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Racing through the deck of fame, your team competes in three fun-filled rounds to guess the most celebrities. But, the time is ticking, and you're scrambling to get your partner to identify the name on your card. Got it right? Grab another!
This deluxe edition of Time's Up! includes an electronic, programmable timer.
Average Rating: 4.5 in 36 reviews
This is one of the best party games that has ever been designed. Our family has been playing it since the beginning of time. We called it Celebrities, and played by having each person write out several celebrities names on small sheets of paper. But the professional produced version removes this first step. All you do is shuffle the cards, deal out the right number, and start playing!
For those of you who do not know Celebrities... read on
Celebrities (and Time's Up) is played in teams of two. When it is your turn, you have 30 seconds to go through as many cards as possible. The goal is to get your partner to say the name of the people on the cards you draw. You get 1 point per card. There are three rounds in the game. During each round, you are allowed to do something different when trying to get your partner to name the person on the card you drew:
Round 1) Taboo: you may say anything you want except for he names on the card. 2) Password: you may only say 1 word along with gestures 3) Charades: you may not say anything. All you can do is gesture.
You go through the same names during each round, so the players get increasingly familiar with the names that are in the game. The fun part of the game is that players will refer to previous rounds in order to communicate who is on the card. So there will be a lot of self-referential inside jokes that take place during the game. Hilarity is bound to follow.
I've played this game with four different groups of people, from serious gamers to casual players, and all have enjoyed it immensely. The obscurity of many of the names to be guessed can be daunting at first (who the heck is "Salada"?), but as other reviewers have noted, the more challenging cards often result in the most clever, and funniest, clues. At first we thought the 30-seconds-per-round rule must be a misprint, but we discovered this was just the right amount of time, especially after players have seen the cards several times. It was only because of the many positive reviews that I took a chance and bought this game, and I'm glad I did. For people who aren't afraid to act silly, this is a top-notch game that will have you laughing out loud.
We played with an extra round at the end which was great fun. No words or sounds or movement was allowed. Essentially it was just a freeze frame shot, so the partner had to close his eyes and be told to open them when ready. We found it a brilliant addition to the game.
I bought Time's Up at least 5 years ago because I saw it listed as an award-winner on the Internet. I loved it immediately but seldom had opportunities to play it. Then I took it to a "game night" with a group of mostly retired teachers and it was the hit of the party. At the next gathering, it was the first game requested, and at the party after that, I disappointed everyone by not bringing it.
This is by far the best party game I have ever played. My friends like Apples to Apples, Balderdash, Wise and Otherwise... you get the idea... but I think this game has the most laughs of them all. The fast pacing adds to the fun and keeps everyone involved. One of the best things about the game is that it can be played with a large number of people - I think 6 to 12 is ideal, but even more can play if need be, and no one gets bored waiting for a turn.
In my experience, no game has gotten as many laughs as Time's Up. I guess that its biggest praise is that it is easily the most requested game in my collection as well as the fact that playing the game with us has caused several other people to go out and buy the game themselves. Time's Up is also my wife's favorite game.
Time's Up is a party game and, as such, will not cater to everyone. We play a large variety of games, including many of the more popular party games like Apples To Apples, Balderdash, Guesstures, Taboo, Cranium, , Headbandz, 25 Words Or Less, and more. We also play strategy games like Puerto Rico and El Grande (and like them a lot), but for some crowds, only a party game will do. Time's Up is the choice number one.
When I first heard about this game, I was a little skeptical whether I would actually enjoy it at all. I'm glad that I was convinced to try it out. I picked up my own copy shorty afterwards. Inside the box, I found the standard party game fare: One 30-second timer, score pad, rules sheet and several cards.
Each card contains 2 names of people -- either real or fictional. Only one of these names will be used in any single play. There are easily enough cards in the box to last several plays since you will only need 40 cards for each play. Even after exhausting the deck, memorizing the names of the cards will only help you if you find yourself playing with someone that has also previously played with that same card. If you do end up playing enough that this becomes an issue, there are two expansion packs jam packed with new names. There are also blank cards available so that you can create your own set of names.
The rules sheet doubles as a reference sheet that contains a list of every name used in the game, plus a description of who each person is. These pages are not actually referenced until the game is well underway, as I'll explain below.
