by Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)
Game Designer Richard Garfield (pictured right) and Jeopardy Master Ken Jennings (left) have a party game to make you feel smart! These two pioneers created Half Truth, a party game to help those family’s self-quarantine time fly by and learn something new at the same time! This game gained steam as a Kickstarter product, and now it’s available for the general market for all to enjoy.
I find this game is at its best with six people playing than two or three. In large gatherings, teams can be formed where each group can decide amongst themselves (Family Feud-style) which are the better answers. There’s strategy to be found in this board game, as points need to be earned to race up the track.
With five 110 card decks to select from to play with, players have a wide randomized gambit of “truths” to figure out are the answers. From anthropology to zoology, a lot of topics are covered. There are even pop culture questions to challenge the nerd. It can range from Battlestar Galactica to Star Wars (I still haven’t found Wizards of Waverly Place yet), and players can opt to develop house rules where the supplied decks can be sorted into topics, and players have to choose from a randomized pile.
To make this game play like Jeopardy is perhaps not the best idea. Here, players have markers to put on a track and advance through until one person finishes first. Points are earned for putting coins on a placard with arrows offering six plausible answers. Only three of them are correct. The more correct answers the player makes, the more victory points are earned and the player can advance further on the track.
This game is very enjoyable and plays relatively fast. I thought of adapting this game for online virtual play (eventually, you’ll want to play with new people), but because of the real time nature of the game, a ‘game master’ navigating all the pieces on a webcam is required.
To prevent memorizing any deck, approximately 650 cards are offered–hence Garfield’s involvement in designing how large a pool of questions per a given topic should be included–as they can be shuffled any which way. If I get really bored, I may break open all the packs and sort everything out or break them down to smaller sized decks.
While I’ll never know the answers to any question related to geology, sports or world history (my weakest subjects), it won’t stop me from doing well with subjects like computers, comic books, cryptozoology and cooking.