Here Inside the Wendy House, the TV game show Pointless is our biggest guilty pleasure. We record it on series link, and every night after dinner we sit down together to play the game searching for those elusive pointless answers. I even admit to having a massive crush on Richard, I love his dry wit and intelligence.
So when University Games offered me the chance to have a go at playing their Pointless board game I jumped at the chance. We've owned a fair few board games based on TV game shows, but all too often have found that the format does not translate very well to playing at home. You miss out on some of the things that make the show great such as the music, the scoreboards and the tension. However, the Pointless game comes with a free downloadable app which allows you to enjoy the excitement of finding out your score using the same answer board as you see on the show complete with sound. This immediately made it feel more interactive than a simple question and answer game.
The game comes with question cards for each of the different rounds, the head to head and the final. These slot into little cases so no one can peek at the answers. Answer sheets and pencils allow you to keep tabs on your points and your answers. The game comes with a playing board and tokens, but if you use the app you don't need these. The app keeps score, tells you what round it is and whose turn it is and keeps a leader board of winners. It worked really well to keep up the pace of the game and keep us on track. The app does not work on its own as it has no built in questions, but it complements the board game really nicely.
Unlike the TV game, the first rounds give several possible answers to the questions and the aim is to pick which one you think is correct and that will score you the lowest points by being the most obscure. So even if your knowledge on a subject is lacking you can have a guess. This levels the playing field when playing with a mix of ages and abilities. Further rounds require more subject knowledge, but with such a varied array of questions, there are categories for everyone from nature to history to pop music to TV shows, so you never know who is going to get an all important pointless answer.
Having a quiz master makes the game run more smoothly as they can organise the question cards and programme the scores into the app to let the players know how good their answer was. We let Freddy manage the app with a little help so we could all play while he felt super important to the game. He was our own mini Alexander and did a great job.
We've had a few games of Pointless and have really enjoyed them. 20 year old Ella is the reigning champion after a pointless answer on invertebrate marine life and a great round on top 40 hits by The Killers. It has been such good fun taxing our brains trying to think of all the chemical elements with five letters in their name or working out which South Park character would be a pointless answer.
There are plenty of question cards so there are many hours of game play to be had before they start repeating.
Board games are a great way to bring the family together. I like games that make you think and expand your general knowledge, so really like this game. The app really adds enjoyment to the game and we have literally 'oohed' and 'ahhed' as we watch the score go down. It definitely helps build the excitement and is a lot of fun. It also makes the game easier to follow as it prompts you as to who is next and what round you are on. You can even share your results on social media straight from your iPad or smartphone. Great for bragging purposes!
Pointless is for 2-4 players aged 12+.
It is available at Tesco, John Lewis, Waterstones, Amazon, Argos, WH Smith, Toys R Us, Debenhams and Hamley’s, RRP £19.99.