GeekDad received a copy of the new “Black Edition” of the game Loaded Questions for review. The game is billed as a test of how well you know your friends, and as such it’s definitely a game that works best with people you know well. However, it’s also an interesting way to get to know people. I took the game for a spin this past week.
The game is fairly simple: roll the die, move along the path, and then ask the question corresponding the type of space you land on. (The types of questions are Hypotheticals, No-Brainers, Anything Goes, and Personals.) All the other players write down their answers, and one person reads them out loud to you. You try to guess who wrote which answer, and you get to move an additional space for each correct guess. The game ends when a player reaches the WIN! space and correctly guesses at least three answers.
As with games like Pictionary or Balderdash or Trivial Pursuit, Loaded Questions isn’t really about the board or the die or the new custom pieces, as nice as those are. It’s all about the cards, so in essence it’s an extremely simple idea. Since I was traveling for a wedding, I actually ditched the board and game box and just took along the cards. And you know what? It worked really well even without the score-keeping. We did have a die to roll just to randomize which questions got asked, but the real fun was the questions and answers.
We had a mixed group: some family members of the bride or groom, significant others and spouses, college or high school friends. So there were some people who knew each other extremely well, and others who were meeting for the first time. We threw them all together to see what would happen, and the results were pretty entertaining.
Take a question like: “If you went to a psychiatrist, what would they say you suffer from?” It’s not only fun to hear what everyone’s answers are, but it’s extremely entertaining to watch one person trying to match the various answers to the people, because it says a lot about how well they know everyone. Some questions don’t reveal quite as much personal detail, particularly ones that can take one-word answers (e.g., “What car is too obnoxious to drive?” turned up “Hummer” three times and “Hummer H2” once.). But most of the questions do get at least a little personal, and we got some very entertaining answers. One particular question sparked such funny responses that the person reading them aloud became completely incomprehensible for a while since she was laughing so hard.
The game is intended for four to six players, teens and up, but we crowded in a few more people for the board-less version and that seemed to work well, too. (Although it did make it significantly harder to match answers to people sometimes.) As the game creator Eric Poses mentioned in an interview, it’s possible to play with younger kids as well if you screen the questions for things they’ll understand.
If you’re looking for a deep strategy game, Loaded Questions certainly won’t fit the bill. But despite the fact that European-style games are my preference, I ended up liking Loaded Questions well enough to play twice during the trip, and if time had allowed we might have played again. It’s a fun, light, social game that gets you thinking about how well you know other people, and also gets you thinking about yourself as you try to answer the questions. It would make a good addition to a collection of party games like Taboo or Apples to Apples.
For more information about the game, visit the All Things Equal website.