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Go Big or Go Home Party Game Review

WBG Score: 7.5

Player Count: 4-99

You’ll like this if you like: What Came First, Wits and Wagers, Shot in the Dark

Published by: Shot in the Dark

The team behind Shot in the Dark, an awesome quiz game that gives everyone the chance to do well, have come out recently with two brand new games. Crash Landed, that you can read about here, and Go Big or Go Home, a brilliant version of a game you may have played before with friends or family, at home or in the pub, that always creates a lot of buzz and laughter. Let's get it to the table to see how it plays.

Set Up

First, split into two even teams. Give each team a pen and white board sheet. Place the category cards in the centre of the table, and finally, choose one person from each team to start as the captain. That is officially all you need to do to set up Go Big or Go Home, but WBG does recommend some form of intimidating war dance from both teams at this point if you want to take it seriously.

How to Play

Once the dance is finished, and enough time has been given to courteously pay respects to each others moves, the game can begin. The captain of the starting team will take the top category card, choose one of the two categories that they hope will suit their team the best, and declare it to the table. They are all fairly generic and generally suitable for all players, but some may throw younger players, but any that do confuse the group can be easily replaced with another card. The captain is not choosing the one they like the best themselves, but the one they think their team can do the best with.

Once a category is chosen and it has been shared with the other teams captain, they then have five seconds to decide how many "things" in this category they and their team can come up with within the time limit. But be warned, it goes quick. You only have 60 seconds to write all your answers down if you bid the highest. Each teams captain must decide how many they can do as a group without consulting with their fellow teammates. You need to think about what your friends knowledge in this chosen category might be, how high you think the other team will bid, and then finally, how quickly you could write them all down! And you have to make this decision within five seconds!

When the five seconds is up, both captains will reveal their white board and the captain with the highest number will then have the baton. Only the highest bidder gets to attempt this round. So, you want to bid high to have a chance to win a point, but not too high that you cannot achieve the number.

Then, with the help of all players in their team, they need to write down on their white board as many correct answers before the timer runs out. It is advised to write as many as you can, not just the number you are aiming for, because when the time limit is up, you must read all your answers out to the other team. They then have the chance to challenge any answers they believe to be incorrect. If after the arguing, bickering, and general raucous behaviour has finished, if the team who wrote the answers are left with enough correct answers, they will win a point.

And so the game will continue. Like any good party game, you can play for as long as you like. To a points or time limit. Or just until all players grow tired of the game, each other, or the seats they are on. The rules suggest playing to either five, ten, or fifteen points, but of course you can adapt to suit your group.

Is It Fun

Like many party games, Go Big or Go Home's success lies mostly with the group you are playing with. What's in this box is all you need for a great time. But this may not be for all players. The time pressure, first of coming up with number you and your team will go for, and then if successful, the time pressure to deliver the answer won't suit all players.

You may find that any answer of 12 or more quickly becomes avoided! As even if you could think of that many correct answers, you don't have the time to physically write that many down within the time limit. Legibly anyway! I have been left starting at my scrawl myself, something that I only just wrote literally a few seconds prior, failing to remember what it was I scribbled down. Unable to read what I wrote down in a frantic panic!

Initially this was frustrating not being able to bid higher, as you want to go high to win the chance to have a go. It was frustrating to limit your answer by the time limit rather than your knowledge in the area. But I quickly realised this just adds to the fun and tension in those five seconds. You need to think about how many you could do in total, how many you could write in the time limit, how many you think the other team may go for, and if you want to risk a higher number to win that round.

And if you do win, the timer is flipped, and you are away. Players on your side begin shouting out possible answers, you are trying to write them down as fast as you can, and the other team will be staring intently at the ever reducing sand timer. If all this sounds like fun, then you will have an absolute blast with this game.

Personally, I very much enjoyed the competitiveness this game brings out. I mainly play games in a fairly chilled way. I am not bothered about scores or my own performance. But in this game, winning starts to really matter! And sometimes, in some games, I think that works. It's ok of course when you loose, and I enjoyed seeing other people do well, and win points. But I also enjoyed doing well myself, and helping my team win points. It's a bit like School Sports day all over again. Everyone tells you it's ok to not win. It's the taking part that counts. But everyone wants to cross that finish line first. It's hard for this game to be billed otherwise. It is a competitive game. The time pressure brings that out even more. And if you like that in a party game, then you will enjoy this.

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