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Average Rating: 1 in 1 review
Scattergories is a great party game, so how could Hasbro screw up the electronic version?
In the boardgame version, teams roll a lettered twenty-sided die, then must write down as many words as they can that start with that letter, while fitting a category ('desserts'). It's classic fun.
The electronic edition eschews the writing down part, and instead has the device give you a letter and single category. So, it might say 'World Cities' and give you the letter R. The opposing team must come up with an answer. If they get it, they go on to another category. Once five categories are answered correctly, the device is handed over to the other team.
But the problem lies with the timer. As teams come up with answers, the electronic device counts down. The team that uses up all its time first (about 3 minutes) immediately loses.
Yes, that means the team that goes first almost always loses.
For example: Team A goes first and uses up 2 minutes. Team B goes next and also uses 2 minutes. Team A goes again, but since there's only 1 minute left, can't answer the five categories. They immediately lose. Team B happily high-fives each other, even though they only went once.
Technically, if Team A is really bad (or, to be fair, young), they'll lose the whole game before the other team has to even go. Not fun. Even for a party game, it's especially poor game design.
It's really too bad that the game is so seriously flawed. Except for the severe balance problem, the device is pretty neat -- it includes the option to have all 26 letters of the alphabet (rather than the normal 20), as well as varying difficulty levels. But, in the end, you're far better off just playing the boardgame version.