Just as Wits & Wagers turns trivia games on their heads, Say Anything, also from North Star Games, puts a new twist to the world of word-matching party games. In games such as Apples to Apples, players attempt to play the card most likely to be chosen by the judge. In Say Anything, that is where the game merely begins. The real meat of it, as in Wits & Wagers, is with the gambling.
For Say Anything, each player receives a marker, a dry erase board, and two betting tokens with a distinct color and emblem. The players take turns being the judge, whose job it is to read a subjective question such as, “What would be the best wedding present?” or “An alien ship landed on Earth. What should we do?” Once everyone has written their answers, the judge secretly chooses the board he or she likes best. The players place bets on whose board the judge will pick, and then the judge reveals their choice to the great joy or utter displeasure of the other players.
While the baseline of the game of answering thought-provoking questions is great mental exercise and good fun in its own right, Say Anything becomes competitive with the betting. Each player is given two tokens to place on any two different answers. When the judge’s decision is revealed, points are handed out to the person who gave the best answer and the players who betted on it, and the judge gets a point for each of the players savvy enough to have guessed. The rules limit the point-takes to three per turn, which gives the game a more even playing field. For those more daring, a house-rule could take away the limit, giving a thrill to cashing in with a dozen points as long as the same person does not win time and again.
Say Anything is not so much for those looking for deep strategy like bridge or chess, but more for folks wanting a light game to break the ice or give partygoers something to do while sipping classy drinks. There are no wrong answers, and the scoring system is easy enough that a little distraction from the game would not devastate a player’s chances at winning. The subjectivity of the questions themselves leads to a lot of fun pondering the hypothetical, and players could even continue the game after it is supposed to end by reviewing questions like, “Who was the most controversial figure of the past 50 years?”
Say Anything is a game for three to eight players, ages eight and up, and may be purchased at Target, Toys-r-Us, and Barnes & Noble. As with most party games, the more the merrier; the numbers can go well beyond eight with teams. The rules are easy to learn, and a round only takes about 30 minutes, making it a good length for a single round of an eventful night or a great game to play again and again.