use a paper towel to clean the boards (rather than your fingers). This works well - it wipes quickly, easily, and cleanly. Nice concept!

SELECT-O-MATIC 5000

During the game, each round one player is not going to be writing an answer to the questions. Of all the answers suggested by other players, this player (known as the "Selector"), will choose the answer he likes best - for whatever reason! To do this, he gets to use the technologically advanced SELECT-O-MATIC 5000! Haven't you always wanted to use a SELECT-O-MATIC 5000? Of course you do! It was my lifelong dream, only I hadn't realized it until playing this game! So here's what it looks on the one side:



On the reverse side, are the eight player colours, and a spinner that allows the "Selector" to indicate his choice:



So if you're the Selector, you make your choice, and turn over the SELECT-O-MATIC 5000 to keep it secret. Occasionally you might find that the "spinner" pops out of the cardboard - if this happens, it's a simple matter to just pop it back in, and it's only a minor nuisance. I like the fact that the designers have ensured that each colour also has a matching symbol, which are used on the SELECT-O-MATIC 5000, the Answer boards, and Score board. People with colour-blind issues will be very grateful for this, and this kind of attention to detail by designers and publishers can avoid a lot of frustration for gamers!

Player Tokens

There are 16 Player tokens, two in each of the eight colours (with matching symbols):



Each player will get two identical tokens in his colour, which you will use to make two guesses about which answer you think the Selector will choose. It's by getting matches that you earn points.

Score board

And to keep track of our points in each round, we need a Score board. It's a dry-erase Score board, with colours and symbols matching the Answer boards and Player tokens.



Ready to learn how to play? I think you've just about got the game-play figured out by now anyway!

GAME-PLAY

Set-up

Each player gets a dry erase pen, answer board, and two player tokens in their chosen colour.



Have paper napkins handy to help with the dry-erasing. The person chosen as starting player gets the SELECT-O-MATIC 5000, and will choose the first question.

Flow of Play

First Round

1. Selector asks and others answer a question. The person who is the "Selector" draws a Question card, and chooses a question that he reads aloud. The other players write an answer on their Answer board, and place them in the middle of the table for everyone to see.

2. Selector chooses his favourite answer. The Selector chooses his favourite answer, using whatever criteria he wants - maybe because it's clever, or funny, or accurate, or whatever! Other players can try to influence his choice, but the choice is made secretly using the SELECT-O-MATIC 5000, as the Selector points the spinner needle to the colour matching the answer board of his favourite answer.

3. Players guess the Selector's choice. Now the other players get to place their player tokens on the answer board that they think the Selector has chosen as his favourite answer. If you're confident, you can place both tokens on one answer to try to earn two points, or else you can put your two tokens on two different answer boards to increase your chances of getting at least one right for one point.

4. Scoring. The Selector reveals his answer on the SELECT-O-MATIC 5000, and scores for that round are written on the score board.
● The Selector gets 1 point for each correct guess made by other players, i.e. 1 point for each player token on the answer he chose (up to maximum of 3 points).
● Players get 1 point for each correct guess they have made, i.e. 1 point for each player token you placed on the answer chosen by the Selector
● Player who wrote the answer chosen by the Selector gets an extra point.
So each round you'll get between 0 and 3 points.

Further Rounds

Everyone gets their question boards and player tokens back, and it's the next person's turn to choose a question, and choose their favourite answer with the SELECT-O-MATIC 5000. This goes on until everyone has had the chance to be the "Selector" and ask a question. With 7-8 players, you end the game after everyone has asked 1 question, with 5-6 players it's 2 questions, and with 3-4 players it's 3 questions. Points are totalled to determine the winner.

Sample Round

Let's illustrate with a sample round from a 5 player game.


1. Selector asks and others answer a question. It's the green player's turn, so she takes a question card.



She reads the questions, and quickly decides to ask this one: "What's the worst thing about being a man?"

The answers quickly begin coming in. Already at this point there is often much laughing at some of the crazy answers suggested! After all, you can say anything! Some cheesy illustrations can also provide extra amusement. After about 30-60 seconds, we get our four contenders:



The Selector does have the right to reject an answer if she deems it too similar to an existing answer, and ask that player to come up with an alternative, but in this case our Selector regards the answers as acceptable. Looks like there's a common theme of aversion to body hair here!

