Board games are such a fun way to involve kids in literacy. With our society's emphasis on screen-related activities, it's refreshing to find an activity that allows social interaction with your loved ones. Add to that a huge dollop of fun, an emphasis on vocabulary, and a chance to outshout your husband and son, and you have the Book Chook's take on Blurt!
The object of the game is to answer questions before anyone else does. The board is a classic "travel around the edge" one, and there are game pieces and a die. The fun comes from the question cards. Essentially, you have to say (yell, scream...) the word represented by a clue before your opponents. The clues have been very well thought-out. We didn't find a card that stumped us, but we had plenty that ensured lots of blurting before the correct answer. There are two levels of difficulty. A junior version of the rules is included, ideal for the classroom, where students write their answers and gain points for spelling words correctly.
One nice twist involves challenging someone to a one-on-one word duel if you land on their space. This can result in that player being sent backwards. Similarly, if you land on a space that matches the colour of your game piece, you can challenge anyone ahead of you to a one-on-one. Tension mounts when you are playing to win!
I love word games, but I also like it when a game has just the right element of chance to level the playing field. In my case, that element of chance allowed me to catch up to my quick-thinking son and almost defeat him. (I have a secret plan that involves introducing him to a bowl of fresh popcorn for our re-match tomorrow.)
The concept behind Blurt! isn't new - answering questions is the main idea behind lots of great games. Blurt! succeeds because it gets the balance between skill and chance just right, because the clues have been well thought-out, and because it can be played by people aged 7+. I think it would make a great family or classroom game.
Post script: We are now on our fourth re-match. This thing is addictive!