SHOUT Board Game
SHOUT BOARD GAME REVIEW
SHOUT is a high paced quirky ‘Party’ game and we found playing it a very entertaining experience.
It combines a degree of mental challenge with a time limit (measured by sand timer) which encourages a frenetic pace of guessing and frantic thinking. What we liked best about the game was that it is not a pure test of knowledge like trivia games can be – so if you have a real knowledge brainiac in your family, it can be frustrating for everyone else to play with them – instead it’s more about how quickly you can think, and about how lateral your thinking is. The more you play the more you get the hang of thinking laterally enough to get some of the questions, which range from fairly straightforward to very oblique! The other interesting thing we found though is that with this type of game/mental test, one persons straightforward is another persons tenuous/oblique i.e. people look at the same thing differently, which leads to quite a fulfilling gameplay experience.
The concept behind the game play is being given a topic or category followed by 9 words, phrases, pictures or clues and having to identify the right link to the topic. For example:
“What word links each of these pairs of names? Within each pair it’s the last name of one and first name of the other
So in this case the answer would be ‘Dean’ because we have James Dean and Dean Martin.
You have another 8 of these to try to guess before the time runs out. The time allotted is exactly one minute – which might sound like a lot, but when the timer turns over and your mind goes blank it can be over in a jiffy!
Unlike many other games in a similar space, the goal with the SHUT board game is not to go round and round spaces on a board. Instead, the game features an interesting structure which acts as question card holder, timer and scoring mechanism all in one (you can see the contraption in the image above). Now while we very much like the break from the standard method of trudging round a board, there is a little bit of assembly involved in putting the contraption together, which is usually something people are put off by. In this case though the assembly is pretty straightforward and takes at most a minute, and more likely less to put together.
In terms of scoring, when a team completes their turn, they add up how many they guessed, and that number is their score for the turn. They then move pegs along to reflect their score. The first team to reach 69 points wins. This winning point felt like a good length of game play in our sessions. Overall during our testing the teams we had scored around 5 per turn, meaning roughly 14 turns needed to win. So if each turn takes 1 min of time for the timer to run out plus 30 seconds in between turns, that equates to roughly 21 minutes per playing team, so 42 minutes in total as the game is designed for just two teams to play. Based on our research, that’s definitely in the sweet spot for this type of game.
So overall, we really liked this game. It featured just the right amount of mental challenge (bearing in mind it’s most likely to be played over a few glasses of wine which can reduce speed of thought!), helped to create a good social atmosphere and was enjoyed by all. If we had to pick one small gripe, if you played the game very often i.e. weekly or monthly you would learn the answers eventually. Having said that though, the same can be said of any ‘content’ driven game in general, and in reality, most people are likely to dust the game off every Christmas or every few months at most so we don’t see this as a real negative. Certainly in terms of the game play mechanism we see it being fairly compelling, and likely to lead to most players wanting to play again at some point.
WHO’S IT FOR – adult targeted party game for dinner parties and social gatherings. The box states Age 12+, and the content fits with this target, although we believe younger ages could play the game itself although they may not get all the questions/content featured.
THE TOY VERDICT – SHOUT board game is fun to play and offers a good level of challenge/competition for dinner parties and other social situations. It allows non brainiacs to compete with their more knowledgeable friends and families. The frenetic pace creates a really good atmosphere and heightens/intensifies social interaction. We’ll definitely be playing the game again, and believe most people buying the game will have fun playing it.