2. Selector chooses her favourite answer. After some laughing and some feeble attempt to persuade the Selector of the merits of a particular answer, the Selector makes her secret choice from the four answers, keeping her choice hidden and face-down using the secret technology of the SELECT-O-MATIC 5000.



3. Players guess the Selector's choice. Now it's to time for the other players to guess which answer they think the Selector has chosen. The fun part here is that you don't have to choose your own answer - so if someone else has come up with a much better answer than you, or one that you think the Selector is more likely to pick, you can still score points if you correctly guess that this answer is what the Selector chose! The votes come in, and are marked with Player tokens:



It looks like all the players are quite confident that their answers are the chosen ones, except the red player who figures that two different answers written by other players have a greater chance of appealing to the Selector than his own answer of Hairy Legs!

4. Scoring. Now it's time to reveal the Selector's chosen answer: Purple! i.e. a Beard!



Apparently our Selector figures that facial hair is the worst thing about being a man! Or perhaps she figured that answer was the funniest? The reason she chose that answer doesn't really matter! Now we can do point-scoring:
Green (Selector) gets 3 points: for having three player tokens end up on the answer she chose.
Red gets 1 point: for having 1 token on the chosen answer
Purple gets 3 points: 2 points for having 2 tokens on the chosen answer, and 1 point for having the chosen answer

Scores are written on the score board, and since this was the end of a 5 player game (round 10), the scores are totalled to determine a winner.



And that's a sample round of Say Anything!

Sample Game

The game can be riotously funny, simply because of the nature of some of the questions asked and the answers given! To illustrate and give some sense of the wackiness that can result, here are some questions and answers from an actual game:

An alien ship landed on Earth. What should we do?
1. Attack! 2. Wake up from the silly dream. 3. Live with them. 4. Raise up an army of monkeys.

What would be the dumbest thing to say in a job interview?
1. I hate this job. 2. You are weird. 3. When can this end? 4. You have bad breath.

What would be the weirdest thing to collect?
1. Dead sheep. 2. Toilet seats. 3. Cow's eyes. 4. Used toothbrushes.

What would be the worst place to wake up?
1. On a sinking boat. 2. Inside a cow. 3. Back-seat of a stranger's car. 4. In prison.

Why did the chicken cross the road?
1. Because that's where KFC was. 2. To get to the other side. 3. To get to his Nissan Patrol. 4. It was the dog's day off.

What is the most inappropriate item to bring to show & tell?
1. Underwear. 2. Your mom's false teeth. 3. Live snake. 4. A sibling.

What's the most important quality a person can have?
1. Sense of humor. 2. Love. 3. Chest hair. 4. A four wheel drive.

What does the world need more of?
1. Love. 2. Faith. 3. Games. 4. Laughter.

But it's not all about craziness! The scoring doesn't reward the most creative player, but since you get points for correctly guessing which answer the Selector has chosen, it's just as much about knowing the players and guessing which answer others are most likely to choose. And if you know the people you are playing with, many of the answers will be "inside jokes" about the people, or about common experiences, and this especially makes the game shine!

CONCLUSIONS

What do I think?

I love this game and am very enthusiastic about it. Here are some reasons why:

It's fun. I'm a big fan of fun games. No matter who you're playing with, you're bound to end up with some serious laughing happening! Any game that can create the reaction captured on images like this one below has to be great!



It's flexible. The kind of answers you get will be very fluid, depending on the mix of the people you're playing with. Players also get the flexibility of choosing a question that will suit them and the group. I only wish there were more question cards! It's not an issue if you're playing with different people all the time, but with the same group, you'll go through the question cards fairly quickly. And like some others, I would have liked to see less questions about TV, music, and pop culture

It's crazy. Sometimes some really strange and wacky answers show up - can you guess the question that led to this answer?



It's balanced. What I mean by that is that it won't reward the trivia expert, the quick thinker, the budding artist, or the creative writer, like some party games can. The fact that you can vote for the answer that you think the Selector will choose means that you don't necessarily have to come up with creative answers yourself in order to win. I like the point scoring system that this game uses much better than many other party games, like Pictionary, where the winning team just advances their marker on a score track. Here, almost everyone has the chance to score points each round.

