Wits & Wagers Review
PARTY!! Christmastime, with the whole family, all together. ‘Who wants to play a game?!’ Heads turn. ‘I’ve got this trivia game. Great fun.’ You see that everyone thinks: ‘OK, could be fun. We don’t have anything better to do, do we?’ Your aunt does have something better to do and stands up to refill her glass with more wine. The other family members, it’s too late for them, team up and then it begins: ‘Blue team, here’s your question…’.
Your niece, afraid to say anything stupid, only answers with ‘Uhm, I don’t know. Dad, don’t pressure me! I just don’t know!’ Your mom doesn’t have that problem, no, she answers everything. In fact, she has made a sport out of it to come up with the most ridiculous answers possible. Your father gets frustrated by that: ‘Hey, we are playing a serious game here!’. Luckily he teamed up with your uncle, he’s a serious guy, so serious that he questions every answer the game gives him, because surely he only can know the right answer. Then we have your little nephew and although the battle of Waterloo did not really take place in 2009, he’s so cute and he was so close, he also gets a point, to the outrage of the serious guys on your right. And then we have grandpa and everything pretty much goes too fast for him, but he doesn’t want to be left out and he’s having fun, so who cares. But grandpa’s having so much fun that he answers every question aloud whether the question was posed to him or not..
Oh, trivia games with the family, such great memories.
What you get for your money:
132 cards with 264 questions and answers, 1 dry erase score board, 5 dry erase player boards, 5 dry erase markers, 1 ‘number one’ board, 5 large and 5 small meeples in 5 colours and the rules.
How do you play the game:
Every player or team gets a marker, a board and a small and large meeple in their colour. Then someone reads a question out loud. The answer is always a number. Every player writes down the answer or a number that is as close as possible. Everyone reveals their answer and the boards are placed in sequence on the table next to the ‘number one’ board. Then everyone puts one or two meeples on the answer they think is the closest to the correct answer but not over. Every player that puts their large meeple on the best answer gets two points, the small meeple is worth one point and if you wrote down the best answer, you also get one point.
When did the battle of Waterloo take place? (Answer: 1815) (This question is not in the game)
Orange (2009) gets 0 points, Pink (1816) gets zero points, Blue (1800) gets two points and Green (1612) gets three points.
That’s the game, the first player that has fifteen points or more wins.
Generally, I’m not a big fan of trivia games. I don’t dislike them, but I just don’t love them. Mainly because I never enjoyed Trivial Pursuit when I was younger, this is a game that many people have and play when they want to play a trivia game. Also, I do feel that a trivia game is at its best with a large group, but when you play a game with a large group of people, people will disagree on how a game should be played. Some like it casual and some will play extremely competitive. That will, probably, cause friction in a group. That’s why I don’t like Trivial Pursuit and similar games; there’s only one right answer, questions aren’t always up-to-date or specifically targeting a certain generation, people feel stupid and the mood drops. I might be exaggerating a bit (or a lot, I’m biased through passed experiences), but I feel that games like TP are a bit too serious for parties, it should be more casual.
OK, enough chitchat. Do you like this game then? YES! Yes, I do like this game. Why? Because it takes every seriousness out of a trivia game. The questions are silly and the answers are numbers, so in many cases nobody will get it exactly right. Don’t tell me you know exactly how high a pig can jump!
When you do get all the answers right and put all your meeples only on your own answer, you will win the game. So you can play this game very competitively if you want to, but you don’t need to. When you don’t have a clue, Who’s Waterloo? When does a pig ever jump??, you just focus on the wagering part, write a random number on your board and put your meeples on other answers. You can win the game and not have one answer right.
Look at the example above, Pink was closest to the correct answer, but his answer was too high. Blue was also very close, but she put her large meeple on the wrong answer. Green wasn’t even close, but he did end up with the most points that round.
Another thing I really like is that everyone plays simultaneous. You are not waiting on team A, B and C to make an error, so you, team D can give it a try.
In conclusion, Wits and Wagers or Zet in en Win (as it is called in Dutch) is a great trivia game. Very casual, it doesn’t matter if you know nothing and everyone is constantly involved.