It’s a book. It’s about travelling. Lonely Planet? No. The title of the book. Something to do with politics or royalty. A king. And there’s a circle, a yellow circle. A yellow ring? Oh, oh, oh, the Lord of the Rings! Tada: Concept.
Concept from Repos Production can be explained as a variation of Charades. A better version of Charades. You can play in teams or play it individually. You can play for points, or not. It’s pretty free-form.
If it’s your turn, you must draw a Concepts card. On a card you find six words, sentences or parts of sentences. There are two easy, two intermediate and two difficult ones. Just pick one and then you give clues about your word, so that the other players will guess that word. How do you do that?
Well, there’s a board with icons on it. Some icons will depict a category of some sort, like Films or Food, others a shape or colour, and yet others a feeling, a shape, or a state. You start with placing the green question mark pawn. That’s you main concept and you can use the corresponding green cubes, there are ten of them, to clarify this concept. If you want or need to, you can place additional exclamation mark pawns to create sub-concepts. They all have another colour and come with fewer cubes than the question mark pawn comes with.
When someone guesses your word correctly he gets a point. I’d recommend you don’t play with points and just play for fun.
Confusing? Let me give you the example I always use to explain the idea of the game, it’s from the rulebook. Look at these pictures.
OK, you are looking for a person, a man. He does something in films. An actor, a director, maybe?
He has a boat or has something to do with boats or sailing. It’s a low boat?
A small boa.. Oh, the boat goes down, it’s sinking.
He’s dead? The boat? He’s very dead. No? Oh wait, many deaths. A ship sinks and many people die. Is your word Titanic? No, not the Titanic.
Oh wait, it’s about a man. Then he must be an actor in the Titanic film. Leonardo DiCaprio?
I like this game quite a bit. It’s a party game, but it’s a more thinky party game. The board with all these symbols works perfectly. You can, after you get used to the idea of creating concepts and are familiar with all the symbols, depict anything on it. Although, sometimes it’s just really hard to give the right clues and place the right concepts and sub-concepts on the board. You just don’t see how it must or can be done, or the other player go in a very different direction than you want them to go in to.
The three difficulty levels do not always make sense to me. It’s just about perspective. Sometimes you can make the other player guess a difficult word with two or three cubes and at other times you need a main and several sub concepts with a lot of cubes to depict a so-called easy word. So, don’t bother with the categories and just pick one of the six words that you think is challenging.
The points can also be thrown in the dumpster. It’s much more fun to just let one person (or more) give the clues and let all the other players guess without the points. Just have a laugh and don’t bother.
Most of the times the other players will tell you how they would have done it. It’s very fun to see how everyone handles every word in a different way. This just leads to nice discussions and some good laughter, which is what a good party game is all about. Isn’t it?
Maybe it’s not especially suitable for younger players, but I would imagine that they will also find a way to let you know what they mean.
Concept is a party game with a bite. It’s a keeper and I recommend it to everyone.
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