It's not age-specific. People of all ages and types can play, even together!



There is a minimum age requirement, because players do need to be able to read and write, and a 6 year old can have difficulty coming up with answers on their own. But with a bit of help, even children as young as 7 can play, so that makes it particularly well-suited for family groups.

It's quick. An entire game doesn't take very long to play, and often you'll find yourself wanting to play a second game immediately after the first. But you don't have to, and the quick game-play enables this game to fit in a variety of situations. Admittedly the game can slow down if one player regularly has difficulty coming up with answers, but as long as you don't have someone like that in the group, it moves fairly smoothly.

It's easy. The game can be explained in no time at all, and you can introduce it to almost any group and be playing in just a couple of minutes.

It's scalable. You can play it with anywhere between 4 and 8 players, and have a good time, without much down-time. There are even ways to make it work with larger groups of more than 8 players, as you see here:



It's interactive. Some party games require one player to step up to the plate, and can be quite boring for everyone else until it's their turn in the limelight. In this game, everyone is continually involved by writing answers and making guesses, and it's just as fun to be doing those things as it is to be the "Selector" that asks the question and chooses the favourite answer.

It's social. I love people, and I especially enjoy any activity that gets people talking about their likes and dislikes, personalities and preferences. Say Anything does a great job doing that, but in a very non-threatening way. It does work with people who don't know each other, and in the process would be a great way to learn about each other. But it is especially great with people who do know each other, like family, friends, or even co-workers.

Some would argue that this is just a social activity, and not a game. I respectfully disagree, because not only do you have to try to come up with an answer that you think the selector will choose, more importantly you need to try to correctly guess what the selector is most likely to choose. A big part of the game is the "guessing" phase, on which the scoring is based. But in the end, it has to be admitted that Say Anything is not primarily a battle of wits in an effort to award victory points to the best gamer - but is that really the point of any part game? As the rulebook itself states, "Say Anything isn't really about winning, it's more about having fun." The hilarious tie breaker in the first edition makes that obvious:



I think that the game achieves what it sets out to do. It's not the next Puerto Rico, but nor is it trying to be. I think we've all played the party games that can end in disaster, either because of squabbling over rules and whether a word is legitimate (Scattergories), or because we're the odd ones out and can't draw (Pictionary), or because we don't know our TV shows from our science facts (Trivial Pursuit), or because we're shy about being put on the spot to speak and think quickly in front of a large group (Taboo). Don't get me wrong, I enjoy all the afore-mentioned games, but I think Say Anything offers a special something that none of them can match. Until now, one of my favourite social party games was Attribute. But Attribute has some quirky scoring and can get unstuck if someone can't think of a good category, so for these reasons Say Anything surpasses it and just works better. It's fun for gamers and non-gamers, can cater to a group that has a wide range of ages, and is amusing and clever all at once, in a way that keeps everyone involved, but without getting too drawn out. A perfect mix!

What do others think?

The critics

Not everyone is going to enjoy Say Anything, primarily because not everyone is the target audience for the game. If you're looking for a deep gaming experience, or solid euro game, this is not it. Here's a few comments from the critics:
"Ok party game. Prefer Wits & Wagers. For non-gamers only." - Ed James
"It is hard to play with the people you don't know well. Also I am not creative enough to make up something interesting. There are many party games that I prefer to this." - Ken Shoda
"Advanced Apples to Apples. Completely arbitrary." - David Siskin
"This just didn't work for me. With strangers, you just have to write clever answers. With family, you are going to have cliques of people who know the "right answer." - Dustin Gervais
"I don't like party games." - Rick Holzgrafe
"Definately NOT my type of game." - Sean Shaw
"Not really to my tastes. It combines the betting of Wits & Wagers and the icky, icky arbitrary judging of Apples to Apples. This is probably a great party game for most people, though! Just not me." - Nathan Morse


