Friday, June 10, 2016

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the House Rules (Thanks to Concept)

I have always been fairly against house rules. My experience with them has generally been to shorten games, or make the games easier for younger players. There are other short games and no shortage of excellent kid's games (quick nod to HABA). However, my opinion changed Sunday when I was able to have all four of my family members sit down to play a game. Since Tyler is in Destination Imagination, I figured he was ready for games that require abstract thinking. So, I decided to pull out Concept.  

For those of you not familiar with Concept, here is the blurb:

In Concept, your goal is to guess words through the association of icons. A team of two players – neighbors at the table – choose a word or phrase that the other players need to guess. Acting together, this team places pieces judiciously on the available icons on the game board.
To get others to guess "milk", for example, the team might place the question mark icon (which signifies the main concept) on the liquid icon, then cubes of this color on the icons for "food/drink" and "white". For a more complicated concept, such as "Leonardo DiCaprio", the team can use the main concept and its matching cubes to clue players into the hidden phrase being an actor or director, while then using sub-concept icons and their matching cubes to gives clues to particular movies in which DiCaprio starred, such as Titanic or Inception.The first player to discover the word or phrase receives 2 victory points, the team receives points as well, and the player who ends up with the most points wins.

So, we had our teams, me and Joan vs. Mom and Tyler. However, it quickly became apparent that this was not going to work well with just two teams. So, we decided to break off into singles to make it all four of us as a team of 1. We then played a full game in which Joan won a close game, and we decided that a couple more rule adjustments were needed. First, we decided that easy words were worth 1 point, 2 points for medium and hard words were worth 3 points. And kept the 2 points for a correct guess. We also decide to add a timer for 5 minutes because we were all super polite the first game and never gave up on a word. So if the timer runs out, you get zero points. Therefore, it was more of a gamble to pick a harder word. We played this way, and I managed to win the second game. Joan begged to play again, but we did not have enough time, and she declared it to be her favorite game.

Changing the rules made a game that might have been a game we played once in a while to my daughter's favorite game (sorry takenoko). I guess i understand now why people change the rules of games and i'm totally down with it. PLAY ON!

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