The game starts by selecting which set of names will be used -- there is a yellow side and a blue side to every card -- and distributing 40 cards evenly amongst all the players. The rules state that everyone then gets an additional card and then they pick any one of their cards to be thrown out for the rest of the game. We like to play without using this particular rule because it's those names that get thrown out that are often the most fun to play with since nobody seems to know who the person is.
Once everyone has taken a good look at their cards, all the cards are collected into a single pile and shuffled together. Each team then takes a turn trying to get as many points as possible. In the first round, one of the team members give out clues to her teammates. Any clue is valid, as long as any word that is spoken does not contain a significant portion of the answer. Clues may include talking, miming, singing, humming, or anything else that you can think of. You can even use "rhymes with" clues, as long as you don't say the word that the answer actually sounds like. For example, if the name you are trying to get is 'Cable', then you cannot say "it rhymes with table". You can, however, say "it rhymes with the wooden furniture that you use to eat off of.".
In this first round, the giver has 30 seconds to get as many of the cards as they can. However, the team cannot pass, making things a lot more challenging. The most hilarious moments come when two partners just can't click. Everyone else in the room may know the answer based on the giver's clues, except the partner! Even funnier is when the giver thinks of the perfect clue and the partner guesses the correct person for the clue, but the person on the card is somebody entirely different!
Admittedly, this first round can be intimidating for people who are not used to party games. I have had more than a handful of players throw up their hands and exclaim "I can't do this". In every instance, those players quickly got the hang of the game and had as much fun as the rest of us.
When a receiver correctly guesses the name on the card, that team gets to keep the card. Any card that they did not get goes back into the pile. The pile is shuffled and moved on to the next team. That means that, eventually, the same names will pop up again. Sometimes, over and over again. Fortunately, by the time the name has appeared a few times, somebody has memorized it and some associated clue and will guess correctly, even if they have no idea who the person actually is!
After all 40 cards are guessed, everyone pauses to slow down the laughter. Each team scores one point for each card in their possession. Of course, the fun is just beginning. First of all, we need to find out who exactly Henry Wadsworth Longfellow happens to be. The rules/reference sheet tells us who everyone is and, armed with the new knowledge, everyone is ready for the second round. All the cards are collected into one common pile and shuffled together once again.
In the second round, the team with the lowest score starts. This time, the giver may only use one single word as a clue. She is still allowed to perform any charades or hum a tune, but a second word defaults the current card. The giver still only has 30 seconds to get as many cards as possible. However, this time, she is allowed to pass. Not only that, but the guesser can only make one guess per card. This leads to a mad flurry of cards flying out of the way in search of some name with an obvious clue. That is, until all the 'easy' cards have been guessed and we are left frantically miming Placido Domingo, Fats Domino and Minnesota Fats. This round plays surprisingly fast, thanks to the one word clue, and the fact that everyone has already seen the names on the cards at least once.
At the end of the round, everyone counts their points again and we collect the cards to start the third round. This time, referencing the names sheet is not allowed but laughing at all the ridiculous miming and humming is encouraged.
For the third round, you are allowed to pass but you are not allowed to say a single word. This plays much like charades -- plus humming -- but with cards that you already know! This means that you can fly through 8 or 9 cards if you get on a roll, but you can get stuck with your partner consistently yelling the wrong name if Barney The Dinosaur, Barney Rubble and Fred Flintstone are all in there! Since only one guess is allowed per card, you are forced to pass and move on to the next card.
After three rounds, everyone counts up their last batch of cards. The winning team is the one with the most cumulative cards collected in all three rounds. Of course, by this point, hardly anybody cares about the score. Everyone is usually laughing and rearing to play again.
We have played the game with as few as 4 and as many as 16 people. I find that 6 is probably the best number. With more than 8, you'll want to start grouping people in more than two per team. We like to partner people up who are the least familiar with each other. Generally, the game seems more fun when partners have completely different interests.
Time's Up is the most fun that I have ever had with a party game.
To the one-star review - pleeeeeease give Time's Up another try, if you did indeed misunderstand the rules the first time. Here's the beauty of the game: It's less about charades or knowing famous names, and more about remembering the clues your fellow players invent. It doesn't matter if those clues were right or wrong. In fact, a failed, "messed-up," or convoluted clue in the first round will, quite often, become the memorable key to winning in the third.This also applies to those names that need to be "sounded out." They make take two or three trips around the table, but part of the fun is when you've seen a card go by, and you suddenly "get" what another player is trying to do with it, and how you can build on their idea if it comes back around to you. This dynamic keeps everyone in the game and paying attention. Though the game might sound daunting to some, it's easier than you think, and scales well to the various skill levels in a group. It's also packed with laughs and surprise; a definite hit with our group!
