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In the January sales at work I stumbled upon a board game called 'Bookchase.' The purpose of the game is to travel to each of the six different coloured section, and answer a question correctly to receive a book of the corresponding colour. Once you have collected one book in each colour you have to roll the exact number necessary to land on the centre square to win the game. However, it is necessary to do this without 'losing' any books on the way - therefore it is necessary to avoid the 'sentence or reward' cards. The game is similar to 'Trivial Pursuit,' just with a sole focus on books.
Even though the game is completely book based, it is not just a game for book lovers. My boyfriend has become thoroughly addicted, even though he is not a regular reader. All of the questions have multiple choice answers, but that certainly doesn't make the game any less challenging! The questions also focus on six different genres, so there are areas that every player, reader or non-reader will be confident in answering.
The questions all come under the following genres:
Fantasy and Science Fiction
Children and Fun
Travel and Adventure
Classics and Modern
Poetry and Plays
Crime and Thrillers
Included with the game are some miniature 'book jacket' stickers, which you can stick onto the plastic books. All of the jackets have titles on them so you can customise your game to your reading tastes.
This game is incredibly fun and definitely very competitive! I would recommend it to any book-lover and encourage them to get everyone involved so they can see that you don't have to read lots to win this game! Penguin have also released their own version of Bookchase using their trademark coloured covers for each section, which is beautifully presented in a giant box that looks like a book.
I actually received this game as a wedding present, which was a lovely change! Although we did appreciate (and need!) all the pots and pans and things, it was nice to get something that was more fun and was picked out to suit us as a couple.
Both my husband and I enjoy reading, although I'm a little more obsessive than him, and this game is basically Trivial Pursuit for the keen reader. In fact, it's so close to being Trivial Pursuit that I was surprised not to see any logos or information anywhere suggesting that this was a collaboration.
The first thing you notice when you pick this up is that the box is shaped like a huge book. (I have a more updated version than in the picture, though.) I love this aspect of the appearance, although it's not completely practical because there are some sticking out corners that can be bent quite easily. It's instantly obvious that this is a Penguin product because it's plastered with logos, and also in tiny writing around the part of the 'book' where the edges of the pages would be, are the names of Penguin books in grey, so it does look a little bit like leaves of a book.
Setting up the game takes basically no time at all. The only thing you need to do is unfold the board, get the dice ready and pile the cards up. You can have up to six players, but we usually play in three or four teams of two, or we split things girls vs boys.
The aim of the game is to work from the centre of the board into one of six different sections. Each section has a separate colour and theme. When you go into each section, the squares alternate between one that makes you pick a card and follow the instructions - kind of like a Monopoly chance card, but they're called Award & Sentence - and one where you have to answer a question pertaining to the theme of the section that you are in. Your playing piece is a bookcase, and every time you get a question right, you earn a book that is the same colour as the section you are in. Once you have acquired one book of each colour, the race is on to get back to the centre on the board to win.
There are also three squares where you can find, borrow or buy books, if you've picked the right Award & Sentence cards to allow that.
The questions in this game are, I have to admit, pretty tricky. I would describe myself as quite a voracious reader and it's rare that I know the answer! However, the questions are multiple choice, so often you can try to work out the answer from what knowledge you do have on that particular topic. The categories of questions are quite broad; the different themes are Classics & Modern, Arts & Science, Children & Fun, Mystery & Crime, Plays & Poetry, and Sci-Fi & Adventure. This means you have to be extremely well read to feel confident in all of the categories! That can be really off putting for people who aren't big readers, which means we tend to be quite careful about who we play with. The questions are a bit eccentric as well - sometimes two or all three of the possible answer options are correct. One of the plus points, though, is that with each answer there is a little nugget of extra information that is sometimes relevant and interesting but sometimes quite pointless and funny!
The little books that you win come as just plain plastic blocks, but there are sheets of stickers so that you can customise them with book covers. When you win a book, that means you can choose which title you want to go on your bookshelf. The book titles are famous examples of the category represented by their colour. I really like this aspect of the game - it's fun picking your books for the bookshelf, and I think that kids might enjoy this as well.
There are quite a few ways in which you can vary this game. For a harder version, you can make it so that every time you land on a question square, even if you already have a book of that colour, you have to answer a question and if you get it wrong, you forfeit your book and have to win another one. If you do want to play with children, then you can use only the children's category to ask them about, so they will be able to answer more of the questions.
