Just for fun, go Off Your Rocker

From those fun-loving nuts over at Stratus Games comes Off Your Rocker, a funny play-acting and deduction party game with a similar feel to improv comedy party games such as "Psychiatrist".  The idea is one player is the therapist, the others all know of a certain quirk they share, and they give hints to the therapist one at a time, making sure to be helpful, but not TOO helpful as the therapist figures out what the wacky quirk is, based on the cryptic answers (which are extra funny to everyone "in the know" about what the secret is, as the guesser looks puzzled and makes everyone laugh even more).  

First, a disclaimer - as The Who famously put it, "it's the singer, not the song," and you will need the right group of participants for this "group therapy".  As with any game, people who "aren't into it" for whatever reason, will impact the game negatively.  I can tell you however, that I have played it with a group of random people I'd mostly just met, and we had a crazy fun time.  The "quirks" are often very clever and fun; some of the ones I enjoyed a lot are:

  • The first word of each answer must start with the letter M
  • Each answer must contain a word that rhymes with "day"
  • Players think they are at a presidential debate (we had a very energetic Ross Perot in this one)
  • Players think they are on a date being chaperoned by their mother, who is the psychiatrist
  • Players think they are talent scouts discovering a starlet, who is the psychiatrist
Rather than have the therapist player leave the room while we chose a quirk, we took turns looking at and choosing one of the four quirks on a card, and just told everyone "top one on the blue side," or "bottom one on the yellow side," etc.  This allowed us to get to the fun right away.  

The game awards a point to each psychiatrist who makes a successful guess, and lets players vote on the "patient" who gave the best performance each turn, who gets a point too.  For an added challenge, the psychiatrist can ask players to portray two quirks and get two points if both are guessed - or zero if one or neither is guessed. But scoring is really secondary to the intense fun everyone will have in a good game of Off Your Rocker.  I can honestly say I will never forget the recent session I ran at one of my game events.

In late 2013 Off Your Rocker was a featured part of "Stir Game Nights" hosted by dating site Match.com in 20 cities across the United States.  The game playfully encourages participants to come out of their shells and express themselves, and so is perfect for events like this. Also, up to 12 people can play, so it's great for parties.

Off Your Rocker is getting great reviews from the party-game-loving public and it's easy to see why.  You'd be crazy to miss it!

Learn more at the Stratus Games web site.