Overview: Off Your Rocker is a party game that emulates the Party Quirks game from the legendary improv show Whose Line Is It Anyway? One player takes on the role of “psychiatrist” and the rest of the players, the “patients,” all have a secret trait that they must exhibit. The psychiatrist hopes to guess the patients’ quirks and the patients are trying to impress one another with their answers.
Ages: 12 and up
Playing Time: 45 minutes
Rating: This is that rare party game that combines zany interactivity with a solid yet simple mechanical structure. As a patient, it’s a lot of fun to learn your secret prompt and know that the psychiatrist player doesn’t know it. As the psychiatrist, it can be challenging and hilarious to watch your friends act crazy.
Who Will Like It? Fans of improv and theatresports will love Off Your Rocker, as will anyone who has always dreamed about seeing their friends pretend to be trapped in a bottle. It’s a great family game, especially with kids who love to perform.
I received a sample deck of cards, so I can’t speak to the final version of Off Your Rocker. The cards that came in my deck were of good quality stock and shuffled well enough.
The game will come in a box that stores everything, and it has 200 cards with lots of great quirks for the patients. There are also 40 disc-shaped point cards that get awarded at various points of the game. It will also ship with a sand timer.
Everyone chooses a player to serve as “psychiatrist.” This player leaves the room and the “patients” draw a quirk card. That card will identify what they must do when the psychiatrist returns. These are personality quirks like “patients think they accidentally married a penguin” or “each time a player’s name is mentioned, that player starts ‘the wave’ and other players join in.”
The psychiatrist has a minute to ask questions and try to identify what the patients are suffering from. The idea is that the players are trying to be as creative as they can, because at the end of the round, they will all simultaneously vote on who had the best response. So if you answer the psychiatrist’s question with, “Oh, hi! I can’t believe I just married a penguin!” you probably won’t win the vote. You have to be a bit more clever than that.
Since Off Your Rocker is a party game, gameplay is entirely dependent on your group. If you have a bunch of quiet, introverted strangers, your experience will be totally different than if you were playing with close friends.
Off Your Rocker is a great party game, and at $20 on Kickstarter, it’s a great value. If you enjoy typical party game fare like Charades, or creative games like Cranium, there’s little doubt that you’ll also enjoy Off Your Rocker. The mechanics help push the game along and are simple to understand, but like many party games, they aren’t totally required. You’d do worse than having a game night where everyone just alternates psychiatrist and has a blast trying to guess quirks. Scoring, while possible with the point cards, is not absolutely necessary. In the end, you’ll have so many fun and hilarious memories that you’ll all end up winners!
If you’re interested in pre-ordering Off Your Rocker from Stratus Games, check out the Kickstarter campaign. It’s $20 for a single copy, but you can bump your pledge a bit to add one or more of Stratus’ other awesome games (including Gold Mine, Launch Pad, and DiceAFARI). Right now, the Kickstarter needs to raise more than $5,500 in 10 days, so you may want to act fast, and share it with your friends.
Wired: Fun party game with lots of zany improv action; light mechanics that are easy to ignore if all you want to do is act crazy.
Tired: It’s a party game, so if you’re hoping for heavy theme or strategy, look elsewhere.
Disclosure: GeekDad received a review copy of this game.