Saturday , May 25 2024

Game Review: ‘Scattergories Stackagories’ from Winning Moves

Setting Up for Stacking

Scattergories Stackagories from Winning Moves Games is a new twist on the classic listing game. Scattergories has been entertaining game nights since 1988 with its challenge to think of words in a category based on letters rolled on a die. In this new game, rather than players independently working to make a list with one letter in different categories, Stackagories pits players against each other with a broad range of letters to add variety, speed, and strategy.

The original Scattergories was all about a single letter across a variety of categories. In Stackagories, players get much more flexibility, with nine letters laid out in a square from the deck of Letter Cards. Each player receives a set of stacking pieces looking like four-sided traffic cones to mark their choices as soon as they think of them to match the Category card drawn from the second deck, such as “Backyard Things,” “Animals/Things that Fly,” or “Words that End with ‘E.’”

Racing to Think

As soon as the category is revealed, players flip a one-minute sand timer. The game becomes raucous as players call out different answers to match the letters on the cards and place a piece on the corresponding Letter Card. If another player thinks of another word fitting into the category with that same letter, they can place their piece on top of that of the player who called it earlier. For example, in “Types of Cheese,” one player might claim “C” with “Cheddar” only to get trumped by “Colby Jack.”

When the minute timer runs out, players add up their points. First, only the top pieces are counted. Then, players who won a letter receive an extra point for each piece that is underneath their winning top piece. This means players can rack up their scores by thinking of things beginning with the same letter in the category, such as in “Candies” naming “Mars Bar,” “M&Ms,” “Milky Way,” and on and on for maximum points. Players can also score a hefty bonus of five points by having three winning pieces in a row.

Strategies to Score

Because Scattergories Stackagories offers so many ways to score, savvy players will develop strategies that work best for them. Some players might hurry to name as many things as possible, spreading out across the letters and locking down answers since they cannot be repeated. Other players might hold onto good answers to the last second to ensure their choice wins. Players might even focus on thinking in certain directions to achieve the valuable three-in-a-row bonus.

Scattergories Stackagories is a listing game for two to four players aged 12 and up. Games go by quickly with each round lasting only a minute. The first player to 50 points wins overall, which could be only a few rounds if a player is clever at getting multiple pieces and three-in-a-row to score bonuses. For tougher categories or more obscure letters, the game may last longer, but as soon as one game ends, players will be eager to draw new letters for another challenge.

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.

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