Board Game Reviews: A Mom Reviews 6 Popular Board Games Her Family Played During Quarantine (and She's Not Sorry!) by Dawn Taylor

Board Game Reviews: A Mom Reviews 6 Popular Board Games Her Family Played During Quarantine (and She's Not Sorry!)

When the coronavirus pandemic restrictions were put in place in March, my son, a college senior, moved back home from his dorm to live with me and his two teenage sisters. I was determined to find things that we could all do together, and games were the only thing that I could think of that would get my son out of his room (besides the smell of food).

A couple of years ago when my other son came to visit at Christmas, an old Sorry game was pulled out and my four kids spent endless hours playing and bonded like never before. Who would have thought the classic kids game would bring my kids together when they ranged in age from 28 to 13 at the time? The game was missing some tokens and we replaced those with a Christmas mint and a marker cap. These items are still actively in use and make us laugh every time we play.

I knew Sorry might not cut it all the time now. So I went looking on Amazon for games and ordered some new ones. Here are my reviews on the games we have played:

1. Catch Phrase: An electronic handheld game with 5,000 words and phrases that's fun and challenging for family and friends to play. Try to get teammates to guess the word or phrase that appears on the screen by describing it any way possible – but do it fast! There are plenty of categories to choose from including Fun and Games, Entertainment, Everyday Life, Variety, and The World. Don't get caught holding the unit when the buzzer goes off because the other team will score a point. The first team to reach 7 points wins. Timer keeps track and buzzes when a team's out of time. Word and scores of each team appear in the display area. Choose from five categories. Ages 12 and up. For 4 or more players (2 teams)

My Score: 5 stars 

A fun, fast moving game that requires some thinking. It is also highly entertaining (and frustrating) to watch someone try to come up with ways to describe a word or phrase especially when they often have no idea who or what the thing is they’re trying to describe. Creativity is sometimes needed. I thought that we would quickly start repeating the same words and phrases, but it took a long time, even playing as much as we did. Great game!

2. Smart AssWho's the smart ass among your friends and family? This is the game for players who have been bursting to scream out the answer even when it's not their turn. Each question has eight clues – the first player to yell out the correct answer wins the round and takes a step closer to becoming the ultimate smart ass. The player who reaches the donkey's butt in the center of the board first wins the game. This is a fast-paced board game, so the losers will always have another chance to win. Players: 2 to 6 Ages: 12 and up

My Score: 3.5 stars 

I love the game, great questions and great ease of playing. (I hate when a game is hard to understand.) My beef with it is that you finish way too quickly. We would simply add another trip around the board to get to the "win." Also, you quickly end up repeating questions. Easy fix would be more cards and questions, and/or adding more categories to choose from which would also make the game longer. And slightly more challenging questions. The game was really fun though and sometimes we take a break from it so we can revisit and not remember the answers.

3. Trivial Pursuit 40th Anniversary Ruby Edition: Can you remember the biggest moments of the past 40 years? Celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Trivial Pursuit brand with this premium Ruby Edition of the Trivial Pursuit game. It includes 600 cards packed with fun and challenging trivia questions from classic categories including Geography, Entertainment, History, Arts and Literature, Science and Technology, and Sports and Leisure, plus questions from the Ruby deck featuring key questions from the past 40 years. When you answer a category question correctly, you collect a wedge corresponding to that category's color. Be the first player to get a wedge from each of the six categories plus the Ruby piece to win the game. 

My Score: 4.5 stars 

Very similar to the original game that I used to play with my friends and family back in the 80s. It is very challenging, but even my teens could answer many of the questions (they are very smart though). My only complaint is that it takes FOREVER if you play until the end. It does state that to shorten the game to needing only three game piece wedges (instead of six) it will shorten playing time, but my ultra competitive self wants to go until the bitter end.

