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I used to talk about how trivia games irritated me - and to some degree, they do. I've never been a big fan of showing who has more trivial knowledge than whom, and watching someone who manages to memorize minutia walk home with victory after victory. But lately, trivia games seem to have evolved into a more fair, fun affair; and Don't Quote Me - Sports Edition really won me over with its easygoing, interesting style. I had high hopes for Don't Quote Me - Time for Kids edition (Wiggles 3D Inc., 2006 - No designer credited), even though I wasn't sure how interested my kids and teenagers were in trivia games.
And they enjoyed it tremendously, and I was just as happy with the system as I had been with Sports version. There were some minor differences, but mostly it was the categories and question types. The entire thing is well put together, and we had a lot of fun each time we played. In fact, I used the questions only for some larger party games, and everyone had a great time. DQM: Kids edition does a good job in making a trivia game fun and accessible for children.
Sixteen pieces connect together to form a star shaped track made up of various colored spaces, designating five categories (Human Hands - about science, technology, math; What on Earth - about animals, plants, nature, etc.; Faces & Places - about politics, culture, countries; Action - about popular cultures; and Books/Art/Music - self explanatory). The board is actually built as players move, letting them decide which type of question they'll answer next. Each player places a player pawn on a Game Hub in the middle of the table and is dealt five action cards with the remainder forming a deck in the middle of the board. Boxes of pentagon-shaped question cards are placed on the table, and one player is chosen to go first.
On a player's turn, the player to their right pulls the top card from a box and reads the question to the player that matches the color of the category they are on. The questions can be one of five types.
- Landmine: A question is given with four answers. Players are to correctly guess which three of the answers are correct, one at a time. They get one point for each one correct and can stop anytime; because if they guess the wrong one, they get no points.
- Name 'em: A questions is asked with three answers. Players get one point for each correct answer they give with only three answers allowed.
- Countdown: A question is asked; and if the answer is given correctly, the player receives three points. Before answering, they can ask for a hint (which makes the question only worth two points), or even two (which reduces the question to only one point.)
- 1+1 = 3: A question asks for two things. If a player gets one right, they score one point; both right reward the player with three points.
- Quotation: A quote is given, and the player must answer a question regarding that quote for three points. Or, they can ask for a hint (reducing the points to only two); or finally ask for a choice between three answers (which is only one point).
A player moves their pawn one space for each point they receive from the question, ending their turn. The player places new pieces down - two straight track pieces, and then an end piece - as they move around. Some spaces have event cards pictured on them; and when a player lands there, they may draw the number of cards shown there. Each action card has two halves - each a different type. If a player ever has two cards with the same type, they may play both together and take the action on the card.
Action cards are one of ten types.
- Reverse - force someone to move the wrong way on the track after answering.
- Recycle - take any discarded card into hand.
- My choice - choose the category of the next question.
- Pick Pocket - randomly steal a card from another player.
- Reboot - force someone to answer a different question
- Double Up - move double the amount of spaces this turn.
- Cancel - cancel an opponent's card.
- Let Me Guess - Answer an opponent's question before they can, scoring the points.
- Wild Card - Matches any other type/card
Players can only play one pair of cards per turn and discard them after use.
Play continues, until one player completes one lap around the track, at which point they are declared the winner!
Some comments on the game…
1.) Components: The game really has some well designed components! The board is made up of sixteen brightly colored, high quality cardboard pieces and fits well together. When the board is formed, it holds together well and forms a nice, bright track with plenty of space to place the cards between the spokes. The playing pieces are plastic apostrophe marks and look good when moving around the board. The action cards are of good quality and clearly state out what each does, looking sharp against the backdrop of the board. The question cards themselves are a pentagonal shape, with each of the five sides showing one of the five questions. Marked with colors to easily designate the question type, along with a symbol to mark what type of question, the cards are well formatted and easy to read. Pentagon cards may not be the easiest to handle, but they work well in this format. The box thankfully is not pentagon shaped (I can only store so many of those) and holds all the components inside a very well designed plastic insert. High marks to Wiggles 3D for component quality!
2.) Rules: The rules are only on two sides of a single sheet of paper and contain a few illustrations from the game. Mostly, they explain the categories, the question types, and how to use the action cards. A few questions and answers are mentioned, and everything else is rather self-explanatory. Also, a Quick Start Guide is included for folks who want to play the game as quickly as possible. When we played the game, I was constantly thinking of the mechanics; but that's only because I'm a gamer - everyone else didn't notice them and concentrated on the questions.
3.) Question Types: I loved the different formats of the questions, as they added some new dimensions to the old Question-Answer gimmick. The landmines were my favorite, as players usually knew enough to get one correct point - but were they willing to try to guess all three? The five different types, mixed with the five categories, really brought a lot of depth and diversity to the questions. There are questions on children's books, popular music, movies, government types, occupations, and scores of other categories. There are a LOT of different types of questions included, and I doubt any one child would know them all, although I can't imagine any kid not knowing ANY of them.
4.) Geeks: Of course, that's always the detriment of a trivia game such as this one, and it's that a person who is really astute at useless trivia (a.k.a. the ultimate sports fanatic) can be rather domineering at a game such as this. However, I have seen self-proclaimed knowledge authorities get beat by others in the game, and the wide variety of questions allow everyone to have a chance. I can't imagine any teenager having trouble with most of the questions, and the whole thing can do that wonderful thing we all want - educate.
5.) Action Cards: I initially thought that the action cards would introduce too much chaos into the game. But since a player needs two of the same type to activate them, and players will receive only a limited amount per game, they are actually hoarded and only used when a player is sure that they'll have maximum effect. Most of them are useful, although a few seem more powerful then the rest.
6.) Fun Factor: For some, the fun will come from the different minutia included with the game, the different interesting facts that you learn or show that you know. For others, the variety of questions will be interesting, and some of them are a lot of fun, such as the landmines. And with the action cards, players always might have a chance to butt into others' turns, so there's a good deal of player involvement.
So if you are seeking a fun educational experience for your kids, Don't Quote Me is a good game to grab. Games like Trivial Pursuit can have nonsense occur in which a player will roll endlessly, attempting to land on a specific space; In DQM, if you won, it's because you answered the most questions correctly. Action cards keep the game from getting boring, and I recommend it - perhaps as a gift to those who have "tweens" or teenagers. The components are high class, and it works well both inside and outside the classroom.
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