Time's up is by far the best party game to come around in a long time. If you tire of the roll your dice, move your piece, answer a question, then repeat style of party game, try this. OK, it is similar to Charades in some sense, but trying to describe a person rather than an object or title is really fun. It can be difficult at times, there are certain people that I have no clue who they are, however you can sound it out to describe the person and you will learn about the person along the way. Warning - The game description says 12 and up. I think 12 is way too young unless they are very well read.
The game is played with teams of 2 or more (we prefer 3, 2-player teams) trying to guess what's on the card. If your partner(s) guess correctly you keep that card and get a point at the end of the round. There are three rounds of play in which YOU MUST GO THROUGH ALL 40 CARDS (NOT 1 or 2 as described in another review):
Round 1 - Describe the person on the card verbally and with action. However in round 1 you can't pass.
Between rounds 1 and 2 only, you read back all 40 cards so that everyone has an idea of who is in the deck.
Round 2 - Describe the person with one word and with action or humming/whistling (obviously great for songs). You can pass in round 2.
Round 3 - Describe the person with action or humming/whistling only. You can also pass in round 3. This round is usually the most fun, especially when you get one of your macho male friends to act out Cher, Madonna, or Eva Peron.
In summary, this game is wonderful and will keep you laughing.
Great party game!!!!
This game sounds dumb when you get started, but it ends up being a blast. The entire idea of reusing the same famous names is genius. Three rounds and you already know every name that's in the deck halfway through the game. It all comes down to your partner sparking the right name in your memory.
The amazing thing is how much fun it can be, even when you don't know some of the names at all. You will find yourself matching names with the most obscure things, but if it works don't mess with it. We played one game where, somehow Laurence Olivier got aquainted with sand, but it made it so that he was much easier to guess in later rounds.
If you have no idea what I am talking about, then just trust me, try this game out! Believe me it's a riot. You can always go back to the instructions and find out who some strange name is, it has a brief description of each one of the names in the game.
I had my doubts when I heard about Time's Up. After playing it a few times, it has easily become our favourite party-style game. We have played it with a variety of crowds and it never ceases to be a great time.
We find that the best way to crate partners is to randomly assign them, with spouses or siblings separated to remove any unfair advantage. The game is most fun when the partners know the least about each other.
I recently played this game with a group of friends and we had a blast! Where else can you find a game where the word 'sandwich' would mean The Count of Monte Cristo? Or an imitation of Michael Jackson would represent Jackson Pollack? This game will have your group in stitches. No one knew who Methusulah was, but when someone said 'I think it's a Greek salad', the laughter was uncontrollable. Buy this game and spend a night with friends being silly and creative at the same time
I bought this game two years ago at a local Barnes and Noble because that evening, I was hosting a party and needed something to spice things up. I had no idea what it was really about but the directions seemed interesting. Needless to say, we had a blast that night and every other time that we played the game.
Yes, it's not a totally orginal idea and yes, there will be famous people whom you've never heard of! Don't let that stop you though! Even if you don't know who the celebrity is, there are ways that you can still get your teammates to guess them. Also, there is a little booklet that comes with the game that explains who everyone is/was.
In short, whenever we play, I laugh so hard my sides start to hurt and my cheeks start to ache! You'll find your friends (and even yourself!) doing the zaniest things!
We just through a dinner party for 3 other couples and played this after dinner. It was so simple to explain, we got started right away. I'm embarressed that I did not know all of the characters, but who does?
We loved it, thought it was so easy and fun!
Times Up is a great party game for couples. My husband and I enjoy getting together with our friends to play this game. It can be enjoyed by four or more players/teams.
The first round of the game each player takes out three names from his pile which he prefers not to play with. This makes the game more player-friendly. You start the game by dealing forty cards between the teams. Each team is given thirty seconds to determine as many names on the cards as possible. You can say or act out a clue that will enable your partner say the exact name on the card. You cannot give clues that sound like the name on the card or clues that give away letters in the word. Because you are not allowed to pass, it is very likely that you and your partner will only get two or three cards at the end of each thirty second round.
During the second round of the game you can give one word clues and act it out. The partner is only aloud to give one answer. This is necessary, since you are already familiar with the names. You are allowed to pass if necessary. It is good to do some sort of action with a one word clue in order to prepare for the third round.
