Wits & Wagers and Lots of Teenagers
Tonight's gathering activity was Wits & Wagers.
Wits & Wagers is a party game by Dominic Crapuchettes. Those with good memories might recognize that name as being associated with another party game: Cluzzle. And those who've been reading on the HFoG Forums might remember that I reviewed Cluzzle some time ago and I wasn't very favorable. I can understand why some people might like Cluzzle but it didn't really do anything for me. So I was pretty surprised to find that I actually like Wits & Wagers quite a bit! It's not the best game I've ever played, by any means, but it's a pretty darn good party game.
Wits & Wagers is played over seven rounds. On each round, players are asked a question whose answer is a number. For instance: how many miles long is the Mississippi River? Each player (or team) writes down an answer using a dry-erase marker on a card and tosses the card in the center. When everybody's chosen an answer, the answers are lined up in order from smallest to largest. Then each player places bets on which answer they think is closest to the correct answer without going over. The odds get better the farther away from center you bet. The correct answer is read and bets are payed. After seven rounds, whoever is left with the most points wins.
It's a very simple game that can be taught in seconds. Furthermore, you don't really need to know any of the answers to win the game, you just have to have a good feel for what you think the right answer might be. And because the amount of points you make directly depends on how many points you wager, you can minimize your risk on questions where you have no clue. It's an ideal gathering game and it's an ideal game for a group of non-gamers.
Our group of teenagers loved it. Most of them didn't know any of the answers and many of them had no idea about how to maximize their scoring potential by varying their bets to match their knowledge but nobody really cared and everybody had a wonderful time.