Updated: Jan 27
One of the great success stories of the last couple of years has been the word game Codenames from Czech Games Edition (CGE). It has proved so successful that it’s spawned a clutch of variants. For many people, however, it seemed odd that Codenames was classified as a party game. With his new game, That’s a Question!, Vlaada Chvatil, the designer, has gone in a less cerebral direction to give us a slightly more traditional party game.
Players in That’s a Question! take turns at posing questions based on two alternative answers selected from their hand of five hexagonal cards. The questions are of three types: “Which would you miss more if it ceased to exist?”; “Which of these would you choose?”; and “Whom do you consider worse? Someone who…”. When the two alternative answers have been posed, the questioner picks one player to answer. The other players then guess whether the answerer has chosen answer A or answer B.
If you like to sleeve cards for games, especially those likely to be played where booze is present, then good luck finding sleeves for these hexagonal cards. Be warned too that the hexagonal shape seems to a better idea in theory than in practice: you won't be able to read all the inscriptions in a fanned hand of six cards without having to rotate each card. That's a bit of a faff for a party game.
Scoring is reminiscent of the system used in Dixit, albeit with wooden squirrel meeples in place of the Dixit bunnies. Guessers move their squirrel forward one space for a correct guess and the questioner moves their squirrel forward a space for other players' incorrect guesses. The game also allows players to play modifiers that will multiply the number of points they get for a correct guess or for others' incorrect guesses. Players take an acorn token when they are the answerer, and these are used to ensure that everyone gets a broadly even number of turns to guess.
That really is the whole game in a nutshell.
That’s a Question! genuinely is a party game and can be great fun with the right group of players. Some players may complain, though, that the game demands too much reading for 'party' play. It is light, however, and doesn’t require intense concentration. It is theoretically playable with 3–6 players but it is definitely more fun with 5 or 6 than with 3 or 4.
They are not the same but there are nonetheless some obvious similarities between That's a Question! and Act In Games' Feelinks, which we featured on Board's Eye View a week or so ago, so you may want also to look at that game if you're considering this one.