The third round of the game is very simple. You can only act out the clue. This part of the game is very amusing. There are no words allowed. The partner is only allowed one guess and passing is allowed this time also. Sometimes passing until you find a card that you know your partner can guess correctly will work; but it can also take up a lot of time flipping through all the cards thus making it more difficult to gain an advantage over the other teams. The team with the most name cards guessed at the end of each round wins.
I really liked this game. Honestly I didnt know who half of the names were at the start but as the game progressed I learned. I must admit my partner (husband) got a bit frustrated at my ignorance at times but that only added to the fun. We played with two other couples and found the ladies were usually the ones behind the goof-ups; however we also discovered the girls were better at acting out the names in the third round. One lady player actually pretended to sniff drugs, which busted everyones gut.
Like I said, I didnt know half of the names to begin with but I appreciated the other half of the names that were of cartoon characters, famous actors, and current legends. By the end of the game I did know almost all of the names by heart, but with the pressure of time and only being allowed one answer, we all still had a difficult time getting very many cards in a turn. I look forward to playing this game again.
I amused myself with this game at my friend Toms place not to long ago. There were three couples playing, just about the right amount of people. At first it looked like just another party game but we all learned it was a step above.
Very simplistic in its game play but the re-playability is great. The game maker supplies many game cards more then you could through in many many games. The cards each have two names on them, which are color coded. Tom and the rules say there is no difference in the colors as far as difficultly but everyone else agrees that one of the colors is much harder then the other.
Some of the names selected are very difficult to describe especially to someone who has no clue who Mr. Spock or Howard Cosel is. I have a degree in History and at times even I was hard pressed to identify every card. Not only are historical people included in the cards but many of todays pop culture is thrown in. Not real obscure people but people you cant help but know. This game also has an educational value to it! My wife now knows who Shaquille O'Neal is.
I am going to buy this game once my buddy Tom and I part ways. Why buy it if he owns it?
Time's Up - the best party game I have played in years!
Now that's the short summary. But really, the first time we pulled this out to play, after we finished, everyone was just rolling on the floor in laughter - and that's a rarity with us.
We've played a lot of good party games recently, Apples to Apples and Moods come to mind. It seems that party games in these days, thanks to some excellent submissions, are being pushed to better quality and better ideas.
Now to the review:
When I first opened the box, it looked like many other party games, where there was a stack of cards, a timer, and a score pad. No innovation there. Then, as the rules instructed, we dealt out 40 cards among the six players playing, and then 2 more per player. Each card had a blue name and a yellow name on it. For this game, we would play with the yellow names, although there was really no difference. We were then allowed to discard 2 cards apiece, so we all got rid of 2 names we didn't know. We then had a deck of 40 cards, and the instructions said to put the rest of the cards away, that we wouldn't need them for this game. THAT floored me - I was fairly happy that the cards in the box would last many games.
Time's Up has three rounds. The first round is the longest. Starting with one team (teams of 2 are preferable); one person takes the deck of cards and gives clues to their teammate, trying to get them to guess the name on the card before the timer runs out. You can say anything you want, pantomime, except for the name or part of the name on the card. Sounds easy - and sometimes it is, but when either the clue giver or guesser doesn't know who in the world the person it is - it can be quite a chore. This is where a lot of laughter ensues. You can say things like: 'The first name is the same as your brother's oldest child, and the last name sounds like the construction vehicle!' to get Steven Crane. And believe me, the clues people give each other often border on the hilarious! Once a name is guessed, the card is taken out, and the next name is used. What makes it hard is that there is no passing in this round, so if you're stuck with a hard name, tough!
Once all the cards are done, everyone gets one point for each card their teams have. Then, the names are read aloud, and the instructions have a glossary with a short definition of each name in case no one knows who the person is. After everyone says 'Oooohh, so that's who they are!' the cards are reshuffled, and round 2 begins.
The differences between round 2 are these. 1). You can pass - hooray! 2). The guesser only gets one guess - if they guess wrong, put the card aside. 3). The clue giver can only give one word. (and sounds and pantomimes. It's not as hard as it sounds, since stupid clues and sounds we made the first round now become the clues for this round.
Round 3 is the exact same as round two, except for no words at all! This can be very hard, and it's hilarious to watch people's pantomimes. My wife has never touched drugs, but the pantomime she did of sniffing up some brought tears of laughter to all of our eyes - in fact I was laughing so hard we lost all the rest of our time.
