This half term, if you are looking for a fast paced family board game to get everyone having some fast-paced, competitive fun, then check out Smart Ass. We were sent a copy to test out and thoroughly enjoyed playing it.
I really like board games with a general knowledge element to them. You can learn some good trivia facts and get to show off how brainy you are in the process! Smart Ass adds another dimension to the format, as players enter into a free for all where shouting out the answers before anyone else is the name of the game. But if you guess the answer wrong, you are frozen out of the round giving your opponents the chance to steal the points!
Each question card contains 10 clues to a place, an object or a person. As soon as you think you know where, what or who the clues are describing, you can shout out the answer. If you are right you get to roll the jumbo dice and move your playing piece around the board. There are some bonus squares and penalty squares that you might land on as you head for the end square to take the title of Smart Ass, which adds fun and unpredictability to the gameplay. You can also land on the Hard Ass square which gives you a challenging bonus question to win another roll of the dice.
The game is for children aged 12 and up, but 5 year old Freddy teamed with his Daddy helping to read clues, throw dice and move playing pieces around the board. He really enjoyed being a part of the game, shouting out a few guesses to the clues himself too. I was really happy that he could get involved and enjoy it (although he is far too young to play independently). Some trivia games are a bit too high brow and difficult, which can exclude younger players. In Smart Ass, the cleverest player won't necessarily take the title, as if you guess wrongly, everyone else gets a chance to answer after listening to further clues that get progressively easier. 12 year old Kezia was able to play against myself and her dad without feeling penalised by being younger. In fact, she was pretty shrewd in her tactics, waiting for Ian and myself to make a mistake in our haste to answer first, giving her the chance to hear all the clues before giving the correct answer and winning the chance to throw the dice and move her playing piece.
It is a very fast paced game from University Games suitable for 2 to 8 players. There are 500 general knowledge question cards in the box, meaning you will get to enjoy lots of games before it becomes repetitive. Each game takes around 30 minutes, which is a good length of time for a family game.
It sells for around £16 (on Amazon.co.uk) and is definitely a good addition to the games cupboard! I like the educational aspect to it, as you test your general knowledge and learn new facts (who knew James Cagney was a talented tap dancer?) and we enjoyed being able to shout out answers without having to wait our turn!