Time to play: 30 minutes (Teaching: 5 minutes)
Best played with: 3-6 players (Best with 5)
(Image from BGG )
Happy New Year everyone! A bit of an unconventional post this week – a trivia game. I thought just after Christmas / New Years it was a good time to highlight a game that I have been playing over the period and which I highly recommend – Wits & Wagers. We are all probably used to sitting around the dinner table answering questions about history, sport or geography at Christmas but if you haven’t played Wits & Wagers then you may be missing out.
I am pretty definitive about my praise for this game, but let’s come back to the basics – ask a question, write an answer and score if you are right…. well Wits and Wagers adds one more step: bet on the answer you think is right! This is a simple but huge addition because the pressure of knowing the right answer is reduced and the opportunity to win without knowing lots emerges. What’s more there are two really clever other implications. Firstly, everyone can answer every question – unlike a quiz game where people need time to get an answer, this is all about looking at all the answers and then adjusting your views. Everyone answers every question. The second is that the questions themselves can be hard to impossible, but this is actually more fun! How long was the film titanic, you probably have some idea…. how long was the ship titanic, I would assum you had an educated guess at best! The harder the questions become the more the variance of answers and the benefit of the betting section emerges.
Wisdom of the crowds dictates that the middling answer is more likely to be right, and here the game adds another twist. The bets you place on each answer are worth different odds. Central / middle / mean answers are only 2:1 odds whilst out there answers could be up to 6:1. Being right, and the answer being at one extreme or another can really pay off.
All that said, you still get a reward for getting the right answer, and whilst everyone is in the game until the last question – you should still expect the players who know more of the answers to do better on average. For something that is a bit of light hearted, and often family entertainment, this fits perfectly.
So if this Christmas you couldn’t get something to the table – I would highly encourage this game gets a look in before the next festive season.