A game probably lasts about 45 minutes. I can't really imagine that it would ever take more than an hour, unless you were playing the harder version and not doing very well, or unless you have the full six teams.
Overall I think this is a great game and quite engaging, but I think people who aren't into books that much might find it a bit boring. I certainly only play this with quite a limited number of friends. Also, it's not exactly a laugh a minute like some games - when we get Cranium out we spend most of the time laughing too hard to speak or breathe. I find it really interesting and enjoyable, but it's not my favourite.
That combined with the fact that this game isn't a hit with everyone like some of the others I know means I'm giving it 4 stars.
I bought this game a year or so ago now as it looked pretty similar to Trivial Pursuit which I love and also I'm quite a big fan of books when I get the chance to read them. So I bought the Bookchase Board game and I think if you love books you will really enjoy this too.
It does have a very similar type feel to Trivial Pursuit with the board looking almost the same and the questions you get asked. The big difference as eluded to is that all the questions are related to Literature rather than general knowledge. Now, the only thing I will say is that there might not perhaps be as much variation as the Trivial Pursuit game so that is a minor setback for it.
You can play with up to six players so there should be plenty of chance to get friends together to play. The playing pieces you use are great and are little bookcases which is funny.
So what is the object of this game? Well, it's pretty simple really...you work your way round the board and when you land on the category square you get to try and answer a question to win a book for your library so quite original. There are six categories in total and then you head to the middle for your final question to win the game. Sound familiar? There are no restrictions to where you can move around the board and you go wherever you want to get your categories. If you keep answering the questions right then you can continue until you get one wrong.
The categories you can choose from are Crime and Thrillers, Poetry, Plays, Children's literature, science fiction and classic novels. All the questions are multiple choice giving you a bit more chance.
It's an easy enough game to play and enjoyable and addictive and if you like Trivial Pursuit you should try this one out.
This is the trivial pursuit for book lovers.
It has a very similar feel to TP but instead of general knowledge questions the questions are all based on literature.
Up to 6 people can play. If you have more people or want to play a shorter game you can play in teams. The playing pieces are little bookcases.
The aim of the game is to work around the board and when you land on the category square you can answer a question to win a book for your library. You need to get one book for each category (6 categories in total) and then head to the centre of the board to win the game.
You can win the pices by answering the question correctly, you can pick some up from the library square if people have left some there during the course of the game, from the library, book corner or by 'stealing' from other players if you receive an 'award or sentence' chance style card that permits you to do so.
If you have played trivial pursuit before the rules are very easy to pick up as it is such a similar game. If you haven't played TP before it is still easy to get to grips with as the instruction sheet is clear and concise with coloured pictures which are easy to follow.
It is a little time consuming when you first set up the game as you have to stick little labels on each book (there are 36 little books) but once you have done this once it is easy, you get the board out of the box, roll the dice and the game is underway.
You aren't restricted in movement around the board, you can go whatever way you want which is fun as you an target categories you need the book for. Also it is quite cool as you can colect more than one book for each category which means you end up with a stack of books.
Although there is no restriction in direction of movement you have to move the exact number of spaces you roll and you can't go backwards and forwards to land purposely on the space you want to.
One flaw is that all 6 books fit on the bokshelf playing pice, only before the stickers are added. Once the pieces have their stickers they are marginally too wide for all 6 to sit comfortably on the bookshelf so you have to stack them and they fall off as you move your pice. it is a little annoying but we tend to keep any spares in a pile in front of us and have 5 stacked on the shelf.
In the box you get:
* The board - nice and brightly coloured
* 6 different coloured bookshelves - your playing pieces
* 36 books - six of each category colour - the prize for answering questions correctly
* A set of small labels (or Dust jackets) - optional for use on the small books
* 1200 multiple-choice question cards
* 42 Award & Sentence cards
* 2 dice
There are lots and lots of questions - there are six categories including: Crime & Thrillers, Poetry, Plays, Children's literature, Science fiction and classics.
The questions are multiple choiced answers. I have played with some book buffs and we find it fun to try and aswer the questions without the multiple choices. Having the multi choiced option means that it is a great game to play with those who don;t read a huge amount as some of them are really very tricky and others really quite easy, the questions are well balanced.
This can't be bought in many places, it retails at about £29.95 but we really enjoy it and is well worth the money. It can take a long time or you can play shorter rounds, the rules are easy to adapt to suit and we have had great fun playing it!