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The frantic contest where tip-of-the-tongue, top-of-the-head answers hammer home the victory. Frazzle and dazzle opponents with quick-hitting responses in any of 80 categories and win the race from Start to Finish. Fast! Frenzied! Fun!
Hammer in hand, the judge flips over a Frazzle card and reveals a letter of the alphabet. Players shout out words that begin with that letter and fit in the category the judge has chosen: "Things at a beach", perhaps, or "I own it". The judge hammers her approval for the first correct answer. After five cards, a new judge takes the gavel, and the room once again fills with noise and laughter. Order! Order! Order in the House!
What if Scattergories and Outburst had a child? It would be Frazzle! The rules of Scattergories are sped up in this game so that everyone just shouts answers out like Outburst. This game is not bad for a quick party game, but it does have a frustration factor.
For a description of gameplay see Tom Vasel's review. As he says, this game is not for those who care about winning too much. The judging is very subjective. Many of the categories have multiple right answers for each letter. This leads to the judge waiting to hear the one they feel is the best. It can get real frustrating if you aren't very quick on the draw.
The plus to Frazzle is the speed of game play. It goes pretty quickly and therefore serves as a good party game filler. There really is no limit to the number of players, as long as they can fit their token on the board, they can play.
Like Tom Vasel, I would recommend this game for an addition to a pre-existing party game collection. It works great in between other good games. If you are looking for something new that will entertain the whole group look elsewhere (May I suggest Time's Up?). Frazzle is a once in a while game, not one for play on a regular basis.
Most party games arent really about the winning or the losing. Instead, the concentration is on everyone involved just having a fun time playing the game. When you open the box of Frazzle, the frenzied game of words, you find a plastic, toy hammer. Immediately you can be assured that Frazzle falls into the category of who cares who wins games. So is Frazzle worth buying?
The short answer is that if you want a short, fun party game for people who dont care about winning/losing, then why not? Otherwise, stay away, or the game will drive you absolutely nuts. Now let me expound a bit
First, a short description of game play.
The board is set up in the middle of the table. Each player chooses a colored pawn and places it on the Start space in the middle of the board. The pawns follow a spiraling path that twirls out until it reaches the Finish space. There are six different colored spaces, but no text. On the outside edge of the board, there are eighty rectangle boxes with different text in each one. A deck of letter cards is shuffled and placed face down on the table (One card for each letter except for K, Q, U, X, Y, and Z)
One player then becomes the Judge. This player takes the coveted hammer (also known as a gavel). The judge then takes a small clear plastic token and places it on the category of his choice. He then sets aside five of the cards. The judge then flips one of the cards, so that all players can see the letter. The players must then shout out an answer that fits the category (Related to your family, Things in a Purse or Wallet, Considered Round, Found in a Jungle, etc.) that starts with the letter shown. The Judge picks the winning answer and hits the table with the hammer, signaling that that player gets a point. The player who gets the point can either move one space forward on the board or to another space that is the same color they occupy (this space must have an opponent on it).
The first person to get to the Finish space is the winner.
Okay, that was rather short, so lets move on to comments.
1). Components: The centerpiece of the game is the stupid hammer, I guess. My little daughters want to steal it and play with it, because it looks like one of their toys. The hammer on the box looks quite different from mine, so I guess you cant be sure what kind of hammer youll get. The box is thin, and fits easily on a shelf. It holds all components well, and isnt poorly designed. The board is a snazzy looking array of colors and is the nicest component of the game. Too bad it folds inward! The outside edge of the board looks rather cluttered, and I think that the categories would have fit on another deck of cards just as easily. It is nice that they included one box that says, Make up your own category so that the replayability of the game is a little higher. The cards are of mediocre quality, but are functional. The pawns and the tokens are low quality, but again are okay for their function. Dont buy this game based on the components
2). Rules: The rules are printed on a long brochure-sized paper on two sides. Even though the rules are simple, they are even more simple on this paper. I wish they had gone into just a little more detail. It sounds like someone quickly wrote down what the rules were, and no one ever went back over them and checked them.
3). Fun Factor: So does the game play make up for the mediocre components and badly done rules? Here Ill have to give an affirmative answer. Frazzle is a fun game, no doubt about it. For one thing, everyone loves slamming the hammer on the table. Also, the answers that people shout out can be hilarious. I was astounded at some of the answers that were shouted out for some of the categories. Some rather raucous and uncontrolled laughter can occur when playing this game, and that makes almost ANY game worth playing again.
4). To win or not to win: You MUST play this game to have fun. A crazed I-must-win-at-all-costs will absolutely hate this game. First of all, the rules state that the judge has absolute authority. This means that the judge can pick answers in the following ways randomly (which drives everyone nuts), answers that help the person in last place (which drives everyone but the last place person nuts), or answers that best fit the category (something everyone will argue over.) So unless everyone is in the game to have fun a lot of frustration and contention can occur. Also, the rule about jumping up to a space of the same color can be abused. As a player, I can sit back and not move, waiting until someone is close to finish, then jump to their spot. Thats a ridiculous game feature. Yes, it keeps everyone in the game, but it doesnt encouraging trying to win.
So, as my final note, I have to say that Frazzle is a whole mess of fun to play. However, when I want a good game, I wont ever pull it out. Frazzle is more of a fun activity than a game. I get no satisfaction out of winning and do not care if I lose.
There are better party games, like Times Up, Apples to Apples, Balderdash, and Spinergy. All these games are good games AND fun activities. Frazzle only has the fun, but no game. If you only want a few party games, dont get this game.
However, if you are looking for another party game to add to your collection of party games why not pick this one up? Its not expensive, and will provide you with a good bit of fun.
Players take turns acting as Judge. The Judge shuffles the Letter Cards and deals five facedown. After choosing one of the board's 80 categories, he reveals one card at a time. The first player to respond with a correct word for the category, beginning with the revealed letter, moves forward on the track. The winner moves one space forward, or to an occupied space the same color as the one he's currently on. This novel opportunity keeps leaders alert, for trailing players can often leap to unexpected success and win by reachmg the finish first. What starts with F and is "Enjoyable"? It must be Frazzle!