While games from Looney Labs have typically been oriented toward strategy and throwing monkey-wrenches into the plans of others, creator Andrew Looney takes a different direction with Choose One. As with iMAGiNiff, Choose One is all about knowing people and being able to predict their hypothetical decisions. While the former gives a long list of options, Choose One gets straight to the point in a “would you rather” one-or-the-other.
The mechanics in Choose One are straightforward. All players pick one of the many tokens (rocketship, brain, hotdog, button, anything that someone could want) and place them on the Start position of the board, which counts points up to 10, the Winner’s Circle. Every player then takes two Choice cards, one white and one blue, to distinguish answers during the game.
Each player takes a turn being the Chooser, and draws a card from the Topic pile. These Topic cards give pairings in white and blue such as the whimsical “butterflies or fireflies,” the deeper “hurry to the doctor or wait for it to get better,” and the thought-provoking “outer space or bottom of the sea.” Everyone lays facedown which answer they think the Chooser will pick (not what the correct answer is). At the same time, everyone flips.
Scoring is somewhat more complicated in that at least one player must get the Choice right and one must get it wrong. In that case, everyone who chose correctly gets a point along with the Chooser. If everyone chose correctly, then no one gets points. If everyone chose incorrectly, the Chooser gets two points. The rules warn against bluffing, which directly opposes the spirit of the game.
The reasoning for the seemingly complicated scoring system seems to be based in the overall theme: “How well do you know your friends?” It is about learning more about someone, thus giving the bonuses for something no one might have guessed and awarding no points for something obvious. Choose One is perfect for competitive friends interested in one another as well as icebreakers for groups or offices. It is a great choice for anywhere people could want to know one another better in a simple, either-this-or-that fashion.
Choose One is a game for three to 10 players, aged 14 and up. It only takes 20 to 40 minutes, making it reasonable for a party game: short enough not to lose people’s attention yet long enough to spur competition. The game board is flexible as well. For a quick game, players could agree to go only until six or seven points. For the more competitive, or just for those who are having a great time, players could go on to 15, 20, or any point total. With 300 Topic cards, it will be a long time before anyone gets the same card twice.