Please note that I received a copy of the game "Randomise" free of charge in return for producing this blog post. However, opinions are my own.
|The obligatory box shot, ruined by an overhead lamp.|
I was delighted to be contacted by the makers of "Randomise" to see if I would be interested in reviewing their card game on my blog - one of my favourite pastimes is playing tabletop games with friends and I'm always interested in playing a new one.
Ahead of playing the game, I visited the games website to do a bit of preparatory research. The game sounded a bit like Charades, which is something that I've always enjoyed, but I did have a little bit of concern whether the group that I'd assembled to play, who are more at home with the likes of Munchkin and Cards Against Humanity (e.g. geeky / just plain wrong), would enjoy it.
And true enough, when I started reading the rules out, there was more than one comment from the table of "It's Charades" in not entirely energetic tones. I think a lot of people have mixed feelings about Charades, probably from family gatherings when they've been forced to play, and been judged on their ability to act out anything from "NCIS" to "Gone With The Wind".
Anyway, we began to play. In Randomise, players from two teams take turns describe, act, or draw a random identity that they draw randomly from three piles of cards, with the other team able to steal bonus points if the first team doesn't manage to guess the identity.
In short - It's not Charades.
It's a LOT better than Charades.
|The tactician plans how he's going to communicate his identity.|
By having three ways to communicate you're able to choose the best route for the identity, your talents, and the people you're playing with, and the game seems well set up for you to be desperately trying to get across, in a hideously short amount of time, a very specific thing.
The game is simple to play which makes it accessible, yet has enough complexity in it to make it fun. I do tend to find that a lot of games fail to manage this, and the game makers are so keen on sticking in extra mechanics that the game becomes impossible to keep track of. It's a testament to the people behind Randomise that they didn't push too far and make a fun game too complicated.
Everyone was surprised at how much fun they had playing it, it was a bit of an unexpected delight and a great start to the evening, and I think that we'll definitely play it again. It's got a broad appeal which some of my other games don't have, I think it's a great game to introduce people to tabletop gaming as people will recognise enough of the elements to be comfortable playing it, but because of the way it's been designed it's very much a new experience. And it'll also certainly be fine for the odd family gathering when you want something to play that everyone can take part in.
The price of it is also very good (currently £9.99 at Amazon including P&P), bearing in mind that it's all too easy to spend £20+ on a card game (and even £30+ on a board game) making a purchase a serious consideration - there are board games which have been on my to buy list for literally years, because I'm unwilling to commit thirty quid to a game that I might only play a couple of times a year. Keeping the price low should encourage people to give it a try, and based on the five star feedback on Amazon it looks as though it's been well received by everyone who's tried it.
I also like that the whole game is in a small box, which when you might be transporting four or five games with you for a tabletop gaming evening is a consideration which might result in this game coming along and another being left behind.
|This would be the drawing of the weak zebra feeding the ducks.|