Schmabletop Review: Say Anything
Have you ever been playing Apples to Apples, had your friend read a card and feel like you knew the perfect response but – alas! – you did not have the right response in your hand? Well, sadly for you that’s just how Apples to Apples works. However, if you were playing a certain different game then you’d be able to just write your own response down. What is this game you ask, hypothetical reader? Well, why do you trust me to tell you when I could just:
Er, sorry, I mean…
As I hinted at in the intro, the gameplay of Say Anything is somewhat similar to Apples to Apples. The main difference is that you have the freedom to come up with your own answers rather than drawing from a deck and – as you might anticipate coming from the creators of Wits & Wagers – there is an element of betting involved.
At the start of each turn one person becomes the Judge. The Judge reads a question from a card (there is a huge selection to pick from) that is always prefaced by “in my opinion…” Questions will be along the lines of “in my opinion, what would be the best superpower to have?” or “in my opinion, who would be the worst person to sit next to on a plane?” Conceivably you could just make your own questions up, too.
Everyone then writes down an answer on a small board with a dry-erase marker and places it on the table. You have to write fast, because if someone puts down an answer first you can’t put down a similar one. The Judge has final say on whether or not two answers are similar enough that the second must be changed.
Once all the answers are on the table, the Judge then uses the Select-o-Matic 5000 (a small spinner with pictures of the different game pieces) to choose which answer is their favorite (note: not best). They then place the Select-o-Matic face down where it can’t be seen, but also where they cannot change their answer, “locking” their answer in place.
This is where the betting comes into play. Players then bet on which answer on the board the Judge has selected. Every player has two points that they can wager. You get one point if the Judge chooses your answer, and everyone who bet points on that answer gets a return equal to what they bet. The Judge gets points if people select the chosen answer, but the points the Judge can get is capped at 3. (I’ve heard people complain that the scoring seems funky in Say Anything, but there’s some very legit reasons for the scoring involving meta strategy and keeping the Judge honest that the game creator explained in the forums at Board Game Geek.)
The game is more fun the more people you have playing, and as long as your group has at least a modicum of creativity you should get some really awesome and hilarious answers. It’s a great party game.
Setup couldn’t get easier. Everyone just chooses a color, grabs their tokens and a dry erase marker, and you’re off. You can start playing in the amount of time it takes you to get the parts out of the box.
There are few expansions or versions of Say Anything, but that’s not really a negative for this game. There’s such replayability based on the answers the players provide that you don’t really need additional cards or pieces. There is a family version of the game with a brand new set of cards that offers some more kid friendly questions. I’d recommend going with that one if you have even the possibility of playing with children or young adults, because the questions will be simple enough for them but you can always make your answers more mature if you’re playing with just adults.
Say Anything is a great value, ranging from $15-25 bucks (and usually on the lower end of that scale) on Amazon. If you like simple, easy to explain party games that lots of people can play at once, you really need to add this one to your repertoire.