Board games, as I knew them, were an avid interest of mine when I was growing up. I was a decent chess player and I played draughts a lot. I was the custodian of the Scrabble and Monopoly sets at home and school. As far as I was concerned, these were the main board games, I was into them, and this interest in board games, along with my campaign to be smart, were major differentiators.
Well into my twenties, I discovered that there were more board games than chess, draughts, Scrabble and Monopoly. I hadn’t even scratched the surface. It crushed me a bit. This is actually the first time I am admitting that. Looking back now, it seems silly that I felt so precious about this interest. Then again, growing up, I was that kid who was hellbent on finding and asserting his niche.
So I didn’t know much about board games and frankly, I wasn’t interested beyond Settlers of Catan, the dramatic, Murder Mystery and social board games like 30 Seconds and Pictionary. My inner-geek was well fed with that relatively meagre selection.
Enter ‘Wikipedia, The Game About Everything.’ The latest addition to my small selection of preferred board games. The game packages the greatest platform of crowdsourced information in the world and tests your general knowledge, knowledge of the internet and even makes you all-powerful, for all but 30 seconds…
The game is packaged for four players. Each set comes with four dry erase boards, four dry erase markers, 300 Wiki theme cards, 100 tokens and a 30-second sand-timer.
Each round has a reader, and the youngest player starts the game as the reader. The reader picks a themed card which has three sections, and the turn goes as follows:
- Start timer. Read out section 1 of the card which is trivia. When time runs out, the reader announces the answers for everyone. Grading happens and for every correct answer, players are awarded with tokens.
- For section 2 of the card, the reader starts the timer and reads out the question. This section is page view rankings. When the timer runs out, the reader shares the correct answers and players are awarded with tokens.
- Section 3 momentarily makes the reader The Godfather. The reader participates in answering the question for this section. The question requires a list of disambiguation terms that are in keeping with the card’s theme. Every other player will, in answering the question, try and match your answers. For every matched answer, the player and the reader both get a token each. It doesn’t matter how right or wrong the reader’s answers are – if they match with another player, tokens are awarded. That’s the end of a turn.
My favourite part of the game is Section 3. Obvs. The short-lived moment of power is just too good!
The game was officially launched in South Africa by Prima Toys on the morning of Saturday October 10, 2015 at Guru in Parktown North. At the launch, I sat with three awesome human beings I met there, and we had such fun playing the game. From corny jokes to the lamest answers to some difficult questions, we were off the wall. And it had nothing to do with beer at 11:00am.
With 300 Wikipedia topics, from diseases (our group’s favourite, it turned out), comics, seas, television, food, sport – anything you can think of that’s on Wikipedia, the game is as much fun as it is informative. I do wish there were more than four people per game. The more the merrier. I think I am going to supplement the dry erase boards with small whiteboards and the tokens which will possibly run out, with low-denomination coins that we don’t use as much. Because the game is that good.
The game hasn’t hits the shelves in South Africa yet. Once it does, I will share the information. It’s a great game between friends and for the family too, and will make a great Christmas gift.