Saturday, November 25, 2006

The Best Game Ever

I should probably write about how I ate so much at Thanksgiving dinner that I was uncomfortably full for several hours - as in, I couldn't inhale without grimacing - then just regularly full when I woke up the next morning. It might make sense to know that my after-Thanksgiving shopping was so productive as to check off two whole family members for their gifts.

But who says that I make sense?

Instead, I am bragging about how JG and I rocked the house at a newly-introduced game and I would like to share it with you. I plan to whip it out at our New Year's Eve party and I am sure that hilarity will ensue.

The game is called The Best Game Ever (TBGE), and JG's cousin taught us this game because her friends invented it. Here is what you do:

Materials Needed:
  • People (6-10)
  • Paper and pen for each person
  • Big bowl or something like that
  • Stopwatch, or a watch with a second hand
Setup:
  1. Split up into teams of two and sit in a circle so that partners are sitting across from each other. For example, if you have three teams (A, B, and C), the partners should sit in the order of ABCABC around the circle.
  2. Distribute 2-3 pieces of paper and a pencil to each person. On each piece of paper, each person should write down and number five people, places, things, titles, or phrases that do not exceed five words each.
    - For example: 1) going sledding, 2) "Cheeseburger in Paradise", 3) my neighbor's dog, 4) milk, and 5) An Officer and a Gentleman
  3. Fold the slips of paper and put them into the bowl or whatever you have on hand. Give it a toss to mix it up.
  4. Designate someone who will man the watch and someone who will substitute in when that person is in play.
How to Play:
  1. Choose a team to go first. Roll a die, figure out whose birthday is next - whatever.
  2. A partner from the first team chooses a slip of paper from the bowl and time begins.
  3. The object of the partner with the paper is to help his teammate say the five items listed exactly as they are listed with verbal hints and/or gestures. The partner needs to start over with a new slip of paper if he:
    - Says a word or part of a word in the phrase
    - Says "sounds like ... "
    - Tries to spell it out
  4. Once the teammate has successfully identified the five items, the next goal is for that teammate to repeat them all in order and word-perfect. Unlike in the first part, the partner with the paper may not offer verbal hints during this stage.
  5. The teammate trying to repeat the items must start over if he:
    - Goes out of order
    - Repeats an item incorrectly, even by one tiny word
  6. The time limit is 60 seconds and is regulated by the person with the stopwatch.
  7. If the team successfully identifies and repeats the five items before time is up, the first partner keeps that slip of paper and can choose another one from the bowl to try.
  8. If the team does not successfully identify and repeat the five items, the paper goes back in the bowl for another turn.
  9. Once a team's turn is over, the bowl rotates clockwise and another team attempts to identify and repeat the items on another piece of paper.
  10. Play continues for a designated number of cycles around the circle (say, 2-3) or whenever the paper runs out. You decide.
  11. The winning team is determined by the highest number of slips of paper at the end of the game.
Good to Know:
  • The person with the stopwatch may not tell the players how much time remains in their turn.
  • Partners must alternate who guesses and gives clues. Whoever receives the bowl of paper will give clues; the same person on a team should not be guessing the whole entire time.
Okay, I know it sounds confusing, but it's sort of like Taboo and Catch Phrase with a little bit of Charades thrown in there. The real wildcard is that the players make up the items; you could end up with a list of craziness that you've never heard of or the list you made up yourself. Plus, if someone gets partially or even the whole way through a list but doesn't finish the repetition, you could draw it on your next turn and be familiar with it already.

So, JG and I were a team and if I can be so humble, we were freaking amazing at TBGE. In our first game, we were the only team to get two lists done in one turn, and since the second list was one I had seen briefly before, I was able to shriek the first three items ("Refrigerator! Keg! Microwave!") in swift succession before bringing it on home. And let me tell you, I'm no pansy game-player. I may not be an athlete by any stretch of the imagination, but I've got game. Lots of it.

In an added bonus, TBGE brought out priceless miscues when people were flustered or just plain didn't know what the things were:
  • "It's a band! 'Back in Black'! (seeing a blank stare) Ummm, this is two kinds of electricity!" - JG, describing AC/DC to me; I definitely needed that electricity clue...
  • "Sweat potato fries!" - JG's uncle, compensating for a misspelling
  • "Sleep sofa? Sleepaway sofa? Sleeping sofa?" - me, trying to say sleeper sofa
  • "What on earth are knocking boots?" - JG's grandma
Sure, family gatherings can be about catching up, bonding, and even eating a whole lot of food, but what does that mean when you can't talk some smack and do a victory dance once a while?

1 comment:

janet said...

I have been meaning to comment all week that I really want to play this game. I think I might convince my family to do it over Xmas. THanks for the idea! (I loooooove almost any game.)