4. Utter Nonsense: Combine silly voices and accents with even sillier phrases to create sayings that are just plain ridiculous! All players except the judge have to use the same accent/voice, so you are all in it together! Best of all is that many accents/voices can be interpreted differently, and that adds to the hilarity! For example, maybe the accent/voice card is Baby. So, how's your baby voice, huh? Go ahead ... think about it. Funny, right? Now do that voice and say one of your phrase cards, like: "He's gotta lotta sass for a skater boy. See ya later, boy." Even funnier! All players have to use the same accent/voice card that's drawn, but you get to choose which of your phrase cards you use! You just want the judge to pick yours as the best! It's a fun, laugh-out-loud game for 4 to 20 players, ages 8 and up.

My Score: 2.5 stars 

This one gets old very quickly. We did laugh a lot at first (who knew my son could do a killer Elmo voice??), but soon it just became annoying to try to come up with new voices. The other issue was that there are not enough cards so the rotation is too fast. More cards and more categories might make this a little more fun. 

5. Incohearent (yes, spelled this way): ADULTS ONLY. This game contains mature content and is designed for ages 17 and up. NOT intended for children. It's the adult party game that will get you talking! Let the laughs begin as you compete to make sense out of gibberish from one of three categories – kinky, party and pop culture. 

My Score: 4 stars 

It really is a fun game, but I was terrible at it. There is a family version, but this one is very R rated and I was surprised at how many words and phrases my teens knew! BUT that’s life with teens and the fact they were comfortable playing around their mom was a good sign. They love this one, I only took away one star because I found it too hard. The way you play it is fairly simple, it is the decoding of words and phrases that I found difficult. 

6. New Phone Who DisADULTS ONLY. This game was created for ages 17 and up. This is the 100 percent offline text message party game where players compete to create the funniest text message thread. Players rotate drawing a sent (or “inbox”) card while the rest of the group competes to play the funniest reply card. Once everyone in the group has played their chosen reply card, the judge decides which combo is the funniest. That person gets a point. At the end of the game, the player with the most points wins! Designed for 3 to up to 20 players.

My Score: 4 stars 

This is a fun game, but again, an adult party game. Nothing my teens and college aged son haven’t heard or seen, but use your judgement. I would not recommend it for teens under 15. You basically have a main card and when it is your turn you have to choose the best response (chosen by other players) to the card you lay out. It is pretty funny and easy to play. I got a little bored after a while but my teens love it and play with their friends often. 

Great to have added some new games to our stack of games at home, and who knows how long we will all be at home together. I am looking forward to many more game nights, and quite honestly, I think my 23-year-old would say that Sorry is still the most fun to play. And as much as I love the Trivial Pursuit game, that Christmas mint making its way around the Sorry game board just gets me every time.

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Donna John
I bought Smart Ass years ago, but don't think we ever played it. Will have to get it out the next time they're over. Love Sorry!, too. The last game my kids and I played a couple of weeks ago was Cards Against Humanity. Learned really quick that it's for mature audiences, too. lol But it was fun. Thanks for the reviews! Dawn Taylor
Dawn Taylor
Donna John its fun! Hope they take my advice and tweak it a little! I’ve played Cards Against Humanity with friends and New Phone Who ‘Dis is similar. You’re welcome!
Mike Prochaska
We play sorry a lot!
Dawn Taylor
Mike Prochaska it's a lot of fun! Just didn’t think it’d be a go to for the older kids!
Julie Rose
This is great. Some games I knew and some I didn’t, thanks!
Dawn Taylor
You’re welcome! Enjoy!
Elisa A. Schmitz 30Seconds
Love that you reviewed some new games as well as classics. Sorry was one of my faves! I know the creator of Utter Nonsense, so this is really good feedback we can share with him. Thank you, Dawn Taylor !
Dawn Taylor
Elisa A. Schmitz 30Seconds You're welcome! That is awesome that you can give him direct feedback! It really was super fun as I said- more options with more direction would be great (we struggled to be creative and think of more on our own) but otherwise we laughed a ton. Games are such an option family activity!!

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