Reviewed by: Wayne Tonjes
Wits & Wagers by North Star Games is a new trivia game for oddly enough people who do not like trivia. The game adds an entire level of play with a betting stage
designed so that even people not good at trivia can win through creative gambling on the best guesses, adding a whole level of gambling stratagems. Even with the wagering, this is a quick to learn party game where each player or team bids on numerical trivia questions. In seven questions, the game ends, making it as quick to play as to teach.
The product website describes this aspect of the game:
“Not a trivia buff? It doesn’t matter! Each player writes a guess to a question such as “In what year did the bikini swimsuit makes its first appearance?” or “How many feet wide is an NFL football field?” and places it face-up on the betting mat. Think you know the answer? Bet on your guess. Think you know who the experts are? Bet on their guess. Strike it big and you’ll be cheering like you just hit the jackpot!”
The rules are straightforward on only three pages, complete with a full color example of bids and payouts. The questions are also well supported with extensive commentary and referencing on the trivia. The questions were well designed for wagering as all ask for simple numeric values. This intrinsically makes the answers comparable based on finding the nearest value that does not exceed the correct response. Players get two basic chips that can never be lost to bid on any of the answers, allowing some strategy in betting. The wagers are also scaled so that the higher answers pay out better for an additional betting strategy and winnings can be applied to later wagers as well. This leads to an entire range of betting strategies on top of the underlying trivia feature, which greatly enhances the play scope of the game.
Wits & Wagers offers a quick to play game perfect for parties, if you can get the players past the trivia barrier. The layout is functional with the nearest artistic flare appearing on the felt play mat although its primary function is to describe the payouts and arrange the answers for bidding. The cards are relatively well edited, although the lack of italics on all titles is a rampant oversight. Poor grammar aside, though, this game is definitely worth a look. Take a gamble and see if it pays.
For more details on North Star Games and their new trivia game, Wits & Wagers, check them out at their website http://www.northstargames.com and at local game stores.
Wits & Wagers
From: North Star Games
Type of Game: Trivia Game
Game Design by: Dominic Crapuchettes
Developed by: Satish Pillalamarri
Contributing Design by: Nate Heasley
Game Components Included: Play Mat, 100 Cards, 120 Chips, 14 Betting Cubes, 7 Dry Eraser Boards and Pens, Timer and Rules Booklet
Retail Price: $29.99 (US)
Number of Players: Four to twenty
Player Ages: Ten and older
Play Time: Twenty-five minutes
Reviewed by: Wayne Tonjes