I saw the game Concept at Asmodee’s booth during Toy Fair and I was definitely intrigued. I can’t compare it to anything out there, but it seemed like a game that was easy enough for my non-gamer friends to enjoy but different enough that my as my gamer friends wouldn’t mind playing (or at least it would be a welcome change to Cards Against Humanity and Apples to Apples which seem to be overly requested.) So I bought myself a copy and got some friends to try it out.
The game play is simple but we didn’t really like how you were supposed to organize teams (and I’ll get to that below). To play, a player/team draws a card and chooses an easy, medium or hard word or phrase on it and they use tokens to mark little images on the board to help describe that item. For “milk” you might put a token on the food category, the liquid drop and on the white color. You can put more than one token on a space to emphasize its importance. So if people are guessing things like “sour cream” or “soft serve ice cream” instead of milk, you may toss another token on the liquid drop to get them to think of things that are more fluid – like milk.
The first time we played we only had 4 players, the minimum, and it just didn’t work with the teams. Players are supposed to be placed on teams and they take turns placing markers for the other players to guess. We tossed that out the window and allowed one player to control the board and everyone else to guess. We awarded 1 point to the player placing the tokens and 2 to the correct guesser – but then we found that without a timer, we were allowing everyone to go until they got someone to guess. We then used an iPhone to give players 3 minutes to get someone to guess. (We wanted to do 2:30 but the phone’s timer was being difficult). Anyway, it played much better although we still ended up getting rid of the scoring all together. Still, we played quite a few rounds more than we expected, had a great deal of laughs and I’m sure I will bring it out again!
The other thing I must comment on is that some of the “hard” things/phrases our group found kind of strange. “Forewarned is Forearmed” isn’t really a phrase any of us uses and everyone agreed that it would have been almost impossible to get “The Lascaux Caves” or “Ennio Morricone.” Conversely, “Vacuum Cleaner,” “Lottery,” and “Martin Luther King” although “hard” didn’t seem to be of the same difficulty level as the items listed above. Still, there are 9 different categories on each card so it’s easy to avoid the stranger topics.
Overall, I’d definitely recommend people give Concept a try. It’s easy to grasp, add your own house rules for scoring (just find a timer) and you can even make up your own words if you insist! Personally, I’m looking forward to playing this again soon!
~$32-40 at Amazon and your local game store
~30 minutes (or how ever long you want if you make up your own rules!)
Ages 10 and up (but I might say older for some of the phrases!)