14 July 2021
Fast-paced quizzing and word-play in a tiny package
Dropping on our doorstop just short of last month’s bumper party games issue is the latest from Obama Llama creator, Matt Edmondson. The designer and Radio 1 presenter has developed somewhat of a knack for quick, quirky party games, with Ansagrams perhaps being the paragon of this formula, cramming fast-paced quizzing and word-play into a tiny package.
At first glance, Ansagrams appears to be yet another simple quiz game, with the five questions appearing on each card being put to the group by that round’s quizmaster. The added twist here is that players need only take note of the first letter of each answer. Soon enough, a five letter anagram is revealed, with the first player to unscramble it winning the round and receiving the card. Furthermore, the reverse of each card features a random letter and as soon as anyone manages to assemble a three letter word out of their winnings, the game ends.
Edmondson has chosen a wide-ranging bunch of questions here, and their difficulty hits that sweet spot of being enough for players to show off a bit of knowledge whilst not completely alienating those who get a few wrong. Some added challenge lies in the fact that players can only hold three letter cards at a time. Possessing a nonsensical trio of letters results in any future wins either being discarded or swapped out with one in hand or from the discard pile.
Essentially, this is a party game composed of three simple and satisfying parts; a quiz, anagrams, and a race to construct a valid three letter word. It’s a brilliant mash-up of classic party game tropes, fit for any occasion – even over zoom, and with basically zero setup time. The game reportedly sold out over Christmas – its simple charm perhaps an ideal tonic for an odd holiday period – and it’s not hard to see why.
Designer: Matt Edmondson
Publisher: Format Games
Time: 35 minutes
This feature originally appeared in Issue 57 of Tabletop Gaming. Pick up the latest issue of the UK's fastest-growing gaming magazine in print or digital here or subscribe to make sure you never miss another issue.
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