Sounds Like a Plan

You get 300 “Advice Cards,” 100 “Plan Cards,” 8 wooden pawns that look remarkably like pinless push pins, a die, and a board (that serves mostly for scoring – I guess you could call it a “scoring board”), and a set of rules. There’s a track around the edges of the board that goes from Start, and then after 44 spaces, Finish. The track looks like a cork board. Which makes the pawns look like push pins stuck into a cork board. Which is fun.

But, of course, the really fun part doesn’t come until you start playing the game.

Let’s start with a Plan. Which, in this game, begins with a Plan Card, which is, in fact, a To Do List. Each To Do List has three different To Do’s. For example:

1. Build a tree house.
2. Get a tattoo
3. Tightope walk between two buildings.

Then you, the Planner, throw the die, which determines what kind of advice you’re looking for: the best advice, the worst advice, the kind of advice your grandma might give you, or the kind of advice you’d expect to get from a kid. The two other sides of the die are for something else.

Everybody has 6 cards, drawn from random from the many, many Advice Cards. Advice? Like:

• Learn the law
• Call an attorney
• Take a large bag
• Take lots of cash
• Study architecture

The Planner selects which of the three To Dos she wants to, uh, do. Like “Get a tattoo.” And the die tells everybody that she’s looking for the kind of advice her grandmother would give. Which card would you select?

So you select that card. And everyone else (there can be up to 8 players) selects one of theirs. Then everyone gives you their advice – which is always fun. You look at the cards. You put them in order, from, according to your lights and the dictates of the die, best to worst (or worst to best, depending). There are 5 scoring positions in the middle of the board. You place each card, in order, starting at the top (which is worth 5 points), and ending at the 1-point-worth position. Players whose card was chosen move accordingly, one space for each point. And then it’s someone else’s turn to be Planner.

The players who got to give advice all replenish their hands. And the next person gets to be Planner.

Sounds Like a Plan turns out to be everything you’d want to see in a Major Fun party game. It’s easy to learn. It takes maybe a half hour to play. And you spend most of the time laughing. As you can see, the cards are very cleverly written – the Advice cards easily as clever as the Plan cards. The die works brilliantly to keep the game unpredictable and fun. There are two other sides of the die: one is “Wild” which allows the Planner to select whatever kind of advice she wants to get; the other is called “Psychic.” When that turns up, the players have to guess which of the three To Do’s on the Plan Card the Planner would most likely select, and then come up with the most appropriate Plan for that To Do. OK. So there’s a certain element of luck there. In fact, there are certain elements of luck everywhere in the game – what side of the die turns up, what Advice Cards you get, what Plan Card is selected. All of which prove to provide exactly enough luck to keep anyone from taking anything about the game too seriously.

It’s most definitely the kind of game you can play with anyone of 2-digit age. It’s clearly as much fun to play it with your family as it is with a bunch of friends. And the fun is most clearly Major.

Designed by Colleen McCarthy-Evans and Joyce Johnson with art by Lisa Goldstein, Sounds Like a Plan turns out to be yet another Major Fun game from Gamewright.

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