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Phoney Baloney
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Store:  Party Games, Strategy Games
Genre:  Trivia

Phoney Baloney

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Product Awards:  
Games Magazine Awards
Best Party Game Runner-Up, 2003

Ages Play Time Players
12+ 30-40 minutes 2-8

Designer(s): Eric Holmstrom

Manufacturer(s): Thing-O

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Product Description

Phoney Baloney is the multiple choices, multiple chances game where everyone plays on every turn, and players can use knowledge, deduction and outright guessing to earn points by spotting the Phoney Baloney, or incorrect, answers.

The object of Phoney Baloney is to determine which two out of three possible answers are wrong! At times, you may not have an inkling as to which choice is fact, and which two choices are fiction, but don't let that stop you! Try to identify one or both of the Phoney Baloney choices and score BIG! There are two chances to score on every turn. Score once! Score twice!! Remember, guessing is part of the game. Phoney Baloney is easy and enjoyable to play. Once you have tried to identify the Phoney Baloney, the correct answer will be revealed. How well will you be able to spot the Phoney Baloney?


Where most trivia games simply offer a question with one correct answer, Phoney Baloney goes a different direction entirely. Not only does it provide interesting background information, it does something no other trivia-type game does. The twist in Phoney Baloney is that the object of the game is to guess the wrong answers. The Phoney Baloney. Of three multiple choice selections (with 2 incorrect and 1 correct answer), players have an opportunity once by selecting one of the incorrect responses, or twice by selecting both incorrect responses. This unusual game eliminates the feeling of self-consciousness often described by players of trivia games who may be unfamiliar with certain topics and embarrassed by their inability to provide the correct answer. Additionally, it offers players the opportunity for multiple scoring on each turn.

Yet another advantage over trivia games is the all play component of the game. Remember waiting, with increased restlessness and boredom, for your turn to come 'round again? Not so here. Every player plays on every turn in Phoney Baloney. This means every player has an opportunity to score on every turn, even the card reader.

Easy to start, fascinating to play, and even with players of all ages playing together, anyone can win! Topics for everyone. Great party game, conversation starter, or classroom tool! Takes 30 to 40 minutes to complete. Phoney Baloney is age-rated at 12 years (unattended) to adult, or from age 8 when played with an adult. The game play is so unique, it's patent pending.

Product Awards

Games Magazine Awards
Best Party Game Runner-Up, 2003

Product Information

  • Designer(s): Eric Holmstrom

  • Manufacturer(s): Thing-O

  • Year: 2001

  • Players: 2 - 8

  • Time: 30 - 40 minutes

  • Ages: 12 and up

  • Weight: 1,105 grams


  • game board
  • 8 game pieces
  • 660 questions
  • 1980 choices
  • 32 choice cards
  • 1 card holder
  • complete rules

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 1 in 1 review

Educational, but NOT FUN.
December 08, 2003

Im a big fan of Games Magazine, and often buy games recommended on the reviews found therein. The Games 100 is especially a favorite of mine. Party games are rarely reviewed elsewhere, so its a good source for me to find excellent, little known party games. Moods, one of my favorite party games, was found this way, so I had high hopes for Phoney Baloney the runner up for party game of the year in 2002.

So is Phoney Baloney worth it? The short answer is that its very educational, and extremely boring. Dont get this game! And now for the longer answer

First, a short description of game play

A game board, long and thin, is laid in the middle of the table. Each player takes a playing piece (colored question marks) and puts them on the starting space of the track on the board. There is nothing special about the track, just different colored spaces on which pieces are moved to show point accumulation. Each player gets three cards, an A, B, and a C. They also get a card that is split into half, one half saying 1st Choice, and the other saying 2nd Choice. A box of cards is then brought out, and one player is chosen to go first. Each player then takes turns clockwise until the game is over.

On a players turn, they take a card from the box, and read the fascinating (word in rules) fact, a question relating to that fact, and three possible answers, marked A, B, and C. Two of the answers are wrong. Each player, including the reader (since the answers are on the reverse of the card) takes their cards, and places the one that they think is most wrong face-down on 1st Choice. They then place the answer they think is also wrong (but are less certain about) on the 2nd Choice. After everyone picks their answers, the cards are all flipped over, and the reader reads to everyone the correct answer. Each player then scores points. If a players first choice is an incorrect answer, then they score one point. If their first choice is the correct answer, however, they get no points! If their second choice is incorrect, as well as their first choice they score three points! If only one player picks the wrong answers, they get a bonus two points, for a total of five points. Each player moves their piece on the track according to how many points they score. The first player to get to the finish space is the winner!

Some comments on the game:

1). Components: The box is bright, and very sturdy. All the components fit well inside the box, including the little boxes that store the cards. The question cards are easy to read. They are colored yellow on one side, and purple on the other making it easy to remember which side you are using. The playing pieces are funny little colored question marks. The game comes with little eyes that stick onto each piece, making them funny little characters to move around the track. The board itself is nice, even thought its nothing more than forty-five spaces to move on. All over the boxes and the boards are little words, talking about how great the game is. Components are bright and nice, but thats about it.

2). Fun Factor: This is why I dont like the game. The components are nice, and the game is full of educational facts, but its just not fun! Heres why

- The cards have a fact on them which is long, boring, and generally very little to do with the question.

- The questions are so easy, its not a challenge to adults. Even if you dont know the answers, its still fairly easy to determine which ones are wrong through the process of elimination.

- Guessing the wrong answers may sound like fun, but it just isnt.

- The game keeps going on, and on, and on, and on it takes forever for a person to win, even if they get all the answers right. We sat there, thinking that the game would never end.

- The game includes ways to have extra fun, like putting cards in your kids lunchboxes (Thanks mom!) or put out cards at parties (Hope those parties dont get too out of hand!). The designers were apparently under the illusion that people are hard up for fun in their lives.

3). Internet: I will give the producing company, Thing-O, a lot of credit for putting up a nice site . Each card in the game has a number in the bottom right corner. When going to the website, you can input that number to find out even more facts about that card. (As I posted this review to the web, however, the site was not working).

4). Educational: This game has incredible amounts of education in the box. This game might work in a school setting. However, it is my firm belief that in order for a game to be truly educational, it must be fun. Games are meant to be fun and Phoney Baloney doesnt fit they bill. Yeah, I can learn lots of facts about broken cultures and electric cards but are they fun or useful no!

5). Time: As I said before, the game is not quick, but rather slow. It is quick to teach, however, and even quicker to put back in the box and back onto the shelf.

I must sadly say, that while I like most games, and can find redeeming qualities in them, I cannot find any in Phoney Baloney. Its possible that some might claim that its educational, and it is. But an educational game that is not fun is worthless. I dont write many negative reviews, but I must urge my readers to pass this game up its not worth your money.

Tom Vasel

Other Resources for Phoney Baloney:

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