Guest Author - Megan Romer
Quelf is a new board game from Wiggity Bang games. It's a variety/party game that plays out sort of like Cranium or Rigamarole, with players doing challenges from five categories as they move along the board. However, this game is infused with a serious sense of silliness that has never been seen in a board game before.
The goal of the game is to escape from the land of Quelf, an invented land that's ruled by Queen Spatula and populated by such characters as Mrs. Pickle Feather, The Biscuit Farmer, The Super Ninja Monkey and Mr. Lugnut.
Game play is simple, you just roll the dice, move your playing piece ahead and read the card designated by the space you land on. The card categories are Roolz, Quizzle, Stuntz, Showbiz and Scatterbrainz.
Roolz cards are an interesting feature. They affect any or all players, and you generally hold on to them and follow the rule that the card gives you until you draw a new Roolz card that replaces it. Sometimes you'll have to follow the Roolz card for the rest of the game. Some examples might be: "Go find anything that is not normally considered jewelry. Wear this item around your neck as a necklace for the rest of the game." I pulled a wire coat hanger open so it'd fit over my neck. I looked stunning. Another card instructs you to speak with an Australian accent until otherwise instructed. Good to ya, mate!
Quizzle cards are traditional trivia cards, if by traditional you mean totally absurd. That's not totally true, some of them are pretty basic, for example, "At which national park would you find the "Old Faithful" geyser? A. Yellowstone; B. Jellystone; C. Big Al's Trailerland Park; D. The Grand Canyon. Easy, right? Then how about "Give the middle name of each player". This should be easy enough to answer if you're playing with the family, but do you know all of your friends' middle names?
Stuntz cards require you to perform some sort of stunt. These cards are when the game starts to get seriously goofy. For example: "Ever Seen 'Chariots of Fire?' Give us your best slow motion run around the room while you hum the theme song to this movie. Your steps should be no closer than 4 seconds apart. Set the timer and 'run' for the duration." Showbiz cards are similar to Stuntz cards, except they have to do with singing or performing in some way. For example: "Pick an opponent. Tell that opponent you will be humming 3 different songs, and that they must guess what your are humming. Song 1: Theme to Sesame Street. Song 2: Outkast's 'Hey Ya'. Song 3: Elvis's 'Hound Dog'. You have until the timer runs out."
Scatterbrainz cards are for everyone to play. They give you a topic (or a choice of topics to choose from), and everyone goes around the room giving one response at a time. The first person who can't come up with a response pays the penalty. Some of these are easy and take quite awhile to get through (for example, "Things that would taste disgusting if covered with onions"), some are pretty difficult: "Things that you wear on your hand" (there really aren't very many!).
One thing I wanted to make a point of was that this game has more cards per category than any similar game I've ever seen. You'll be able to play it dozens of times without finding the same card twice. Now, before you decide that these things are too silly for you to do and you're not willing to do them with other people present, note that you're allowed to "pay the penalty" (move back a few spaces) instead of performing any of the actions on the cards. Don't be scared, it's fun! More fun than I've had in a long time! Possibly the most fun variety game I've ever seen! Pick one up for your next game night, you won't regret it!
GAME BOX INCLUDES: Game Board, Timer, Large Stacks of 5 Different Types of Cards, Drawing Pad, 8 Playing Pieces, Die, Sharpened Pencils
YOU'LL NEED: To leave your inhibitions at the door!
SUGGESTED RETAIL PRICE: $34.99
AWARDS WON: Upbeat Magazine Board Game of the Year 2005
TRY IF YOU LIKE: Cranium, Rigamarole
PERFECT FOR: The group of friends who seem to find every traditional game dissolving into chaos because the players are too silly to take them seriously.
RATING: 5 Super Ninja Monkeys out of 5!