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Party Game Review: Who Would Win?

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“Who would win?” has been a prehistoric question since the first caveman said to another that his father could beat the other’s. Gamewright has taken the age-old question and turned it into a party game for three or more players, ages twelve and up. While the length of the game depends upon how many players participate, fifteen to twenty minutes is a minimum for a moderately sized group.

My first take on the game thought it to be something like The Most Awesomest Thing Ever or the old barroom questions comparing anything from fighters, athletes, automobiles, or the grouse against the golden plover as Europe’s fastest game bird, which famously spawned the The Guinness Book of World Records. Rather than simply comparing two people, however, Who Would Win focuses the pairing into an event, leading to a zany debate among the players. For example, who would win in a game of darts between composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and demigod Hercules?

The game begins as one player is pitted against the player to his or her left as the opponent (each round, the opponent will change to the player two places from the left, so eventually everyone debates against everyone else). Two Character cards are drawn, coming up with one player getting something like “Abraham Lincoln” and the other “Lassie.” Then, the Event card is drawn so that the two are competing in a “survival adventure.” Using the twenty-second timer, each player debates why his or her character would win, and the rest of the players vote on who has the best argument.

Voting on the argument is the key to the game. Abraham Lincoln might win as he was born in the wilderness of Kentucky, thus having outdoorsman skills, as well as his incredible tenacity. Lassie, on the other hand, is a dog and naturally suited to adventure, saving supposedly superior human Timmy on a number of occasions. As per the instructions, “The players serving as the jury should judge which argument they liked best, NOT ON THE CONTEST ITSELF.” To this, the game gives various tips on debating such as reiterating a main point, making the argument fun as “People are more likely to vote your way if they laugh,” and “It may be unwise to argue or vote against your spouse, the host, or your ride home” (a warning that should come with any party game). The player who gets the most votes collects the Event card, and the game continues until a player has won five cards.

The game is definitely suited best toward lively people who like wild arguments. My play-testing was frustrated as I wanted logical argumentation, but that is what I get for being a stick-in-the-mud. Wordplay makes for great points, and when hilarious comparisons come up Darth Vader and Michael Jackson in Raising Children, everyone is a winner.

Who Would Win also comes with a great deal of versatility. The two hundred Character and Event cards would be useful draws for improv games or starting points for research. After we played formally, we fell to drawing showdowns for fun with open debate. The best fun is in pondering the questions themselves.

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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.