So what can we learn from this? Clearly you can't please everyone. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but do realize that the critics are in the minority - Say Anything has a BGG rating over 7, which is quite remarkable for a party game. But it does show that Say Anything won't necessarily work in every group. I happen to think it's quite flexible, and am happy to use it as a tool over and over in different groups, as an ice-breaker and even to get people socializing and having fun. But I realize that not everyone enjoys that kind of thing, and you probably won't want to buy this game if you think you're in the strongly non-social category, because you might tire of it after a few plays. But even so, I think you'd have fun playing this game once or twice at someone else's house, and I really believe that the amount of people who would play this for the first time and not have a great time would be very few. In that sense it doesn't have the staying power of Wits & Wagers, which offers more of a more strategic game and potential for replayability with the same group. Say Anything is simply a different design, and is intended more as a pure party and social game. But that also makes it a perfect choice for your non-gaming family and friends. The gamer will probably go back time and again to a game like Wits & Wagers, because the strategic gameplay and choices tickles their gaming fuzzies, whereas the non-gamer is more likely to pull out something like Say Anything, and play it regularly with family or friends. This does make it the perfect gift for non-gaming family and friends - they'll love it, and you'll enjoy it enough to have fun whenever they pull it out if you're visiting.

The praise

The majority of comments about Say Anything are wholly enthusiastic about it. Here are some samples:
"Possibly better then Wits & Wagers. Great party game and lots of laughs with a good group." - Matt Schaub
"Can think of no better party game." - Manuel Serpa
"Wits and Wagers with a hilarious, personal touch. This may be one of the best party games I've ever played. I want to play it again and again." - Stephen Glenn
"A really enjoyable party game that gets players talking about some of the strangest things. The strategic aspect of the game is very thin, and if you care too much about winning you will be disappointed. This works great with non-gamers... Laughter and conversation...exactly what you want from a party game." - Ben Lott
"This game is a blast. It's so simple and it plays well with gamers as well as non-gamers." - Ben Schaub
"Best party game in years. A combination of Apples to Apples and Wits and Wagers. Very well done - and takes only a short time to play." - Tom Vasel
"Say anything is my favorite game! It is very fun to play Say Anything if you are on vacation with your family and at any type of party!" - Erika Schwerdtfeger
"Just fantastic! A fun party game with streamlined rules, that everyone seems to enjoy!" - Gil Hova
"Very funny game. A great mix of Wit and Wagers and Apples to Apples, this game may be the perfect party game." - Steve Wagner
"I've bought 36 copies of Say Anything so far. It's a nearly perfect game for casual social play with a diverse range of non-gamer friends." - Joshua Miller


In many respects, Say Anything offers the best of both worlds - it's not as dry as Wits & Wagers, nor as random as Apples to Apples, and yet it preserves the elements that make both games appealing for many people. I introduced it to a group of non-gamers that I only know moderately well, and they loved it, and when I asked them afterwards to describe what they thought of the game, they said: "Fun!"

Recommendation

Is Say Anything for you? If you like a great social party game, then this is definitely one that belongs near the top of the pile! But you don't even need to buy this game for yourself. Buy it for your non-gaming friends or family! They're almost certain to love it, and at least when you visit them they'll pull this out, rather than something you'd really hate to play! A fantastic and fun social game that is almost guaranteed to please and to offer laughter ever time it hits the table, I give Say Anything my whole-hearted recommendation!



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The complete list of Ender's pictorial reviews: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/37596
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Dominic Crapuchettes
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North Star Games designs party games that don't suck! Play them with your non-gamer friends over the holidays.
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First there was Hearts, then there was Spades, and now we bring you Clubs. The suit of clubs finally gets some respect!
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Wow, thanks for such a comprehensive review! This is great. I also appreciate all of the personal kudos. It's nice to hear. Although I am an active BGG user, I want to make sure Satish's contributions to Say Anything don't get lost. He and I were co-designer of Say Anything.


Satish Pillalamarri
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Satish Pillalamarri is a former Jeopardy! contestant.
In college, he and his friends would often have silly
debates, joking around about random everyday topics.
And so the idea for Say Anything was born. Though
past his college days, he still enjoys a cold one and
some witty conversation.




---EDIT---
oops! Thanks Luke.
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Luke Warren
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domcrap wrote:
I don't want to make sure Satish's contributions to Say Anything don't get lost.


Ah, the cursed double negative. I think what Dominic meant to say is that he "wants to make sure Satish's contributions do not get lost."

As for the review, wow, that is some high praise! Best review of Say Anything yet. And that is saying a lot since it made Tom Vasel's top 20 games of all time!

