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Family Party Game: ‘Wanna Bet?’

Party games routinely ask players to perform random or even silly tasks, but no game raises the stakes like Wanna Bet? from TACTIC. Crazy challenges meet Vegas as players make bets on whether or not the player on the hot seat will be able to “name four different types of precious stones” or “stand up from sitting down cross-legged without using his or her hands.” Players who successfully perform their tasks receive a tidy purse, as does anyone who bets appropriately. Wanna Bet? begins with each player placing his or her token on the board to go in a circle,…

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Party games routinely ask players to perform random or even silly tasks, but no game raises the stakes like Wanna Bet? from TACTIC. Crazy challenges meet Vegas as players make bets on whether or not the player on the hot seat will be able to “name four different types of precious stones” or “stand up from sitting down cross-legged without using his or her hands.” Players who successfully perform their tasks receive a tidy purse, as does anyone who bets appropriately.

wannabetboxWanna Bet? begins with each player placing his or her token on the board to go in a circle, randomly landing on spaces for “Active” or “Passive” challenges. Players begin with 80 units of play money, and, in a Monopoly-esque mechanic, receive 50 more every time they pass the starting square to keep the money flowing and the game going.

When a player lands on a “Passive” challenge, he or she must perform a mental task like thinking of six cities that begin with “S” or unscrambling a word puzzle made by an opponent. “Active” challenges are wilder, such as calling up a friend and getting them to say “chocolate ball” or giving an impromptu speech about sports. Each challenge comes with a corresponding colored timer, giving players 15, 30, or 60 seconds with corresponding difficulty. To encourage family play, each card comes with a “Junior” version of the action, giving younger players more time or less difficulty to keep up.

The imaginative party challenges are great, but what sets Wanna Bet? above the rest is its betting mechanic for scoring. Each game lasts a determined amount of time, such as 30 minutes, and the winner is the player with the most money when the clock runs out. Every time a player prepares to perform an action, the other players place “Yes” or “No” cards facedown with a corresponding amount of money. Most of the time, players will know what the challenge is and be able to ponder, but Blind Betting spaces throws the possibilities into the air. Players will have to ask themselves how lucky they feel.

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Since it’s a family game, the betting is kept fairly innocent, making it only against the bank with the same return rather than doing complicated odds. Players may bet up to half their capital, keeping skillful gamblers from rolling through the game and poor choosers from being wiped out. To keep players from “throwing” a challenge in an attempt to fix the game, Wanna Bet? keeps the yes/no bets silent until after the challenge. When a player succeeds in performing the challenge, he or she gets a cash reward equal to the amount in the bets, encouraging some quick math, which is always fun when getting money is involved.

Wanna Bet? is a family party game for three to six players aged eight and up. The Atomic Age-style art matches its spirit with hilarious and potentially corny fun. With a solid mechanic and hundreds of possibilities for actions, families and party-goers alike will ante up time and again.

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About Jeff Provine

Jeff Provine is a Composition professor, novelist, cartoonist, and traveler of three continents. His latest book is a collection of local ghost legends, Campus Ghosts of Norman, Oklahoma.