TableTopTakes: Just One
It’s been a while since I’ve gotten a new board game to the table, it’s mainly been playing a ton of Gloomhaven, which is awesome as always, but I’ve been wanting to get new games to the table. So this Saturday we had a board game night and since a FLGS (Friendly Local Game Store) was doing a video game giveaway, where I get the games for Cartridge Capers from, and a sale, I went in and picked up Just One.
I actually went in there looking for a roll and write game that would accommodate a large number of players. But they didn’t have any, and I saw Just One on the shelf. It’s a game that I’ve been interested in, because it’s a cooperative party game. We got it to the table two times for that game night, so we clearly liked it.
Just One, while being a party game, does a few things differently. It follows the pretty normal trope for party games where there is a word and players are trying to guess the word. However, in this game, the person who is it picks a number, one to five, and on their card that is the word that they are trying to guess. The other players can see the word and must write down one word clues on their boards. But if any of those one word clues are duplicates, the person guessing can’t see that clue. For example, we had the word “Karate”. Two people wrote down the word “Kid” and the other two people playing wrote down “Discipline” and “Style”. We got lucky on that one, and the person guessed “Karate” but was definitely a tricky one when getting words eliminated.
The big reason for picking this game up was because we needed more games that can go to higher player counts. Technically the game is 3 to 7 players, because that’s how many player boards there are, but I think you could go higher than that. You’re going to have more clues that can’t be shown at a higher player count, so I don’t think that it should make it too much easier. While I like games like Scattergories, Sushi Go!, Wits & Wagers, Tsuro, and Stipulations, there is only so many times that you can play them. Basically, at times, how the games work, just kinds of runs their course, so it’s nice to add in some more starter games for a night to the collection.
So clearly I like this game. There are a couple of reasons that I like this game. The first being that it is cooperative. It’s rare to find a cooperative party game like Just One. Most party games are a race to points based off of guessing or team based. That’s fine, but it’s nice to have a game that you feel the tension for, but isn’t cut throat or won’t end up with one person falling so far behind, like you can in most other party games.
I also like it because while it is a word guessing game, it makes it simple. Something like Balderdash, you are writing definitions to words, or what Acronyms mean, you have to think more about it. In Stipulations, which I love, you have to write a complete Stipulation and come up with that weird, funny, or good stipulation by yourself. Here, it’s simpler, because you’re coming up with just a single word. Sure you have to think about how clever you want to go, or try and guess what one word other people might be writing down, but it’s still only a single word.
I think where this game will really shine is that kicking off a board game night or with people who don’t like to play games as much. This is the sort of party game that most everyone is going to be able to understand and play. There is a bit of reading, and there are a few words on the cards that are tricky. So I would say that is one downside to the game, there are going to be some words on cards that people don’t know. And I think, I’d preface the game by saying, if someone picks a word that someone doesn’t know, and this is by blind luck, the person picking the number can be asked to pick again.
Overall, definitely a fun game. Definitely a game that will go into that party game rotation. Was one of the highlights of gaming that night, though I did play another new game that was an interesting twist on push your luck dice games, what game was that, you’ll have to see. Just One is a game that seems like it should work in most any group, and I’d definitely recommend going and finding it online or at your FLGS.
Overall Grade: B+
Gamer Grade: C
Casual Grade: A
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