The central playing piece in Wavelength is a large chunky plastic device with a dial, screen and indicator. It, and the game's title, are suggestive of an old-style radio receiver but Wavelength is actually themed around psychic communication: players being on the same mental wavelength as one another...
Wavelength is a captivating easy-to-play party game that's notionally for 2-12 players. In practice, it's best with two teams - so at least four players (two teams of two) - and there's really no set upper limit: you can accommodate 14 or 16 as easily as 12. It doesn't much matter if the teams are uneven and it has an advantage, as a party game, of allowing people who drift by to join teams midway through the game.
Each turn, one player takes on the role of the Psychic. With the screen in the closed position they rotate the white wheel on the Wavelength console. They then open the screen so that only they can see where the target is. The game comes with a huge pile of double-sided clue cards, each of which shows two extremes: hot/cold, hard to find/easy to find, harmless/harmful, etc, etc. Closing the screen, the Psychic draws a card and announces to the other players a person or object that they believe is positioned on the spectrum between the extremes that coincides with the target. The Psychics team argues among themselves about where to position the red indicator. Once they've made their choice, and before the screen is opened to see whether or not they are correct, the other team indicates whether they think the answer is to left or the right of the red indicator. The screen is then opened. If the red indicator is on target then the Psychic's team scores the indicated number of points (2-4). If they are off target, the other team score 1 point if they indicated the correct side of the red indicator. The game is won by the first team to reach 10 points.
The Wavelength components are first rate. The solid plastic display is both functional and an imposing table presence. It's mounted on the moulded insert, which also accommodates the cards and score markers. The cards are numerous and suitably varied - and because your clue will of necessity vary with the randomised position of the dial, none of the cards are just done and dusted once you've used them. The game comes with a separate 'advanced' deck but we didn't find these were appreciably different to the other cards - even in our plays with non-gamers.
You'll find Wavelength is a fun and often lively party game where you can expect good-natured arguments and recriminations when it turns out that the Psychic has chosen clues that their team mates consider poor. Tho' the rules are simple, the game design from Alex Hague, Justin Vickers and Wolfgang Warsch is pretty much faultless. The race to 10 points keeps the game length short (our Board's Eye View plays have all run to under 30 minutes); and this is a game where you can expect a clamour for an immediate rematch.