GS TABLE GAMES: Review The Big Bang Theory Party Game

bigbangtheory_bazinga_boxBeing a huge fan of the science, comic, science fiction, fantasy geek elements of The Big Bang Theory, I couldn’t help but wonder if this game would either be too niche or not niche enough. Could it appeal to the masses or would it be a little too geeky. And how exactly do you make a party game out of a 20 minutes sit-com anyway?

It’s a party game, so the box suggests 3 to 7 players, aged 15 or older. Fair enough. There’s no board either, so you’re not encumbered by having to sit around a table or having a lot of floor space. What you have instead is some scoring disks and some cards. There are 2 sets of cards, happily coded as red or blue. The red cards are the so-called ‘experimental cards’ and the blue are therefore the ‘theoretical cards’, reflecting both Sheldon and Leonard’s respective fields of physics. Amongst the blue cards are four ‘bazinga’ cards. More about those shortly. The red cards also have some experimental formula cards.

To the game. Cards are shuffled within their respective colours, and placed face-down. All players draw 7 blue cards. One member is elected as referee. No big deal how as everyone gets a go. The referee then draws the top red and reads it out. These experimental cards have short phrases such as ‘tickles my evil side’ (which an accompanied quote from the show, ‘Computer, this is Dr. Sheldon Cooper. Activate self-destruct sequence! Leonard, you have 41 seconds to sign the new roommate agreement’), ‘the perfect gift’, ‘could cause me some discomfort’, ‘always the perfect solution’, you get the idea.

Some of these cards, as mentioned, are green, such as the ‘I wish they were my parents’ card. Now, the blue cards in the players hands have relevant responses, again taken from the series, such as ‘magic cookies’, ‘angry mob’, ‘Chinese food prostitute’, etc. (again all with quotes). The players select a response card from their packs and give them face down the referee, who shuffles them without looking (still with me?).

The ref then chooses which they think are the best responses to the red card and awards them points. Everyone draws another blue card, keeping them at 7. The person to the left then becomes the referee and another round ensues. The game goes on until all the points have been awarded or everyone has had enough and the winner is the one with the most points.

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If the ref calls a green card, each player nominates 2 cards. So, for the ‘I wish they were my parents’ card, you might up with ‘crazy cat lady’ and ‘cigarette smoking monkey’. Which can prove amusing. If someone has been dealt a bazinga card, they declare it once the red card has been read out. Players must make a submission as per normal, but then a new red card is chosen which is then matched by the referee to the already submitted cards. Hilarity then ensues.

So, not the most intellectual of games as it does appear to be very contrived. Maybe you can’t make a game out of a 20 minute sitcom after all! Almost a case of we have these great characters and classic quotes, so what can we do with them which is not much in reality. What it does mean however, it’s a game you can play without being a fan.

No knowledge is of it is actually required. You do need to have a similar sense of humour to the show, and some idea of geekdom to gain full enjoyment from the game, and a couple of beers won’t hinder matters either. One of the players isn’t into the show at all, but enjoyed herself once the rules had been fully absorbed and she found herself in the swing of it. I thought it was harmless fun which could be the centre of an evening’s irreverent fun with half-a-dozen like-minded geeks. So, fans of the show will enjoy it more, as it has very knowing phrases and nods, and it’s always fun to relive some of the classic quotes. But not everyone will get the reference to ‘secret agent laser obstacle chess’.

Rating: 4/5 for geeks, 2.5/5 for non-geeks with beers
Reporter: Ian J Simpson

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