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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Need a Last Minute Christmas Gift?


Do you know how hard it is to find a game that a 10-year-old, an almost 7-year-old, and a 5-year-old can all play together? And that the adults can enjoy, too?

Simple games like Memory and Fish are right up the 5’s alley, but a yawn to the 10. He’d rather be wheeling and dealing for Park Place in Monopoly or bumping someone back to start in Sorry! And nobody wants to hear the 6 whine when big bro takes yet another of her countries in Risk. Or spend hours playing it until everybody calls it a draw.

But this…this is the perfect game! Wits & Wagers Family by North Star Games.

  • It’s not too long.
  • It’s not too hard.
  • No paper money to deal with.
  • And you just might learn something.

dec 13 2010 037Wits & Wagers Family is designed for 3-10 players, ages 8 and up. Each player gets a small wipe-off board, a dry-erase marker and 2 Meeples (little wooden pawns). The game comes with a stack of trivia questions…the correct answer to each question is a number. Once the question is read aloud, each player guesses the answer and writes it on their board. The boards are then lined up in order and then everybody “bets” by placing their Meeples on the answer they think is the right one (you have two Meeples, so you can split your wager). Points are awarded based on who wrote the closest answer and who bet on the closest answer.

The questions are pretty varied, anything from “In what year was a cow first brought to the American colonies?” to “What’s the record number of tennis balls a dog has held in its mouth at one time?” to “How many types of nuts come in a can of Planters Mixed Nuts?” In other words, things that anybody might know or nobody might know. There are some pop-cultural references (like references to kid’s TV programs), but these were few and far between and easy enough to skip over.

dec 13 2010 034Everybody in our house gets in on this game, even 20-month-old Emma (she would be the one stealing and chewing on the markers and hiding the Meeples). 5-year-old Peter’s answers generally range from something under 10 to binary numbers (e.g. 100100001).

What’s awesome about this is that you don’t have to be a trivia geek to win…once everybody’s got their answers are out there, you can choose any answer as your best bet (and sometimes, believe or not, the binary number is the best bet). This has led to some discussions on probability with the kiddos, too.

We love that it’s fun, but short (tired Littles bore easily), and doesn’t make anyone fell like a dummy.

Finally, a game that everybody, even the adults, have fun playing.

Wits & Wagers Family is available wherever games are sold (sells for about $20).

Disclosure: As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I received a free copy of this game for review purposes. I received no compensation. This review reflects my honest opinion.

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