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      07.01.2006 15:02
      Very helpful



      Great fun for the whole family

      My sister-in-law is always on the lookout for new board games, and she came round with this one the other night threatening warfare – if the game worked right! Well it did, though the result was more laughter than war, though with the right (i.e., wrong) group of people I can see how people might end up coming to blows!

      The premise of iMAGiNiff is very simple – each player has 6 cards, numbered 1 to 6, as their answer. Each player takes it in turn to roll the dice. There are 8 spaces provided around the edge of the board, along with a “Challenge” section.
      In the spaces, 8 names are written (the game comes with a dry erase marker pen and the board is easily wiped down afterwards with a moist tissue). These names can be anyone, but usually will end up being the names of the people playing and their family / friends. (Being fans of several Science Fiction Series, we also had a game using Star Trek captains and first officers, and another with the Stargate SG1 team.) The only limit is your imagination, but remember that they should be people all the players are familiar with. A token is placed on any one of the names to begin with and, when the dice is thrown you move the counter in either direction to end up on a name or the Challenge section.

      The next question card in the pack is then pulled out. These questions follow this basic pattern (where ???? is replaced by the name):

      iMAGiNiff ???? were an animal, which would he / she be?

      Number One: a Sheep Dog
      Number Two: a Chimpanzee
      Number Three: a Koala
      Number Four: a Bull
      Number Five: a Panther
      Number Six: a Toad

      (Many of the questions are much funnier than that, but unfortunately that’s the only example I have ready access to right now as she managed to leave the instructions behind, where this example was mentioned!!)

      Each player then considers the question, puts their number card corresponding to the answer face down on the board, and when all the cards are down they are turned over. The players with the most popular answer (most commonly occurring answer) go forward one space, or two if they were the one who rolled the dice for that go. There are also bonus cards for extra moves forward (if the player gets the most popular answer when they use the card), and the potential to “Challenge” another player, resulting in going 4 spaces forward if they both get the same answer or 2 back if not.

      Now that doesn’t sound like all that much fun, does it? And it’s not – I mean, that’s not what’s fun about the game. The real joy of this game is what comes after each move – discussing why you got a certain answer (particularly if someone’s answer about you reveals a shocking or unpleasant attitude!). This obviously means that the enjoyability of this game is very largely down to the group of people who are playing it. Most of the people I know are mad and nearly all of my family are, so I shouldn’t have a problem here, but this is not a game for people who are uptight or can’t take a joke. Paranoid people should not be allowed near this game! However, for the rest of us it’s great fun and hugely enjoyable, because it gets people talking and laughing, which is really what good times are all about. You may find out something interesting (or horrible) about what your friends think of you, but hey, you can take it! (Can’t you?) It can also be quite enlightening to find out who you have a similar thinking pattern to. (It can also be quite worrying…)

      The game can be played by as few as 3 people, but basically, the more the merrier (up to a maximum of 8 players). I think the ideal number is 5-8, but even with fewer players it’s still fun. In fact, just going through some of the cards and answering them about someone you know, without actually playing the game as such, is very entertaining. Younger players shouldn’t have any problems enjoying it either, though they may throw a tantrum if you don’t let them win… (Though for some reason the manufacturer have a recommended minimum age of 12.)

      Simple and enjoyable, with a slightly hidden strategic element to it (it’s not very obvious, but is is there!), this is a game that, with the right people, will never get old. No get together will be dull if you have this game!

      This game cost the princely sum of £5 from TESCO (I think - I'll double check that with her!) - don't get it from Amazon as they're charging £17.99!


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