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Want a good laugh? Well, it's as simple as opening the box and playing Things... the hilarious game that presents players with provocative topics, like:
- Things people do when no one is looking
- Things your parents forgot to tell you
- Things you can never find
You won't believe the Things you'll hear!
Players: 4 or more
Weight: 1,206 grams
- 1 set of topic cards
- 1 response pad
- 1 score pad
- 10 pencils
Average Rating: 4 in 1 review
I run a board game afternoon each Sunday at my church, with quite a few people staying and playing games. The "designer" games see a lot of play, and people are usually quite willing to try new things. But party games still have a good following, as there's just something about them that people enjoy. Things... Humour in a Box (Quinn & Sherry Inc., 2002 -- designer not credited) is another in a series of party games that we've recently tried. Things... adds a bit of a memory element and deduction to your typical everyone-input-an-answer party game.
While not attaining the status of great party games such as Time's Up and Why Did the Chicken?, Things... did go over quite well in my groups -- enough to where it was requested time and time again. It didn't play very well with a teenager crew, but with adults -- everyone had a blast! There will be some that don't like the memory aspect (can be ignored using a variant), and others may attempt to be "gamey" when playing; but for the most part, Things... is a party game worthy of owning. (As long as you already have the big three -- Apples to Apples, Time's Up, and Why did the Chicken?)
Each player is given some paper, a pencil, and a stack of
Topic cards (300 are included in the game) that are placed
in the middle of the table. One person is the "reader" for
the first round and takes the top card and reads it aloud.
Examples of topics are...
- Things... cannibals think about while dining.
- Things... that are harder than they look.
- Things... you shouldn't say to your in-laws.
- Things... you would do if you were a giant.
All players, including the reader, write an answer to the card, and pass them to the reader. After receiving all the responses, the reader reads them aloud twice. Starting with the player to the left of the reader, each player makes one guess as to who wrote what response. If they guess correctly, they receive one point, and the player whose answer they guessed is out of the round. The correct answer also gives them another guess. If the player guesses incorrectly, their turn is over; and the player to their left (if not eliminated) gets a chance to guess. This continues until all players have been eliminated but one (or more than one, if no one can remember any of the responses), at which point six points are split amongst the remaining players.
The responses are never re-read, until half of the players have been eliminated, at which point the remaining responses are read one final time. After the round ends, a new reader picks a topic card, and the game continues. After a set number of rounds, the game ends; and the player with the most points is the winner!
Some comments on the game...
- Components: Things... comes in wooden box with a sliding, removable lid. The box seems fairly durable (I cracked mine, but I did drop it from a backpack while moving quickly) and is light. The box is also split into three sections -- one for the small pencils included with the game (all party games should do this), one for the 300 topic cards (which are okay quality -- as party cards go), and one for the response papers and score sheets. I have to stop and talk about the response sheets here, as I thought they were a clever idea. The response pad, which is thick (I guesstimate about 200 sheets or so), is perforated so that players can tear each paper into five equal strips. This cuts down on the waste from other party games (in some, we continually scribble out old answers so that we can re-use the same paper) and is a pretty neat idea. The only bad thing I'll say about Things... Humour in a Box is that the game doesn't look very fun, as the box, cards, and everything else just isn't flashy or very interesting. That doesn't reflect in gameplay but may affect people's purchasing decisions.
- Rules: The rules come on a single-sheet of paper, double-sided. They are short, as with most party games and formatted okay for the most part. I DON'T think it's NECESSARY to CAPITALIZE as many WORDS as they did in the rules, but it's not a big deal. Players learn the game quite quickly -- pretty much par for a game such as this.
- Easy Play: The game has some memory elements, and every game I've played in has people sitting there, trying to remember the different responses given. It's usually not that big of a deal; you can always guess the same incorrect response as the person before you with a different person, but some folks may not like this memory aspect. The rules mention an easy play variant, in which players can write down a word or two of each response to help them remember them better. Personally, I like playing WITH the memory aspect, but to each their own.
- "Gamey": I've played games similar to this with my classes before, and one problem can crop up. If one particular player is winning, each other player can, in turn, guess that player's name in connection with a different response. That player will, according to the law of averages, eventually be eliminated from the game, and probably, according to the law of grudges, be annoyed with everyone else. This has only cropped up once in my playings, but the possibility is there.
- Age, Players, Time: Since there is only one round for each person (we often change this), the game ends pretty quickly. The game can handle up to fifteen players (according to the box), although I haven't played with more than ten. It does NOT make a good game for four players, and I wouldn't play with less than six. One thing that I found was that the teenagers just didn't really "get" the game. They wrote answers that were too obvious from their personalities, and often had a hard time coming up with responses. Adults, on the other hand, did very well with the game and had a great time, even though occasionally the answers to the topics strayed into some very odd answers.
- Fun Factor: The most fun part of this game is hearing one player ask another incredulously, "You wrote that!!!??" When a demure player writes an answer that is totally out of character, yet funny or poignant, it really makes the game fun to play. Some of the topic cards, such as Things... you shouldn't advertise in the classified ads, lend themselves automatically to humorous responses, but it's interesting to see what people write to any topic. In fact, the game could even be played with a psychological bent -- to see what people's personalities are like from their responses, but I could care less; I'm just here to have fun.
If trying to guess what other players' silly responses to a topic are sounds like fun to you, then Things... is a great game that you should get. I enjoy the game; and while I won't pull it out as much as my top party games, it will see a lot of play. For one, it can handle very large groups of people and has a bit of a "breaking ice" type feel, where you can learn about each other (in a funny way). For another, the shock on people's faces when they realize the author of specific responses is just priceless sometimes. If party games go over well in your groups, this is one you shouldn't miss!
"Real men play board games."