Funny Business – funny in deed

The people at Gamewright call their Funny Business game “The Hilarious Game of Mismatched Mergers.” And by golly, they’re right!

Funny Business is a family game that engaged our particular family, ranging in age from just 12 to significantly 67, in verifiable moments of hilarious, helpless laughter.

You get a deck of very big “Business Cards.” These are not your traditional business cards, they’re cards that identify kinds of business – like “Bakery” and “Barber Shop” – 200 different businesses. Each card also has a list of 20 words associated with that business – like bread and doughnut and bangs and curls. Everybody gets a write-on-wipe-off naming card, a voting wheel, a marker (with write-on-wipe-offing eraser), and until the timer runs out to write down what you might call a, for example, Barber Shop and Bakery. You know, like Snips ‘n Crumpets, and The Coiffed Bagel, and maybe Feed and Groom.

When time’s up, one player reads all the answers on their naming cards. The cards, by the way, each have a different color border which in turn correspond to one of the colors on the voting wheel, all of which add to the ease and the fun of voting.

You get 2 points if you get the most votes, and 1 point if you vote for the winner.

If you tie – somehow two or more players become so attuned to each other and the underlying silliness of the game that they all write the same thing – both players get points if they get voted for, and if they vote for the winner. The fact that such ties occur a testimony to the kind of closeness this silly game engenders. We played all 6 rounds, and by the 3rd or 4th we started having ties, and by the 5th or 6th, we were still having ties.

A lot of the laughter is at yourself – in a very fun sort of way. From time to time you amaze yourself at your cleverness, or your ability to think of a name that’s too, shall we say, personal to share, while simultaneously nothing short of genius. We kept score. But by the last round we were too tired from laughing to care who won.

The older folk spent the most time laughing. For the 12-year-old, much of the hilarious subtlety seemed other.

Designed by Jack Degnan for Gamewright, Funny Business proves to be a Major FUN party-like game, for friends or families of up to 8 players whose kids are in their teens or beyond.

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