And that's the whole point of the game - the point of any good party game. Having fun and laughing. That's the reason that Beyond Balderdash is my favorite party game (but this one is just as good, I think). It doesn't matter if you lose - horribly, as long as you have a good time.
Now, I do think that it's quite possible that Time's Up would be a dud with the wrong group. You have to jump into the game and just have a good time. However, that kind of group rarely plays party games. If you are reading this review, then you'd most probably like this game. Two expansions, adding even more names, are already on the market, as well as a set of blank cards - so it seems like the game should have very high replay value.
I highly recommend this game - good price, great fun, is playable in a about an hour, and will make you laugh as you've never laughed before.
This is worth the money! My stomach still hurts from all the laughing I did last night. It's like charades only you play in rounds that become more challenging. In the first round you're using many words, and gestures to get your partner to say the name of a famous person. The second round, you're using the same names of famous people, BUT you're only allowed one word and all the gestures you want. The last round it's ONLY gestures. Hilarious!. Games goes quick, very easy to learn, and everyone has a great time. Lots of names I didn't know but you pick them up in the early rounds with sounds like and can then win in the second and third round. Even if you lose you laugh so much it doesn't matter. Great one!
When you play this game you quickly realize how some people you just forget about, while others are firmly entrenched in your heart! This game takes you to very high levels of fun interaction with everyone very quickly, producing hours of hilarious laughs!
The game is played in three rounds and follows a basic charade-like format. Each round becomes more and more difficult while you try to remember all the great clues everyone used! Finally the team with the most points after three rounds claims title to the most knowledgeable of famous people... until the next game!
I absolutely love this game!
I love this game! It is so much fun and the laughs get louder and more frequent as the game progresses! (especially in third, no talking round) I recommend this for anyone having a bunch of friends over. Great ice breaker too! Another neat thing about this game is how in each round you end up using clues that other people used in previous rounds and end up with little inside jokes that stay with you for years.
This is one of my family's favorite games. The payoff of the final round is always hilarious. The names in the set are diverse and well thought out and the option to discard a couple before you begin is a welcomed option.
This one is in constant rotation at our house.
This game is lots of fun to play, and it's also fun to watch. I always have a great time. The one outside item we've added to our games is a beeping timer. This way no one has to watch the timer to see when a team's time has run out.
That's because this game really does bump the other party games down a notch.
This is another game that I had for quite some time before I actually got to play it. I think that may be in part because reading the rules doesn't convey how fun this game is to play.
The rules are very quick to read. There are only 3 small pages, and you really don't have to pre-read them. You can just open the box, start reading the rules, and be up and playing in a couple of minutes.
If I were trying to describe this game using other games as references, I would call it a cross between [page scan/se=0149/sf=category/fi=stockin.asc/ml=20]Taboo and [page scan/se=0579/sf=category/fi=stockin.asc/ml=20]Charades, (the second choice for my header was going to be 'Chaboo!'). Time's Up is really even better than that. I think it's because it forces people to be creative, and it gets people out of their normal comfort zone. Even people who aren't crazy about playing charades (that would be me; I'd much rather play a board game), seem to enjoy Time's Up.
And then there's the inherent humor that this game elicits. In every game I have played, there has been at least one pantomime that has brought down the house. In the last game, it was Long John Silver. (You'll have to come up with the mental image on your own!)
If you're looking for a party game that is easy to learn, quick to play, has great replayability, and is a good value to boot, then look no further.
I feel compelled to add my sterling review of Time's Up, because it quite simply is one of the best party games I've ever played. I agree, it blows [page scan/se=0551/sf=category/fi=stockall.asc/ml=20]Apples to Apples out of the water. It crushes Pictionary. Cranium is still high up there in my book, but Time's Up seems to have a quicker pace, a more enjoyable flow, and gets even the most bashful non-gamer up out of their seat.
It's a great party ice-breaker with new people, it's great with the family and friends, or even with another person to just play with one another. It's a great mix of charades and Who's Who, and you really do gain knowledge of historical figures as you play. Even if you don't know the name on the card, you can still break up the name to get your team to answer correctly (e.g. Fred Astaire: 'What is the first name of the big guy in The Flintstones?', 'What do you climb to get the second floor of a house?'). It allows for much creativity, many a laugh, and puts everyone on the stage, if only for a moment. It's pretty impossible not to have fun while playing Time's Up. Trust me. You'll love it.
