Pick ‘n Choose

If you have ever played a party game like Cranium you know that some clues work better with some methods of performance. If your clue is “Birthday” then humming a few bars of a certain copyrighted song will elicit an answer faster than if you have to mold something in clay.

Pick n Choose sets out to capitalize on those inequalities.

Like Cranium, Pick n Choose provides many ways to give clues to your teammates. You can draw, sculpt (with clay or wire), mime, hum, clown, provide key words, or ask a trivia question. The game comes with a thick deck of word cards. Each card has the target word and nine ways to give clues. Each type of clue has a different point value.

For example: For the word “nightmare” a drawing would earn you 40 points, a clay sculpture 140 points, a wire sculpture 150 points, and a 2-word clue earns a scant 10 points. Choosing the right method of clue is tricky. You have to balance between what you can actually accomplish and the number of points you need.

At the beginning of a round, the active player draws 5 cards and places them face-down on the table. When the timer starts, you flip over a card, announce the clue method and then try to get your team to guess the word. You may pass at any time and come back to the card, but you must always use the same method that you first chose. You may use a different method for each card. When time runs out, your opponents have the opportunity to steal a word that you did not finish.

Pick n Choose also comes with a spinner. The spinner has all nine categories and three sections labeled “-100 Points.” At the beginning of your turn you may spin the arrow and use that method for ALL of your cards. You receive double points for each successful card. If you land on “-100 Points” then you subtract 100 from your round total (an incentive to do the highest value clues). This becomes a good way to catch up (or take an intimidating lead…)

Risk taking is encouraged but success is almost completely up to the choices made by the active player. The timer is generous, but you can’t think too long. Players can go with their strengths in order to get some points on the board or stretch a bit to take a commanding lead.

I especially liked the variations for 2 and 3 players. 2 players work collaboratively to reach 400 points within 4 rounds of play. For 3 players, a neutral player takes turns with guessing for each of the other two. Although the game is best suited as a party game for lots of players, the 2 and 3 player variations are still engaging ways to pass the time.

The rules are crisp and clear. They fit on one side of a single sheet. On the back is a guide for the nine clue methods: what is allowed and not allowed for each one. All in all, the mechanics are incredibly intuitive and you’ll have little problem picking up the game and having Major Fun right away.

For 2-8 players, ages 14+

Pick ‘n’ Choose designed by M.H. Ribeiro. © 2011 by MHR Games.

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