Quizzing doesn’t have to be done at the pub all the time. It’s been around for a long time now that you can bring quizzing into your home via the usage of Board Games. There are obvious examples of games that are released that copy the format of quiz game shows like Eggheads, Pointless and Tipping Point but the best ones are games that are specifically designed for home use, usually in party scenarios. I’ve compiled a list of the ones I think are the best out there.
1. Scene It
Unfortunately, this game is no longer in production which is a shame because this had such a great format. It it entirely DVD based and had a clever system that enabled it to play random clips for you to keep the game fresh. It would then ask you a question following the clip either about the film, actors or an observational question. After it’s release it spawned many stand alone specialist versions such as Marvel, Harry Potter, James Bond and Star Trek. It looked like this was going to be a big classic but when sale started to dwindle it was pulled from production and can now really be only found in charity shops. There are probably many factors in this, one being the demise of DVDs and DVD players. The other could easily be the need to keep the DVD and questions up to date. Perhaps in this current climate with things constantly connected to the internet, we might see something similar re-emerge that can be kept up to date constantly. Who knows, but this game still remains a classic in my eyes.
I have actually only played this game once in a coffee shop one time, but I remember having such a good time with it, for some reason, I’ve never actually purchased it. I will definitely pick it up one day though.
From basic game developers Big Potato games (take note there are a few from them in this list) the concept is simple. You have a number of letter tiles and when a question is read out (example: Name a sport you have to play with a ball) then you must collect the right tiles to spell the answer in order to win them for your score pile. Simple, and lots of fun for all different ages.
Not a quiz in the conventional sense but there are certainly ‘correct answers’ to be had in this game. Timeline comes in a variety of subjects such as Film and Music, History and even Star Wars themed. Again, it’s a very simple game to pick up and explain. Everyone has 6 different cards relating to a certain occurrence in history (for example in the films game it might be ‘Alien’ or ‘Rocky’) and you must place them on the table in the order you think that they ‘happened’. You may already have The Matrix on the table so you need to decide if Jaws was released before or after that film. Place it on the track and then turn it over to reveal whether you were correct or not. If you are correct, you have successfully got rid of that card, if not, you must take another from the pile. First one to get rid of all their cards, wins. Obviously as the game progresses, more cards are added and it becomes harder to define where things happened, especially when you start to go really far back and need to make a decision whether Beethovens 6th was before or after Mozart. The only problem with the game is that after a few times of playing it, you remember the years but there are enough cards in the box to get a few games out of it and I suppose coming back to it a year later, you might be able to get some more use out of it. The Star Wars version is an odd one as you are given scenes from the movies and need to decide whether they happen before or after other scenes. Not one to be played with Sci Fi nerds like myself.
4. Colour Brain
Aye up, here’s another one of them Big Potato games. This one is actually, really clever and it’s a wonder why it hasn’t been done before. It also may sound really easy but it’s not as easy as you think it is. Players are given a full set of ‘colour cards’ and then a question is read out, you must determine the colour of the item specified. For example, it might be; the colour of the lid on a jar of Marmite. Players must play the colour card they think the item is, if they are correct and the other team is wrong, they get a point. Very simple concept and a lot of fun. Can work really well as a party game this. They have just released a Disney version of the game (as what happens to most things these days). I’ve not had a chance to play it yet but I can imagine that would also be a lot of fun too.
5. 5 Second Rule
5 seconds to name 3 books made into films….. GO! That is quite simply the premise of this game. Developed from a game that Ellen regularly played with guests on her show, this is one of those think quick games. You’re either good at them, or really bad at them. Quite a bit of replayability with this as well. The timer is nice and unique too, a similar idea to an egg timer but with ball bearings making their way down a shoot. It obviously takes exactly 5 seconds to reach the bottom.
6. Wits and Wagers
This is another game where I was surprised it hadn’t been done before. Wits and Wagers again is nice and simple as an idea. There is a question posed and everyone writes an answer down, they are placed along the table lowest to highest and people can place bets on those answers. For instance: How many academy awards did the 6 Star Wars movies receive? Loads of fun and especially good at parties this one.
7. Mr Listers Quiz Shoot Out
Another game from Big Potato, this has quite a familiar format to things you have seen before so it is by no means an original game, but it does what it does well. In a very similar style to Family Fortunes you are given a subject such as ‘the top 10 cereal brands’ and basically must prove you can name more than your opponents. Complete the task and win one of Mr Listers tonics. Simple and lots of fun.
8. The Logo Game
This game stand out a little bit on this list from my own perspective, mainly because I am actually not really a fan of this game but that is purely my own personal preference. The reason I have included it on the list is because of how popular this game actually is. It must be doing something right to be sitting on so many family shelves and having so many different varieties of the game. The game itself is a simple game set around the idea of recognising company logos and knowing enough about different brands. There is something mildly satisfying about being able to recognise corporate identities, it’s something that has been a favourite of peoples before this game was even invented which is no surprise to anyone that it eventually came around. Enough variety and skill involved to make it a nice competitive game. Usually one of the ones to pop up around Christmas time.
Now this game is good fun. I think it’s own success also shocked the manufacturers too. They have even brought out a child friendly version of the game called Dinkee (great name). Each card has 3 questions on it, then to finish the card off, you must work out the link between all 3 answers. So simple and so much fun. This is the type of game you can play without even doing it competitively, just sitting reading questions out to each other. If you’ve never played Linkee I strongly suggest following their page on Facebook, every other day they post a new Linkee up for their followers to work out. So much fun.
10. Trivial Pursuit
There is no way that I could do a list of the 10 best board games without including the god father of them all, Trivial Pursuit. One of the greatest facts ever lead to the popularity of this game. Actress, Glenn Close was on set for the movie, The Big Chill. She had found this game on sale somewhere and invited her fellow actors and actresses to play with her each night. They got so addicted to it, she then started to spread the word on how good the game was, leading to sale spiralling. Quite rightly so, it is still one of the only genuine Trivia focused games out there. No real gimmicks, just plan trivia and always pitched at the right level too. Over the years it’s gone under many different transitions and changes yet the classic version always remains the most popular one of the lot. For a great twist on the idea, check out the betting version of the game where you can bet on other people being right or wrong and in doing so, being able to earn wedges. That version goes well for people who don’t deem themselves decent enough at general knowledge, they can still earn points from the betting side and with that it can make it fell less one sided if there is some kind of trivia guru amongst you. My frustration with this game has been previously that lucky dice rolling to land on the squares you need can be annoying. You can spend hours going back and forth round a square for that last wedge when someone manages it in one roll. It is still firmly one of the greats however and nothing has come close to knocking it off its perch just yet.