Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Review: Joe Name It

Published: 2011
Publisher: Gamewright
Rules Complexity: Easy
Players: 2+ Age 12 and Up
Type: Competitive

Artwork: N/A
Bits: B

Gameplay: B
Playing Time: 20-30 minutes

Overall: B

Gamewright provided the copy of this game for review.

Joe Name It is a fast and fun trivia game being published by Gamewright as part of their port-a-party line.  The games in this line are meant to be easy to learn, play fast, be portable and best of all inexpensive.

In Joe Name it you're not only playing the other players but the game itself. The player will draw a card which will have a trivia question and have a reasonable amount of time to provided an answer.  This of course sounds like every other trivia game you have ever played. However Joe name It's questions have you giving a random number of answers.  You do this by rolling the six sided die that comes with the game. So you may pull a question that says Name _ one-hit wonders and roll a 4 on the die. You have to then provide 4 one hit wonders to claim the card.

The other twist with the cards is each is labeled at the top as either Any Joe or Just Joe. An Any Joe card means that any player can answer the question.  The first to shout out the required number of responses takes the card. A Just Joe card is for the player whose turn it is.  In either case if no one can come up with a correct answer in a reasonable time then Joe (i.e. The Game) gets the card.  The first player or Joe to collect ten cards is the winner.

In the rare case that there is no answer to the question / number combination you can say "No Joe" and claim the card. However if another player can provide an answer they get the card. Any disputes will need to be resolved with a smart phone or some other form of internet device and a search engine.

The game comes with 200 cards and the questions range from easy to really difficult. Even though the age is 12 and up we were able to play the game with our 8 year old daughter even thought a good deal of the questions were outside her knowledge level the mechanics were easy to pick up. Perhaps Gamewright should consider alternate questions packs which could really expand the age range on this game.

Overall Joe Name It is the better of the two initially released games in the port-a-party line. It's easy to learn, fast to set up and plays quickly which is what it's design goals were. I'd recommend Joe Name It not only to parents with tweens but also adults who always bust out a game at a dinner party.


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