All of us at North Star Games are going to print this out and post it up by our desks!
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Satish Pillalamarri
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I'm so glad you enjoyed the game! I love all of the pictures you posted in your review, especially the ones of people laughing and having a great time while playing the game. To me, that's the thing that's most fulfilling about designing and publishing games.

I too love people and the role that games play in social interaction, so it means a lot to me to see people laughing, smiling, cheering, and sharing quality time together over one of our games!

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Geoff Blair
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Wow, thank you for that review. Very descriptive. I hope you do more like this.
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Tim Seitz
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Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But God does not take away life; instead, he devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from him. 2 Sam 14:14
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LOL. I just bought two copies of this over the weekend because Dominic chastised me over my Dominion comments!

As always, excellent review!
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Wade Broadhead
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Won it at BGG.Con hit the table Saturday: a big hit and it will be attending my xmass party from work next week! It was way better than I had expected, and will help close the gap for the 6-8 person game night when we want to play party games but some don't like Time's Up!
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Jordan Stewart
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Awesome review, as always, pushed me off the fence and in to wishlist territory. Thanks!
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David Tolin
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Great, great review (as usual). I think, however, that you've not really given fair treatment to the critics of the game:

EndersGame wrote:
The critics

Not everyone is going to enjoy Say Anything, primarily because not everyone is the target audience for the game. If you're looking for a deep gaming experience, or solid euro game, this is not it. Here's a few comments from the critics:
"Ok party game. Prefer Wits & Wagers. For non-gamers only." - Ed James
"It is hard to play with the people you don't know well. Also I am not creative enough to make up something interesting. There are many party games that I prefer to this." - Ken Shoda
"Advanced Apples to Apples. Completely arbitrary." - David Siskin
"This just didn't work for me. With strangers, you just have to write clever answers. With family, you are going to have cliques of people who know the "right answer." - Dustin Gervais
"I don't like party games." - Rick Holzgrafe
"Definately NOT my type of game." - Sean Shaw
"Not really to my tastes. It combines the betting of Wits & Wagers and the icky, icky arbitrary judging of Apples to Apples. This is probably a great party game for most people, though! Just not me." - Nathan Morse


So what can we learn from this? Clearly you can't please everyone. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but do realize that the critics are in the minority - Say Anything has a BGG rating over 7, which is quite remarkable for a party game. But it does show that Say Anything won't necessarily work in every group. I happen to think it's quite flexible, and am happy to use it as a tool over and over in different groups, as an ice-breaker and even to get people socializing and having fun. But I realize that not everyone enjoys that kind of thing, and you probably won't want to buy this game if you think you're in the strongly non-social category, because you might tire of it after a few plays. But even so, I think you'd have fun playing this game once or twice at someone else's house, and I really believe that the amount of people who would play this for the first time and not have a great time would be very few. In that sense it doesn't have the staying power of Wits & Wagers, which offers more of a more strategic game and potential for replayability with the same group. Say Anything is simply a different design, and is intended more as a pure party and social game. But that also makes it a perfect choice for your non-gaming family and friends. The gamer will probably go back time and again to a game like Wits & Wagers, because the strategic gameplay and choices tickles their gaming fuzzies, whereas the non-gamer is more likely to pull out something like Say Anything, and play it regularly with family or friends. This does make it the perfect gift for non-gaming family and friends - they'll love it, and you'll enjoy it enough to have fun whenever they pull it out if you're visiting.


Your position seems to be that people who don't like the game are primarily people looking for a more strategic experience or a deeper game. Or, perhaps, people who just don't like party games.

On the contrary, I think a lot of the critics of the game are people who enjoy party games quite a bit and are absolutely in the game's "target audience." Saying that the primary reason people don't like the game is because they don't like party games just isn't fair. I would suggest that the primary reason that some people don't like the game is that it isn't nearly as good as other party games available (in their respective opinions [and mine])--especially the games it's riffing on (A2A and W&W).

Anyway, I really enjoyed your review, as usual. thumbsup I was just a bit disappointed that you treated the counter-arguments with less objectivity than you usually do. Keep up the great work!
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Steve Wagner
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Once again Ender makes a review that makes all other reviews for this game obsolete.
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Jim Spoto
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thumbsup I love this review!

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