Review: Truth be Told, by Buffalo Games

I recently acquired a new party game intriguingly entitled Truth Be Told. I was interested to play this game because I have long been a fan of the "everyone writes an answer and then the person whose turn it is reads them all and everyone laughs" style of game. Think Balderdash, Malarkey, Say Anything, Loaded Questions etc. Because the game has made quite a splash in my group, I wanted to share my impressions.

The game materials are of good quality, the dry-erase markers work well and the dry-erase boards come fairly clean when wiped with a paper towel or tissue. The quantity of question cards is excellent - each card has four questions on it (differentiated by color) so if you use one color at a time, (that is, use only the green questions first until you have gone through all the cards, etc) you should have many, many games without duplicated questions because it will take a while to use all the cards four times each.

The gameplay is simple and easy. Players can learn the game in under one minute. Whoever's turn it is reads a statement off the card, for example "Truth be told, one time in gym class I ____." All players write on their rectangular dry-erase boards a plausible conclusion for this sentence as regards the player whose turn it is, who then collects all answers, looks at them to be sure he or she can read each without squinting (or laughing, or otherwise reacting in a way that shows it was not the true answer) and everyone then votes for the one they thing is the true answer. This gets very, very funny with some questions like "Truth be told, something that is in my nightstand is _____". (The questions are suitable for all age groups, but some can be interpreted in naughty ways depending on the players.) I could see either friends, families, or a mix of disparate people enjoying this game. It's fun with people you know well and people you just met, though knowing people will give a slight advantage. In any party game, of course, it's having fun that counts, not who scores points.

The scoring system is simple and easy. As in similar games, each player gets a point for each person who chose their answer (including the person taking their turn who wrote the true answer.) And everyone who picked the true answer gets a point for that too. The points are tallied on a dry erase board with circles 1 to 15, and the first player to 15 points wins.

What I like about this game:
  • It rewards honesty. The active player is to be truthful, not to fool players like in some other games. This is refreshingly different
  • The game inspires and rewards creativity, but there is little to no barrier for those who are often intimitated by "fill in the blank" games, since the questions are so simple and universal
  • It's quick and easy to learn and play
  • Under their "Green" initiative, Buffalo Games uses 100% recycled paperboard for the game and packaging
  • Because it plays on the personalities of all players, you're guaranteed to have fun if you play with fun people
The only down side is if you play with people who are not as fun, it's possible the game will not shine as brightly, but that's not the fault of the game.

BONUS: For added frolic, fill in an alias or funny made up name on your dry erase board under "Truth be Told, my name is ______." (Obviously, you will still have to own up to your answer when your phony name is called.)

I give Truth Be Told my highest recommendation. My group has requested replays of this game repeatedly, and there is no better measure of the value of a party game than people asking to play it.

You can learn more about Truth Be Told at Buffalo Games' web site.