Pros: unique concept, very different from traditional games
Cons: not fun, complicated game play
My daughter has always been bored. Yes, I mean for her entire life, or so she claims anyway. She has always asked for more things to do, more toys to play with, and more games for us to play together. As an adult, there's only so much kiddie game I can deal with before losing my mind. It was nice when she started getting older and I could get her more grown up games that I might enjoy too. This was my thinking when I purchased the ThinkBlot Game for my daughter's 12th birthday last year.
Well, ThinkBlot is a game recommended for adults. Usually these games are for 12 and up, so I considered it an ok purchase for my daughter. Game play requires 2 to 6 players, though I think more could play if teams were used or if scoring was done on paper.
The ThinkBlot game is played using a spiral binder with 75 ThinkBlot images. The binder can be set up as an easel for game play. Also included in the game box are a timer, a clip to set up the easel, one 12-sided die, a pad of scoring paper, 6 pegs and 6 pencils. Instructions for the game can be found on pages 2 through 8 of the spiral binder. (Yes, the instructions are THAT complicated!)
The object of the game is to see as many different items in the ThinkBlot images as possible and then to convince the other players that they can see what you see! The winner is the person who gets to the end of the scoreboard and back (35 points).
I'm going to try to condense these instructions because this is really complicated! The game is set up by opening the binder and forming the easel. The bottom part of the binder flips out to show the scoreboard which has 6 different colored rows of holes for movement. The timer is placed for all to see.
Each player selects a peg (which are all black) and chooses a color path to follow on the scoreboard. Play begins with one player rolling the 12-sided die. The 12 sides each show a picture. Eight of the sides feature a blot. The other four show a category picture, either a ladybug for creatures, a face for people, a pear for food or a shirt for clothing. The binder is then flipped to any page and the players begin writing down what they see until the timer runs out. When a blot is rolled, players can write down ANYTHING they see. If a category is rolled, players must write down only things that would fit into that category. When time is up, players put their pencils down and begin reading out answers one at a time, trying to persuade the other players of what they have seen. Points are awarded only if the majority of players agree with what you think you have seen.
Scoring for category rolls are two points for each unique answer and one point for an answer that is similar to someone else's answer. On blot rolls points are scored in the same fashion plus there are bonus points to be awarded, if a player identifies one of the bonus images shown on the back of that page.
Points are added up at the end of the round and each player moves his peg in the scoreboard one slot for every point that was earned in that round.
WHAT MAKES THIS A PIECE OF JUNK?
When I received the invitation to participate in this write off, I really struggled with finding something to write about. If something really annoys me, I generally write about it quickly and after a string of negative reviews, I thought that I had run out of junk to write on. I went exploring in my attic and that is where I discovered the ThinkBlot game. My daughter and I played it once and it was taken to the attic never to be seen again until this day when I had to drag it down to write this review.
SO WHY DID I BUY THIS PIECE OF JUNK?
My degree is in psychology and I found the concept of ThinkBlot quite intriguing. I've always been fascinated with Rohrshach tests. The concept is pretty interesting. People will usually see mostly people or animals or objects. And it all means something! It's like peering into someone's psyche. So, boy this game should be fun, right?
I CAN'T BELIEVE I BOUGHT THIS PIECE OF JUNK!
What should be and what is are two different things. In all of the pages of the ThinkBlot spiral binder, there is no mention of interpretation. Ok, so it's just a game and not a psychological tool. Well, let's have fun with it. But no... it's not fun.
The directions are way too confusing and much too complicated. Playing with only two players is not fun in the least. My daughter and I sat down to play. She ALWAYS agreed with everything I saw... and I always saw what she saw. In most cases, we saw all of the same things anyway. And in some cases, we each could only identify one thing on a page. That's pretty sad since the entire page is covered with various blobs that should resemble something. Maybe it wasn't fun because she was too young. Nope, don't think so... it wasn't fun for me either. And trust me, neither of us is lacking in imagination!
Perhaps the game would be fun with a large group of people. No, I don't think it would be. Not unless said large group of people consisted of highly inebriated members. No, not even then. Perhaps if everyone was utterly stoned it would be fun because it would be head trippy. Yeah, that might be the only suitable playing condition for the ThinkBlot game.
I honestly can't identify exactly what is wrong with this game except to say that it's not fun. There are so many good party games, like Balderdash and Pictionary. This one tries to be like those and it just falls short. While it sounds like a good idea and I love the fact that this game is so different from other games, it just doesn't work for me. Unless you plan to be stoned with a large group of people, I doubt that ThinkBlot would be the game for you either.
This submission has been part of the "I Can't Believe I Bought This Piece of Junk" write off, sponsored and in celebration of HawgWyld's and Joubert's second anniversary on Epinions and co-hosted by Ariel10575.
For a complete list of participants and entries, please visit: http://www.geocities.com/ariel10575/epinions/ICBPOJWO.html