The Smith family loves board games! Or maybe a truer statement would be The Smith Family has a mom that loves board games and makes every else feel guilty if they don't play with her and therefore have, by default, learned to really like board games.
We played "Wits & Wagers Family", a board game by North Star Games, this week and really had a good time with it! It is different from the original Wits & Wagers party game in that it uses a different style of wagering that less resembles real gambling. In the Family edition, you wager your bets with Meeples, colorful little wooden game pieces that look like puffy marshmallow men. Everyone plays with a large Meeple and two small Meeples, a corresponding colored dry erase card and a dry erase marker. Meeples are commonly used as game pieces in Europe. This is their North American debut!
A typical round goes like this: Someone asks a question that can be answered with a number. For instance, "How many pyramids have been discovered in Egypt?" or "How many pages are in the hardcover edition of Harry Potter and the Socerer's Stone?". Then, everyone uses their wits and secretly writes down their guess on their board. When everyone is done, the boards are organized from smallest to greatest according to the number written down. Now, everyone starts feeling either pretty confident or pretty insecure about their guess. This is where strategy comes into play. If you know you have no clue about a certain category of questions, you are probably going to wager on someone else's guess rather than your own. I felt pretty confident about "How many feet are in a mile?", but when it came to a question about "The Suite Life of Zack & Cody", I wagered on my son's board. If you are pretty confident about your guess, but think that someone else's might be close as well, you can split your three Meeples and wager them accordingly. After the answer is revealed, the person who guessed closest without going over (think Price is Right), has the winning guess, even if it is not right on the money. You get points for having the winning guess, but also points for wagering correctly. You could actually do pretty well without ever getting the answer correct.
If you have the original edition, the cards will work with this edition to extend the life of your game. But there are plenty of questions to keep you busy in this edition. The game is for 8 years and up, for 3-10 players and the game takes only 20 minutes to finish.
We really liked this game alot. Our family personally doesn't have any issues with the original version. Since my father in law plays on the Senior Poker circuit, my kids have been playing cards and playing with chips along with him since they were very young. So they don't really think of it as "gambling", but rather a mathematical probability game. I have yet to see them sitting around the table smoking cigars. LOL.
More information about Wits & Wagers Family and other games by North Star can be found here. The site will direct you to a retailer near you. In my area, it is sold at Target for 19.99.
**Disclaimer: North Star provided my family with one Wits & Wagers Family edition in exchange for an honest review, which I've provided here.
See what the rest of the folks at The Old Schoolhouse Magazine Homeschool Crew had to say about this exciting game! Click here!