At some point between ChiTAG and New York Toy Fair I have to clean my office. Seems a little nuts to spend my busiest time of year doing such a mundane task, but between the half-finished prototypes, paperwork and game samples my work space becomes limited to my small x-acto cutting mat and that’s not a good way to work. Excessive clutter is not conducive to good ideas – or at least that’s how my world works. Some clutter yes, lots of clutter NO.
So during the purge I spotted a little blue box wedged between my towering shelves and the wall. Anomia! It fell backwards off the “needs to be reviewed” shelf and amazingly it lingered 5 feet above the floor for months. How did I not notice that such an amazingly fun game didn’t get it’s moment at the top of The Game Aisle? I guess that sometimes I do fall into that “scatterbrained inventor” cliché. (and yes, I do own multiple lab coats. Ha!)
Anomia is an amazing party game which we played a LOT over the holidays (after it was released from captivity). Although none of my testers knew what the name meant, it does pretty much explain the game. Anomia means, “a form of aphasia in which the patient is unable to recall the names of everyday objects.” The goal of the game is to be able to quickly identify an object within a category and it’s astonishing how often players get tripped up thinking of a word!
The game includes 2 decks (a red one and a blue one) but you only need 1 deck to play. The instructions tell you to read the directions out loud as you begin play and I agree, it’s easiest to learn when you follow the steps. The diagram looks a bit complex but once you get going it’s super simple. The premise of the game is that players draw cards and if the symbol on their card matches the symbol of the card face-up in front of another player then they “face-off.” The player who is quickest to come up with an answer within the category on their opponent’s card they collect it. The card below it now becomes active and if there’s another set of matching symbols at the table, those two players face-off. It definitely keeps all players on their toes since you never know when you’re going to have to shout an answer.
We played the first couple rounds omitting the wild cards just to keep it simple and then added them in once players had got the gist of the game. Wild cards create face-offs between players with different symbols. So if there’s a diamond and a circle on the wild card and there’s a player with a diamond card and a player with a circle card they face-off. With a big group it can get pretty nuts – but definitely in a good way. The only thing I have to say that’s negative about the game is that after playing a bunch of rounds with different folks I got used to the categories on the decks and it might have given me a slight advantage.
Also I hear in 2013 that they’re releasing a PARTY EDITION! It will have 6 new decks (425 categories) – which means I have loads more answers to memorize. Kidding! Price and availability TBD.
$12-15 Amazon, Local Game Stores
Ages 10 and up