It's rare to come across a truly great party game. Sure, there are a few that everyone knows (e.g. [page scan/se=0149/sf=category/fi=stockall.asc/ml=20]Taboo, Pictionary), but how long have they been around? Newer games, more often than not, have been disappointing. Exhibit A: check out the premises of some of the 2002 GAMES 100 best party games including Hilarium, Scenarios, and Who Said That? (in fairness, I haven't played any of these games, and they may in fact be just swell).
It is unfortunate that this game hasn't received a lot of attention and could easily be lost in the glop of so many other party games. I will admit that the premise is not entirely unique, and even the title and box are fairly mundane. But, for whatever reason, this game works, and it works well. [page scan/se=0551/sf=category/fi=stockall.asc/ml=20]Apples to Apples is a good, fun party game, but I challenge anyone to play it more than once in a sitting. That game quickly becomes boring and loses its appeal. Not so with Time's Up. The game has a high degree of replayability and, best of all, it's a good party game that actually requires some thinking, unlike Apples to Apples in which you could literally play cards blindly from your hand and win for your 'hilarious' non-sequitors or for your incredible accuracy. (How on earth did that game win the Mensa Best Mind Game Award? And who is buying the expansions? But I digress...)
Quick, use one word to describe Idi Amin! Now try miming Idi Amin! (Fortunately, most of the names are not this difficult.) This game plays well with just about any number, and the price is beyond reasonable. Do yourself a favor and buy it now.
Played this game with some friends and now it has become a party tradition. One of the better party games I know. Can't wait to introduce it to all my friends. Especially like how the narrowing guessing mechanic necessitates coming up with group buzz words and signals that translate into hilarious miming in the final round. The closed set of names is what does it. It is great fun to smile knowingly in later rounds as the guessing team struggles to make out what their teammate is trying to indicate. Awesome Game!
This game is absolutely hilarious! It was really simple to learn and easy to explain. It has an incredibly diverse bunch of names in the deck and the things people come up with to portray the characters on the cards are the best part of the game. It really makes you laugh! We played this recently with 6 people and then with 10 the next night--it just got better!
I am one of those gamers that prefers strategy games to party games any day. So many of the party games in existence are about the fun experience more than the competition, but when I become aware of the futility of trying to win and find myself more irritated than entertained, I know the game isn't working.
I also live in a household full of party gamers, so when I can find a game where I am laughing and having a good time so that I am not trying to compete, I have found a winner. Time's Up! is like that. Yes, there is a scoring mechanism, but in the end no one cares because it is about the process.
The game is a combination of charades and Password with a great deal of memory recall as you play the same cards in all rounds. By the end, you will actually come away having learned a little trivia but more than likely you will recall the funny way someone acted out Britney Spears or Albert Einstein.
Not so easy to locate any more, but worth the search.
This is a great party game, but unlike most party games (in my opinion), it's challenging, too. You and your partner have to get people to say the exact names of famous people printed on cards, by doing anything you wish, except saying any part of the name. Hand gestures, facial expressions, vocal clues, all is fair game...in the first round. In the second round, you can only say one word, and your partner only gets one guess, and then you have to pass. In the third round, you can only act it out...no words or sounds, just act it out. Great fun for anyone!! I gave the game 4 out of 5 stars, only because I believe any game can always be improved in some way...house rules, and what-not...but Time's Up is really fun straight out of the box. Buy it, and have some fun!
This game is about acting out what's on the cards, but it is also about recreating the ridiculous things your fellow players have just done.
By the second round, you'll be reproducing the untimely sneeze someone did, or trying to imitate your teammate as he scratched his head with confusion.
It almost helps this game if you DON'T have any idea who the people listed on the cards are.
It was exhausting, but we had a laugh-filled time with this one.
My game group has tried this twice. The first time we had eight people who were all interested and paying attention... and not a shy person among us. It was a great 1 1/2 hour game.
The second time we tried it, there were several people who wanted to sit back and watch. Unfortunately, they all wound up on the same team. Meanwhile, 2 really good know-it-all players were on the same side, and railroaded every answer through. While impressive, it really made the game long and unfun for the rest of the group.
1) Make sure you balance out your teams as best as you can. It's not as short and light a game as the packaging suggests, and you can't switch things around once the game has begun.
