Articulate has been around for a long time – over 20 years in fact we believe. And throughout that time it has been a top selling game. That doesn’t happen to bad games! The reason for Articulate’s ongoing success is that it is a genuinely great game. Not over complicated, hugely social and with just enough mental challenge to make it stimulating, but not so much that a glass of wine or two will make it unplayable!
The game mechanic is based on questions, answers & moving round the board in a race to the finish. The game is a really good length for this kind of experience – any longer and some players may switch off, any shorter may not be enough.
The game is all about testing powers of explanation and speed of cognition i.e. how quick you can get it! And so what ensues is an flurry of high speed description and guessing, followed by a large amount of banter/arguing over why the person couldn’t get it from the description given! So for instance, the describing player may have ‘Loch Ness’ on the card. They need to get their team mates to guess this without mentioning the name itself, what letter the word starts with or how many letters it has, and without using rhyming or sounds like clues. So the describer may say something like “its a big bit of water in Scotland rumoured to be home to a mythical monster.”
There are 6 categories of topics: Person, World, Object, Action, Nature, Random. This mix of topics is good, because you tend to find that people know different categories better.
Articulate offers a huge amount of play value – it’s so frustrating to buy a game and find that you end up knowing all the answers after only playing a few times. That isn’t likely with Articulate – the game has 3,000 items…we averaged just over 50 items per game, which is a drop in the ocean when compared with some games we have tested.
The game is played in teams, we had as many as 8 players in our tests, although the box suggests you can play with more.
We played this with a number of different groups from different walks of life, with different interests, knowledge/intelligence levels (although we’re not saying who was less intelligent!). The game worked well for all types of people overall. One of the amusing effects of the game though is a great degree of banter/bickering where couples are involved – because understanding how your other half thinks is expected, where couples clearly don’t quite get how their partner thinks it can cause a little light hearted friction!
If we had to find something to complain about with the game, we’d have to get really nit picky! The only thing we could comment negatively on was the spinner which fits into the middle of the board we found this a little clunky, although it really didn’t have any effect on either our enjoyment of the game or our willingness to play again, so that is a very minor observation really.
WHO’S IT FOR: This is a classic dinner party style game for adults – if you play games at all in such situations you should have Articulate in your collection.
THE TOY VERDICT: The Articulate board game is excellent, timeless, hugely sociable, mentally vexing at times and hugely recommended by The Toy Verdict.