What would you expect from a game with a squirrel holding a red pill and a blue pill? (Or nuts or gum balls or whatever those happen to be.) If you like really tough, dilemma questions, you’re going to love That’s a Question!
What Is That’s A Question!
That’s a Question! is a party game by Vlaada Chvátil and published by CGE for 3-6 players, aged 15 and up that plays in about 30 minutes.
Examining the Components in That’s a Question!
In the box, you’ll find:
- A double-sided, hex-shaped board
- A triangular question board
- 5 large nuts, acorn on one side, hazelnut on the other
- 6 squirrel tokens
- 6 sets of cardboard cards (A card, B card, and two smaller Kicker cards)
- 108 Answer cards
- 1 Rule book
I’ll talk about the cardboard and wood components in a moment, but the very first thing I want to touch on is the rule book. The rule book was written by Jason Holt, who is a science fiction writer, in case you don’t know. He also helps CGE with all of their English language rule books and was recognized for his excellent work on Alchemists, which won an award for being the best rule book of 2014. It’s not often that we spend much time talking about rule books during our reviews, so you may have started think that this one must be pretty special. And you’d be right. Jason Holt’s rule book for That’s a Question! is absolutely the funniest rule book I’ve ever read.
In fact, it’s so good, that I encourage you to go download it right now and read a page or two. Go ahead. I promise it will be worth it.
Back? Hilarious, right? Not only is it funny, the rule book does a great job of setting the mood for this game because That’s a Question! is a game that, while it can take a serious turn once in a while, at its heart, it’s more than just a bit silly because the whole point of it is to race your squirrel up a mountain.
And a pretty mountain it is on a double-sided board. One side is for 3-4 players, the other for 5-6. There’s not a dramatic difference, one side just has more spaces to move through. The art is nice though.
The player cards are good, solid cardboard and the squirrel tokens are great. A couple of the tokens, green and teal, are kind of close in color and it would have been nice if some other had been chosen. The acorn tokens are sizable, which is good because they play an important role.
The question board and answer cards are all printed with three segments — water, grass, and dirt. The purpose of these segments and sides will be explained in the How to Play section. The design is good and everything is easy to read, but the question board and answer cards are fairly thin and picking them up off the table can be a challenge.
How to Play That’s a Question!
Depending on the player count, place the board on the proper side. Everyone takes a squirrel and two large cards and two smaller, Kicker cards, all of the same color. Each player gets 5 answer cards before a draw pile is dealt, according to the number of players (check the board for details). If you’re playing with 3 players, everyone gets an acorn and the player to right of the starting player gets two. If you’re playing with four players, everyone gets an acorn. If you’re playing with five or six players, everyone but the starting player gets an acorn. You’re now ready to begin play.
The question board has three questions:
- Whom do you consider worse? Someone who …
- Which would you miss most if it ceased to exist?
- Which of these would you choose?
The active player then examines their answer cards and finds two that correspond to one of the questions by matching the art. (Grass questions match up with grass answers.) They then decide who they are going to ask. Only players with an acorn token are eligible to be asked a question and, upon selecting, the active player takes an acorn token from the player being asked.
All players examine the choices and place one of their cards, A or B, face down in front of them. They are trying to predict how the player being asked will respond — and the person should reply honestly! After everyone has chosen a card, answers are revealed and squirrels advance up the mountain based on scoring rules.
The answer cards presented should present a difficult choice because the asker gets to advance based on incorrect answers. Everyone who guessed the correct answer moves ahead a single space — including the person who was asked — their answer is definitely correct!
When you guess, you may also play one of your Kicker cards. If you are really sure of your answer, you may play the “3X” card, which will move you ahead three spaces if you are correct. If it’s a really tough question and you don’t think many are going to answer correctly, play the “?!?” card and move ahead for each incorrect guess.
However, if you play a Kicker, you lose possession of it. When you reach two spaces on the board, the lake and the meadow, you’ll have the opportunity to take one Kicker back. You lose your Kicker even if you didn’t get any benefit from it. You can only play a Kicker if you are guessing and you can’t play both on the same turn.
The active player discards the two answer cards player, draws two more, and play continues clockwise. Play continues until all the cards are taken from the board, which triggers one, final round. The squirrel who has traveled furthest on the board wins.
Should You Play That’s a Question!? Now That’s a Question!
I’ll be honest, while I enjoyed this game, to me, it’s like a cardboard version of a conversation game my kids have played for a long time called “Would You Rather?” In that game, an asker sets up a dilemma and the answerer has to choose between a couple tough choices. That’s a Question! is a lot like that. But apparently people really like these dilemmas because everyone I played with loved this game and most wanted to play again the moment a game ended. I think my kids have worn out the genre a bit for me.
I do particularly like the fact that, unlike a lot of party games, the choices don’t get outrageous or bawdy. It’s refreshing in an era of party games that try to outdo each other with lame, shock “jokes.” Although, for equally immature reasons, possibly tied to the people I played with, there is often tittering about “Who has some nuts I can grab?” when selecting an acorn from a person to ask. Every game. Every group. No kidding. *sigh*
However, if you’re playing with more advanced maturity, this is a game you could play with your grandparents. To that point, and the age suggestion, there isn’t much that is inappropriate, content-wise. However, I do think that the age suggestion is accurate since there are a number of questions that ask for judgments on your moral compass and I just don’t think most kids have the life experience to be able to answer. Questions that compare someone who cheats on business taxes to someone who cheats on their spouse, while not completely risqué, may be lost on a younger child. If you wanted to play with younger kids, you could pre-select tiles to play with younger kids or just make up your own answers and still use the answer cards and board.
Games can be played a couple of ways, either asking and answering questions in rapid succession, which makes for a fast-playing fun game. Or you can take your time and really get to know people. Ask them why they chose an answer (or why you thought they’d answer a certain way) and you can learn a lot about people (who you only thought you knew). The first time I played was with people I had just met and it was still enjoyable, the questions serving as ice-breakers. You’ll probably have more fun playing with people you know, as it will make for games that are pretty close and lots of discussion. But, even if you don’t know them, the choices of answers are such that almost every round is pretty challenging. As conversation starters, this game is very helpful.
I’ve played the game eight times now and enjoyed it every time. But it feels like there needs to be more answer cards or a wider variety of answers. Even though I haven’t played it that many times in the scheme of things, the same answers have come up repeatedly and enough to notice.
Still, it’s fun and everyone seems to enjoy it. Oftentimes, the answers present a real dilemma as to which you would choose, let alone the person being asked. It’s friendly for all and has the best rule book ever. Check it out. That’s a Question! retails for $20 and will hit shelves at the end of this week.
Disclosure: GeekDad received a copy of this game for review purposes.