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Classic bluffing game where players make up the answers! Now with 5 categories--for 5 times the fun!
Average Rating: 4.2 in 4 reviews
If you have a family or a group of friends that can be at once knowledgeable and loopy, Balderdash and Beyond Balderdash are the perfect games. I was introduced to this one by a family member at an annual getogether in the Adirondack Mountains. There are usually fifteen to twenty of us ranging from ten to sixty-six years of age. The Balderdash series gives us a chance to be clever or stupid or both. Our college graduates had clever definitions. Our brain trauma family member had some hilarious definitions. Who knew there was a word for..
'The act of watching an old man put on swim trunks.'
Our family plays a lot of games and this one had us roaring so loudly that we scared away black bears from a dumpsite! Another great thing about these games is that 'the more the merrier' really applies to it. The more definitions you come up with the better the game.
The only drawback comes with folks who are shy. Balderdash insists that you be bold.
This is a truly fantastic game! Everyone I have introduced it to loves it, even those who despise 'party games'. Some people play to win; others play to make everyone else laugh. A good mix of both guarantees a fun time. One addition to the game I recommend is to keep a record of all your favorite bluffs in a notebook. Some of them will be so funny you won't want to forget them!
This game is played every time our group meets at a gaming convention--usually several times. The play is simple: one player draws a card (everyone gets to do this once during the game) and rolls a die to determine which category will be used from the card (Word, Person, Initials, Date, or Movie Plot). Then, the reader writes down the actual answer (e.g. 'Miller Walkerson--First person to hang glide'). Simultaneously, all other players are writing down their answer as to the person's claim to fame.
After all have completed this task, the reader takes all the papers, conceals so that no one knows which one he is reading, and reads through all the answers. This is often difficult, as it's sometimes hard to keep a straight face for some people's humorous responses.
Finally, everyone votes (if you like, you can write down the answers and all reveal simultaneously) and those who guessed correctly score points. Likewise, those who wrote convincing bluff answers which were voted upon by other players also receive points. Then it's on to the next reader.
The only real flaw with this game is the scoring rules and the game board. Simply throw away the board and award a point for each correct guess and a point for each person who selects your bluff answer. That way, the scoring is fair and reasonable (provided all players read the same number of times).
Consider this review as being for both the original Balderdash and Beyond Balderdash, as they are so similar. The only difference between the two is that "Beyond" has categories so you aren't just making up definitions to words.
I must say that adding the categories does make Beyond Balderdash a bit more fun, but it still lacks something. We used to play this game all the time when we needed a party game. Everyone had so much fun and we laughed and really enjoyed ourselves.
Something happens, though, as time wears on. People lose their creativity. There are only so many fake ideas you can come up with before you are burned out. Now Balderdash has become one of those games we dread playing, because no one can come up with decent answers.
It's been a long time since we have played Balderdash now, so perhaps we will be able to play a new game and have fun again, but I'm not sure. We are spoiled now having played so many other games of the same style that are better.
If you have never tried Balderdash then I would recommend you get it for occasional gameplay. If you don't play too regularly it should remain fresh and fun. If you are like me and have reached a point where you have tired of Balderdash, then try another party game. Better games with the same style of gameplay include Wise and Otherwise or Why Did the Chicken...?.