Designer: Bradley Boothe
Artist: Raymond Warren
Playing Time: 30-60 minutes
Fill in the Game, a self-published party game is a new release by Bradley Boothe.
From the box: “Challenge other players to act out a scene or perform stunts using the prompt found on the challenge card. Then you fill in the blank to add a twist! They get points if they succeed, but if they fail you draw a Game Changer which can be good for you, bad for them, or affect the whole table! Fill in the game can be family-friendly or not, depending on your group, and will be different every time you play!”
How to play: The player whose turn it is, (we’ll call the ‘challenger’) draws a challenge card and picks another player (the challenged) and asks, “Top or Bottom?” Each challenge card has, as you may have guessed, a top challenge and a bottom challenge, worth points from -1 to 3 points depending on the card.
The challenger then reads the portion of the card, filling in the blank on the card. The cards, based on point value are ranked as the following cards:
-1 Point Rule cards: Rule cards apply to all other players, except for the challenger. A rule might be something like “Other players must ______ while another player is performing a challenge. (the player performing the challenge is exempt). Filling in the blank could be anything from “Sing Happy Birthday” to “make fart noises” or, well, you get the idea. The challenger fills in the blank. The first person to break the rule gets the card and -1 point along with it. At that point the rule is no longer in effect.
1 Point Challenge Cards: Challenge cards. These cards are given a challenge, like “Perform an interpretive dance about _______” or “Stand up and pretend to take a shower while singing _____.” These will often come with a 30 second or infinite time allowed and the challenged needs to complete (or attempt to complete) the challenge in the time given. If an honest attempt was made or the challenge was successful, the challenged player gets to keep the card (and point.)
2 Point Challenge Cards: These challenge cards are very similar to the 1 point challenge cards, but contain the words, “without laughing” and are worth…2 points.
3 Point Challenge Cards: These are challenges that often, but not always, uses a 5 card Stunt Deck to do things like, “While ______, spell the word I give you backwards. (Once they begin, start the time and tell them the word. No longer than 10 letters. No mistakes allowed. Must complete within the time limit.)” There is a 30 sec time limit on this and many of the timed cards. Another example (using the stunt cards) might be “While _____ predict a Stunt Card then blindly draw one from my hand.”
If the challenge is not met successfully, the challenger gets to draw a “Game Changer” card which consists of cards that will help the challenger: “You may steal one scored Challenge from another player.” or something that can mess with the game: “Choose a direction. All players pass their scored Challenges in that direction.”
COMPONENTS: The game is made up of a deck of cards, which are of good quality, easy to read, and easy to differentiate the types of cards. There is an app for the game that provides both a timer and some fills if you have a person/ group that is having a difficult time filling in the blank. My groups did not used the app when playing the game.
TIME, AGES & PLAYER COUNT: The 30 to 60 minute time is appropriate, though I think the game will wear thin after 30 minutes with a non-party game type group. It works nice as a filler or if you have a group of non-gamers wanting to play something fun. More on this in a bit. The age 13+ really depends on your group as younger players can get into the game (and be creative with the blanks). I would probably go for 10 and up, but not much younger than that. It’s not a difficult, strategic game by any means, nor is it meant to be. Player count 3+ works, but with this game, the more the merrier. You’ll probably want to go with a group of 5+.
ARTWORK: The cards are colorful, easy to read and easy to differentiate the different types of cards. There’s not a lot of art, but the graphics and colors are well chosen and there’s no issue for people that might have difficulty with color blindness or the like.
FINAL THOUGHTS: I find most party games enjoyable… to a point. If they run too long, they quickly wear out their welcome. This game is not the exception. That being said, it does have its merits and, with the right group, is fun. I’ll first talk about the issues I have with the game, which are minor, but I find to be important.
- The challenger choosing who they will challenge doesn’t really work for me or my group(s) because then certain people are often getting overlooked, while the weakest link or the giggliest player is chosen more often than other players. I’ve created a house rule where the challenger has to choose someone that hasn’t done a challenge, and instead of playing for points, we play a round of everyone challenges/ everyone gets challenged. This doesn’t change the game, it just gives everyone an equal chance to spread their wings and fly, or like Icarus, crash and burn.
- The 2 point Challenge cards, at least in my group, are silly. Technically the game is meant to be silly and fun and it is!), but I find that anything that deals with “without laughing” in order to get points/ win/ etc. doesn’t work for me or the groups I play with. This may be due to the fact that for one, outside of gaming, I hang out with a lot of “theatre people” who, just by their hobby do silly, funny, outlandish things and are trained not to laugh while doing them. Playing with this group makes the entirety of the 2 point challenges completely wasted. My main gaming group, which is not made up of theatre people, don’t laugh easily. If the challenges had simply been made to be more difficult than the 1 point challenges, I would’ve been much happier.
Is the game fun? Absolutely. The game gets the group (not just the challenged) laughing and having a good time, which is the point of any good party game, right? And at the price point of $15.00 for the deck, the portability of the game and the many uses you can get from the game (more on that in the next paragraph), this is an amazing game to add to almost any collection. But this is a definite add for the following reason:
I’ve found that taking the challenges (1 and 2 point ones) and using them for team building and ice-breaking activities is where this really shines. I used a number of cards when warming up actors in a theatrical production of Wait Until Dark and it allowed my actors to be silly around each other and see each other in a different light than what each of their characters were. The show itself is a thriller, but the comedy brought out by the cards and challenges helped bond the cast in a way that was needed. This can be used in a similar way with school classes, groups, or different teams to get people communicating and talking to each other outside of the project they are working on. This can be done played as the game is meant to be played, or just by grabbing a few of the challenge cards and having your group run some of the challenges.
Looking for a stocking stuffer for a teacher/ professor/ director/ team lead? Then consider supporting a self-published party game with many uses!
I Love it!
I Like It. RJ Garrison,
Not for me.