The television schedule has been ripe with geek competitions these days. Shows like King of the Nerds and Heroes of Cosplay pit geeks against each other to see who will climb to the top. The quality of these shows aside, it’s nice to see geeks getting their due, and, while you may have turned your nose up at these shows, it’s difficult not to wonder how you would do against others in a competition of geeky knowledge.
Geek Out!, from Playroom Entertainment, pits your trivial knowledge against others in a fun, head-scratching, fast-paced party game. Play is simple and pits individuals or teams against each other in attempt to create geek lists larger than your opponents.
Whoever goes first rolls a wooden die that dictates the category of the turn. The die has one of five colors on each side and a blank side, representing a wild card choice that’s up the roller. The categories are games (video or tabletop), comics, sci-fi, fantasy, and miscellaneous. Each card has a challenge for each of the categories and, after rolling, the corresponding challenge is read aloud to the table.
Challenges have a number corresponding to the challenge, for example, “Four films in which the Earth is destroyed”. The player who rolled the die decides if she will accept the initial challenge — agreeing to name, in this case, four films about the Earth being destroyed — or bidding higher. After making her bid, play continues around the table. Subsequent players can bid higher or drop out and bidding can make its way around the table more than once.
Once bidding stops, the high bidder must back up the boast by listing items to match the challenge. Sequels are not accepted, so a challenge of time travel movies would only accept a single instance of Back to the Future.
If the challenge is completed, the player gets to keep the card, which is worth a single point at the end of the game. If the player fails to make a list that delivers on his bid, he gets a penalty chip, which is worth negative two points at the end of the game. If the winning bid doesn’t exceed the challenge on the card, no penalty chip is awarded. Play continues until a player reaches a total of five points.
Geek Out is pretty challenging and diverse enough in its challenges that teams are often a better source of competition than individuals. Bidding is a challenge, too. When asked to name two steampunk comic books, you might be able to come up with Ignition City and Lady Mechanika, but can you quickly come up with a third? Or a fourth? The challenges are wide-ranging too and when selecting your team, will you be able to create lists covering everything from Warhammer deities to Smash Bros. characters? If you’re up to the challenge, pick up a copy of Geek Out!, find some competition, and name three types of gauntlets you can throw down to issue a challenge.
Disclosure: GeekDad received a sample of this product.