Fictionaire Review

Now to review the Fictionaire series of games (which consists of Classic, Naturals, Fool Science, and Tall Tales). The specific version that I played was Tall Tales, but the actual game is the same, but with different themes and questions.

In Fictionaire, each player takes turns being the "host". The host will read the question at the top of their card and then (without reading the answer) will pass the box of cards (with the answer hidden) to the next player. Each person in turn will either make up an answer to the question or will use the correct answer on the bottom of the card.  (Someone is required to use the correct answer - if nobody has used it previously, then the last person is required to use it). Once all of the potential answers have been heard, the host will pick the answer they think is correct. Whoever they pick gets a point, and then if the host is correct they will also get a point - if not, then the person who tricked them gets a second point. The game goes around until each person has been the host twice. At that point, the player with the most points wins.

Fictionaire is not an especially innovative game. In fact, it is admittedly a dressed up version of the old kid's game of Dictionary in which kids use a dictionary to do this same concept. With that said, however, the place where Fictionaire shines is in the actual questions and answers. I played the Tall Tales version, and I was completely amazed at what some of the answers were. The game is fun not only to play, but also to read the extra information that is provided at the bottom of the cards. This is a great game in which the players are learning (though not necessarily learning anything "useful") while enjoying themselves.

There are two main cons to Fictionaire. The first con is really only a con for the ultra-competitive. In Fictionaire, since the host knows who gave each answer, they can be spiteful and choose answers that they do not think are correct simply so that certain people will not get points as a strategy to winning. Hopefully, you are able to play this with a group that views it as a fun little party game and does not get caught up enough to use this strategy.

The second con with Fictionaire relates to replayability. Once you have played through all of the cards in the set, the game no longer really works, since you now know the answers. However, with 120 questions per set, you are able to play 15 games with 4 players (the minimum suggested) or about 8 games with 7 players (the maximum suggested). That is quite a bit of replayability for $10, so I think that this fact was factored into the cost, which is why I did not let it prevent me from trying this game out.

Overall, I give the Fictionaire series an 8.5/10. For what it is and the cost it comes at, I think it is worth trying out by anyone that enjoys word games. This is also a game that I think could be utilized in schools and libraries as a fun and educational activity, and I have recommended it to at least one school librarian already.

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