We’re onto the top half of my Top 100 games. We’ve seen a number of games drop out of the top 50 so far, that means we’re either going to have new games or games that have rise, you’ll have to find out. You can …
When it comes to party games, there are only a very few I like. I have talked about it recently with the TableTopTakes of Stipulation, but there are a few different types of party games, and a lot of them have a limited shelf life, so how about Wits & Wagers, is that a game that can hold up as a party game over a long period of time?
Wits & Wagers as it’s heart is a trivia game. This is normally not a genre of game that I like, because in most trivia games, I’m looking at you Cranium and Trivial Pursuit, you either know the answer to the question or you don’t, and you don’t get anything if you don’t know. But that means that some people are inherently better at the game, because they have more of that trivia style knowledge floating around their head. Some people have the capacity for that, and I know some trivia pretty well, but generally, I’m not great at it. In Wits & Wagers, all the answers are numbers, so it could be a question such as “How many goals did Pele score in his pro career?” Now, you might know nothing about soccer, and I know some about soccer. What you know is that soccer is low scoring, so you put down 80, since a lot of soccer matches can end 1-0, so maybe he didn’t score that many goals. Knowing a bit more about soccer, I know that he is one of the best all time and was known for scoring goals, so I put down 300. Someone else puts down 800, 50, 120, and 2 (the last person really didn’t know soccer). The actual answer is 650. So we’re looking to see who is the closest without going cover, and my 300 was. Before the answer is revealed, however, we can all bet on who had the closest answer without going over. You get more money back if you guess further away from the middle, but fairly often the middle is correct. In this case, though, the middle number is 80/120, depending on which say you shift it, so by betting on 300, you could get back 3-1 odds. Then, once people have collected their winnings, you repeat as long as you want, or until the rules say stop, however you want to play, and most money wins.
That’s a lengthy explanation of a pretty simple game. You write down a number for the question, you bid, and you repeat, the person with the most money wins. But I wanted to give the example that I did, because it’s a real life example, and also because, it demonstrates a bit of a strategy of the game. Whereas in a lot of trivia games there can be that one person who knows trivia and is going to win basically no matter what, in Wits & Wagers, you have a way to keep up with them, because you could always just bet on their number. In my example above, the people in the group knew that I knew more about soccer than a number of them. So they were able to bid with me, and fairly often you can figure out who might know the most. It adds a nice strategy to what would otherwise be a fairly normal trivia game and adds in some depth. And maybe you’re very confident about what you know, but you can also play the people of the game. If I’d wanted to, I could have put down 800 for how many goals Pele scored knowing that was likely too high and let people go with my pick while hedging my bets to the number below to try and throw people off, but if you do that all the time, it wouldn’t be fun, and people would know not to bid on your answer.
I also like, and I know it’s the only way that the game can work, is that all the answers are numbers. If it’s just general knowledge trivia, you can guess and be completely wrong, and technically the same is true with numbers, but you’re always going to at least be somewhat close or in the write realm. It is possible in other trivia to completely not know it and not have any guess or have a guess that is completely wrong, like guessing something is a constellation when it’s a city in New Jersey or something like that. That’s a silly example, but when it’s a number, you always have a starting spot for you guess and fairly often can guess if it’s small, medium or large for the number so you won’t be amazingly wrong. And, in the previous paragraph I talked about how you could put down a number to throw people off if they think you know the answer, but there’s also pride in being the closest and especially if you can get really close. I’ve seen people get it dead on with a lucky guess, and I have gotten that once as well. It’s exciting to get the right answer.
One final thing that I enjoy about this game is that you can really play with any player number count without changing up the speed of the game. Everyone is answering at the same time so that doesn’t stretch out the game, and you can possibly overthink it if you want when placing your bets, but that shouldn’t happen too much because the game is just a good time party game. There’s no sitting around waiting for someone else to guess trivia, there’s no feeling stuck that way, and I appreciate that about Wits & Wagers.
Overall, this is a party game that I enjoy every time that I play. I also like the that game scales well, so that you can even play with a great number than suggested, which we do often. I’ve heard of doing team play for it as well and that can be fun. Wits & Wagers fixes a lot of issues that I have with trivia games, and even though, sure someone who knows trivia well can still do better, possibly, it has nice catch-up mechanisms where you can make big bets to get back into it as long as the leader isn’t as well. I also like that this game works well with families or basically any group.
Overall Grade: B+
Gamer Grade: C+
Casual Grade: A
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