Maxime Rambourg's party game for 3-6 players is very much in the style of Dixit (Libellud), Pictures (PD-Verlag) and the more recent In the Palm of Your Hand (La Boite de Jeu), and with a healthy dose of Just One (Repos Production) thrown in for good measure. It's a cooperative deduction game where players are trying to come up with a unique connection between one or both of the pair of illustrations in front of them and those numbered in a circle in the centre of the table. Players indicate their choice by selecting the number on their individual dial.
The idea is that players collectively win a round if they all choose different numbered pictures; they lose if any two or more choose the same number. Players can comment on their choice in only very vague terms like, as the game title suggests, 'It's obvious' but you can't give any specific clues as to your choice. You can't, for example, announce that your choice mainly relates to the left-hand illustration in your pair.
We've commented before on Board's Eye View about designs that tread a thin line between board game and psychology experiment: Wolfgang Warsch's The Mind (Nurnberger-Spielkarten-Verlag) is a classic example, along with Top Tale (Yub Nub Games), which we featured earlier this month. It's Obvious is in this same tradition. There's some mumbo jumbo in the rules about 'telepathy' but what you're actually doing is psyching out each other's choices in the hope that you can avoid duplication.
The game is played over several rounds (up to 10, depending on player count) but it ends and you collectively all lose if and when you fail three rounds. Since you fail in a round if any two players happen to choose the same number, we weren't overly surprised to find in our Board's Eye View plays that our cooperative wins were the exception rather than the rule. We kept ourselves honest tho': less scrupulous players might be tempted to step over the line in the comments they make about their choices. We were worried too that this, like other psychogames, offers scope for Obvious cheating: for example, players conspiring always to choose the same number! Of course, It's Obvious that if you do that, you're only cheating yourselves...
Tho' its tough to beat when you keep yourselves honest, It's Obvious is an enjoyable light party game that plays quickly - indeed, given that the central pictures are refreshed each round, the game play can be faster than the round-to-round set-up time. And Gigamic have done a great job in the presentation, with pre-assembled dials and attractive if occasionally idiosyncratic art by Stéphane Escapa (why does the picture of a fishing rod have a pair of underpants on the end of the line?) It's Obvious is distributed in the UK by Hachette Boardgames.
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