2) Don't start the game LATE in your party, or someone's sure to have to leave, and it'll ruin the game for everybody else.
This is a fun, and potentially wild charades game. Be prepared, however, to invest a lot of time explaining how to play, and encouraging everyone in your group to 'loosen up a bit.'
It's not like 'Taboo' or some other party games, where everyone gets the basic concept and you're off and running.
However, if you have a dedicated group of 6 or more, TIME'S UP can be much more rewarding than ordinary charades or Pictionary--which have a tendency to peter out after a half hour or so.
In the tradition of Balderdash (Dictionary), Are You a Werewolf? (Werewolf) and Word Xchange (Anagrams), Time's Up is a nice packaging of a game you already own for free...Celebrity.
While $17 isn't really a lot to shell out, all you need to play this game is a pencil and some note cards.
True, it does save time to draw names from a deck of pre-printed cards, but that can also limit the variety of choices and surprises after a game or two. Then, of course, you'll simply have to spend more money on the 'Expansion Pack'.
In fact, you could just read the GAMES Magazine summary on this very web page and you'll be ready to play.
When I look for a party game, I want something that I can get a group of people into quickly. I want something that's rewarding, but not too difficult. Something like Taboo, or maybe Scattergories or Pictionary.
If I'm going to play a tough game for over an hour, I want something strategy or more rewarding than charades.
The trouble with Times Up! is that for a light group game, it's long and takes a real long time to get started. A lot of people didn't really get it until the game was half over. And no one wanted to start from the beginning again.
I'm sure it's great for brainy, aggressive people with a lot of energy. But I pass.
Okay, it's a basic game of guess-the-famous-person. But it has a couple of major problems.
First of all, many of the names on the cards are either unknown or difficult, depending on whom your teammates are. Secondly, the timer only gives you 30 seconds. How many names can you describe in 30 seconds? You are not allowed to say or spell part of the name, although you may use pantomime, gestures, or sound effects. Try "Rodin". It takes 30 seconds just to come up with and give the clue. You are not allowed to skip a name in the first round. You're just getting started when the timer expires.
The rules make a suggestion that if the name is unknown, you should break apart the words in the persons name to "sound it out." In 30 seconds? Again, not too likely.
When we played, our team correctly guessed 1 name in the first round, and the other team got 0. Not a lot of fun there.
Now you may think that our group just isn't skillful enough giving clues. But this is not a game that's targeted at gamers, the sort of people that might analyze the game and figure out the best way to make it work. It's a party game, where you should be able to whip it out with any group and have fun. Most people will not have played it before, and they're not going to find it easy.
One of the alleged advantages of this game is that you use the same cards in three different rounds, so eventually you get to know the names that are in the stack of cards you're using. What most reviews don't tell you is that the stack has around 40 cards in it, and you shuffle the stack between rounds. If you've only gone through 2 or 3 cards in the first round, there's not much chance you're going to have seen which cards come up in the next round.
During the second round, you have to get your teammates to guess the name by giving only a one-word clue (again, you may use pantomime, gestures, and sound effects). In Charades, you could probably do it, but only because there's no time limit. Unfortunately, in Time's Up, you are still limited to 30 seconds, which makes it nearly impossible.
Now try doing it in the third round using no words at all.
In our gaming group, I never saw a game tossed aside faster. I wish I could give a rating of 0 stars.
The verdict for this game is that its time is up.
I knew this was based on the old game 'Celebrities.' But I didn't realize it was EXACTLY that game, placed in a box.
Sure, they've pre-printed a bunch of famous names on cards for you, but that only makes it more likely to for games to seem the same after you've played once or twice.
(For those of you who haven't heard of Celebrities, write a bunch of famous names on slips of paper and place them in a bag. Then play rounds of charades with them. First round, anything goes, then put all the names back into the bag. Second round, 1 word maximum. Third round, no talking.)
It just doesn't seem right, to charge people that much for a box.
Quick! Pass a deck of 40 randomly chosen celebrity name cards from team to team. The clue-giver has a mere 30 seconds to communicate the identities of as many cards as possible, using words, pantomime, and sound effects. The round continues until all names have been guessed. Give each team a point for each card they've won, then take all the cards back--you'll need them for the next two rounds. In the second round, you're only allowed to say one word per name card, and in the third and final round you must make do with no words at all. The team with the highest total of all three rounds wins. A good memory and rudimentary acting ability will bring you success, and the 864 name cards assure you many merry moments.