Excellent for punsters and word-buffs
Sometimes the things we work so hard to seek out are sitting there right before our eyes. Endless Games has taken this notion, often applied to images for visual hunts such as Where’s Waldo, and made it for word games in Oddly Obvious, “the game where all of the answers are in your face!” All of the answers to all of the clues are given to the players, but it is up to them to decipher the tangle of words.
Oddly Obvious works best as a party or ice-breaker game. One player serves as the “host,” drawing the cards and setting the backs in view of all players, who form up two teams. Each card contains ten multi-colored words, some rotated vertically to be read up or down to add a little spice of confusion. Each word correlates to a riddle on the back, many of them puns that will send players into spells of groaning and laughter.
To add length to the game as well as a layer of distracting words that players must see past, each card contains an “A” and a “B” round, meaning only half of the words will be in play at a time. Players determine which they wish to play that game to keep the clues clear. The host reads a clue such as “Pants for treats,” and the players race to find and call out the corresponding word: in this case, “dog.” The words are distinct enough that there should not be confusion, though the riddles are sometimes puzzling, such as “A gate is often attached” for “scandal” (Watergate, etc). Even if no one is able to decipher the riddle, someone may guess the correct answer first. The rules make no mention of a player simply reading off all of the words on the card as “guesses,” but such an action is clearly in violation of the spirit of the game and bad form.
When a player calls out the correct word, his or her team gains a colored token correlating to that word. When all five tokens have been handed out, the team with the majority of them wins the card. The first team to win five cards wins the game. With its quick pace slowed only by particularly puzzling clues, games of Oddly Obvious are usually short, about twenty or thirty minutes, making it excellent for a party game where players want to focus intently for a moment and then get back to socializing.
Oddly Obvious is a word-guessing game for three or more players, aged 12 and up. Pun-savvy or riddle-enthusiastic younger players might enjoy it as well. With its clear basic rules, players may easily create house rules to modify the game to their own styles. If no one is willing to “host,” teams could take turns asking one another the clues and only winning the card on a majority of correct first guesses. Alternately in small groups, teams may be eliminated and every player becomes for his- or herself. The possibilities are endless.
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