Designed by Quinn & Sherry, The Game of Things has been known by several names over the years - Things in a Box, or simply THINGS...., but the concept has been constant: the player whose turn it is (called "The Reader,") draws a card from a substantial supply of 300 and reads it to all players - it will have a funny topic on it like "Things you shouldn't put in your mouth" or "Things that annoy you about women" or "Things you shouldn't try to do in the dark." Then everyone writes a response (including the Reader) and they get shuffled up and the Reader reads them all aloud. The player to the left of the Reader gets to choose any one of the responses and guess who wrote it. If correct, that player is eliminated from that turn, and the player who guessed gets another try and matching another response to a player. The first incorrect guess means play passes to the next player to the left who gets to try guessing.
The Game of Things is fun for the following reasons:
- It's simple and quick to learn - important for a party game.
- There are many interesting and funny categories on the cards.
- If you have funny or clever friends and family, they are sure to cause much laughter with their responses.
- Everyone gets to write a response every turn. The possible complications with having the Reader play are addressed in the rules (handwriting, only read the responses out loud, don't study them silently etc.) It's more fun to have everyone play.
- Anyone who can read and write can play - though adults will likely enjoy the game the most, the cards are suggestive and not explicit. Any that are hard for younger players to understand could just be skipped or taken out.
How you respond is up to you, and can be in any of the following ways or any combination:
- Outrageous - in a group of adults, it's possible to answer in an "Adult" way
- Straightforward - keeping it simple to avoid detection
- Clever witty or hilarious - as with games like Balderdash, it's the most fun to just make everyone laugh, not worrying about being guessed or not
- Deceptive - trying to fool the guessers by writing something that seems typical of another player
- Or any other way you like
My one critique of The Game of Things, and this is a minor quibble, is that it's possible for a shrewd or lucky player to "run the table" and guess almost every response correctly - and conversely, it's possible to not get a turn at all because the players before you guessed them all. (Of course, if you play a full round, everyone will get a chance to go first.) It's also sad to be eliminated from play if you get guessed. I would like to try a house rule where there is no elimination. One could also try giving each player only one guess, not repeat guesses if successful. Also, you could have the Reader give a point to the funniest/best response if you liked. The essence of the game is more about the humor and less about the rules.
All in all, I enjoyed The Game of Things very much. Highly recommended for any party with funny folks. If you take the true object of the game to heart, you are sure to laugh and have fun. The game comes in a high quality wooden box and contains everything you need to start playing and laughing right away.
You can purchase the game from Patch Products.