Truth be Told – “The Laugh out Loud Pretend to Know your Friends Game

Before we delve too deeply into the nature and wonders of Truth be Told,” Buffalo Games‘ newest and perhaps most successful party game since Imaginiff, let me ask you to fill in this particular blank: “The most expensive thing I purchased last month was ____________ ” And by “I”, I mean “me,” majorly speaking, fun himself. Given everything you know about me from all our years of virtual intimacy, what do you really think, honestly, was the most expensive thing I actually bought all last month? Wait, let me put it differently: what do you think I would admit, truthfully speaking, to be the most expensive thing, etc.? Got it? OK, now write it down, using one of the 8, write-on, wipe-off markers on one of those 8, thick, write-onable, wipe-offable cards so thoughtfully provided by those everso clever Buffalo Gamesters. Be sure you write your name on the top of the card in the assigned blank. OK, now put your card face-down and slide it over to me. Note, please, how I’m thoroughly mixing up everyone’s cards, including mine.

Now, listen carefully as I read everyone’s answers aloud – everyone’s, including mine. Here they are, in no particular order:

A coffee pot
A subscription to the New Yorker
A pair of New Balance sneakers
A bag of marbles
A Panasonic TC – P50X1 – 50″ plasma panel – 720p flatscreen TV

OK? Want me to read them again?

Now, on your paddle-like, write-on, wipe-offable, nicely thick True Answer Paddle cards, write the answer that you think was the one I gave. Remember, you get one point for everyone who votes for your answer. And one point if you vote for mine. (If you wrote down my answer, I find myself that much closer to you as well, insofar as I get a point too.) And now, one at a time, in sequential order, everyone, except me, of course, reveals their answers. I then, with great flourish and conceptual fanfare, reveal my “true” answer. Scores are recorded on the convenient, also write-on and wipe-offable scorekeeping card. And then, on to the next Truth Teller.

What actual fun! How comfortably unthreatening. How surprisingly well the scoring system works to keep the game light-hearted, fair and, uh, balanced. See, I want you to guess my answer, because it’s a point for me, too. So I try to fill in my blank with something that’s not only honest, but plausible, and predictable, even. And you really are thinking about me, reviewing everything you know about me, or can guess about me. The game is clearly not about trying to make me look bad, or you stupid, or trying to reveal something secret about me or yourself or anyone else who’s playing, or trying to out-strategize anyone. It’s not good for me or anybody to try to get you to guess wrong. When it’s my turn, the game is all about me. Not about what you think of me. But about what you know of me, what you can guess about me. And then, when it’s your turn, it’s all about you.

There are a lot of party games that try to accomplish this “getting-to-know-each-other-better” experience. Few succeed like Truth be Told. Honestly.

Oh, by the way, it was a subscription to the New Yorker. Who knew?

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