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As I have said in some previous reviews about board games, we don't get out much these days, having two small children, so we are always on the look out for good games that we can play at home with friends.
Scattergories is certainly a game to fit the bill particularly if you like playing word games. The name of the game itself is a play on words - for scattergories think categories!
The aim of the game is to think up original ideas in many varied categories all depending on a starting letter. It is a game for two to six players, and at the start of the game each player is supplied with an answer sheet, a pencil and a category card. The answer sheet has three columns to write answers as the aim is that three rounds will make up a game!
There are twelve category lists in all - each list has twelve categories making a total of one hundred and forty four categories in all. At the start of the game someone has to throw a very strange looking die - I'm not sure what the mathematical term for such a shape would be but it has about twenty sides each with a letter of the alphabet on it! The least common letters are not there (thankfully!).
There is a very noisy timer which is set at the beginning of each round and then it is a frantic scramble of the mind to write down an item for each of the categories sterting with the given letter within about two minutes! It's amazing how sometimes your mind can go totally blank!! There is, however, a twist - you will only score points for items which no one else has on their lists. Therefore, usually there is no point going for the obvious word as chances are everyone else might have gone for thst too. So you have to dig deep into your brain and try and think of something that fits the category that you don't think anyone else will think of!
Once the round is completed and the times has buzzed loudly everyone has to share their lists and score accordingly. As I have said you only score a point for unique answers! It can be really annoying when you think that you have a really good one that no one else will have thought of and then at least one other person has the same idea! The aim is then , to play the same set of categories twice more, but with different starting letters. The winner, who in our case gets to make the coffee, is of course the one with the highest score!
There is a wide range of categories ranging from quite mundane ones like boys and girls names, countries, rivers, etc to much more unusual ones like terms of endearment, things that annoy you and notorious people. It's surprising the things that annoy some people! And also what counts as a term of endearment in some of our friends homes!
It's an interesting game to play with friends as you do see different sides of people's characters come out particularly those who desperately want to win! This is particularly noticeable in the more unusual categories. For example, there is one category where you have to name a different type of sandwich - and it's amazing what some people swear blind they put in their sandwiches - milk, cabbage, parsnip to name a few! Therefore, you do need to negotiate on some people's answers and usually it's the majority decision that counts!
The minimum age suggested is twelve and the minimum number of players is two. However, the game is a lot more challenging and fun with more players as you have to think harder to come up with unique ideas!
Overall, I think this game is a lot of fun. We have had ours a few years and one of the good things about it is that it will never date! The letters and categories will always be relevant, it's just the ideas people have will change with the times!
I thoroughly recommend this game and it certainly would be a good one with Christmas lurking just around the corner! It is made by Hasbro and at present is selling new on Amazon for £19.99 which seems quite reasonable!