Say Anything by Northstar Games
Say Anything Family is the newest family-friendly game from award-winning Northstar Games. With the tagline “What hilarious things will YOUR family say?” it promises an interesting, unique experience with every play.
For 3 to 6 players, Say Anything Family is aimed at ages 8 through adult. (I’d qualify the younger end of the age range by saying that players should be able to produce simple phrases for their answers – an adult could help them read the questions, and even write the answers for them, but keep in mind that it will slow the game pace down a bit.)
Say Anything Family includes 360 thought-provoking questions on 60 game cards, 6 dry erase answer boards and pens, a dry erase score board, 12 player tokens, a full-color set of rules, and a “Select-O-Matic 6000”. The Select-O-Matic 6000 looks like a spinner, but is actually a tool for the judge to use to select, hide, then reveal the winning answer for each round.
Like Wits & Wagers, Say Anything claims it takes a mere two minutes to learn how to play. That’s not a typo – Say Anything Family really is that easy to understand.
In each round, one player is the judge, while other players answer the question for the judge. At the start of the round, the judge reads a question from the game card. The other players write their answers to the question on their game boards, and then place them in the middle of the table. (Face-up is fine; having learned this game after Wits & Wagers, we kept putting the game boards face-down needlessly.)
The judge reads the answers, then, while keeping his/her choice secret, turns the Select-O-Matic 6000 to his/her favorite, and places the Select-O-Matic 6000 face-down on the table. (Don’t forget it needs to be face-down; it’s crucial to the next step of the game!)
The players in the round then place their player tokens on the answer (or answers) that they believe the judge will pick. They do not have to place the tokens on their own answers, and tokens may both be placed on the same answer, or split between two.
Now, the Select-O-Matic 6000 is flipped over and the judge’s choice revealed. The person who wrote the selected answer receives 1 point; players receive 1 point for each of their tokens that are on the winning answer; the judge receives points for each token placed on the winning answer. (Points earned per player per round, including the judge, are capped at 3 points.)
The Select-O-Matic and the job of judge then moves to the left for another round. Play continues until all players have asked two questions. (This is important for distributing the judge’s advantage to score among all the players. It can be hard to remember where you need to stop; we got in the habit of writing the first judge’s name on the scoreboard to make it easier to remember.) Game length is estimated at 30 minutes, but it can really vary depending on how many players there are, and how long players are given to answer the questions.
Our biggest “wish” for Say Anything wasn’t anything about gameplay – it was the player tokens. After having used the adorable Meeples in Wits & Wagers, we really preferred them; they’re cute, and easier to grab hold of. Other than that, we have no complaints whatsoever. It’s a great companion to Wits & Wagers, since play is similar, yet different enough that each provides a unique playing experience. Both games will be on our “frequent play” list this winter at home, and these are both games that are perfect for taking to family gatherings, thanks to their easy-to-understand rules and quick play.
It would be *very* nice if expansion packs were available for Say Anything Family, and I hope Northstar Games will consider adding some to the line.
Say Anything Family is not yet available on the Northstar Games website, but it is carried by several national retailers, including Amazon.com. Other products include the excellent Wits & Wagers Family edition, which I reviewed here.
To see what other crew members had to say about this product, check out the TOS Homeschool Crew blog post, Northstar Games – Say Anything.
**I received this product for free as a member of the 2011-12 The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew so that I could provide you with an honest review of it by our family.**