Monday, December 7, 2009

Wise and Otherwise Board Game

I am traveling this week and had the opportunity over the weekend to explore a game store and discover a few more games of interest to me and perhaps you. The first is one I am considering for my own family, Wise and Otherwise.

This game is on the slant for the blog but still applicable because it uses folklore in a way. It is similar to Balderdash, a favorite in my family for several years, the game in which everyone writes definitions for obscure words and then tries to guess the correct ones. Wise and Unwise offers old and obscure old sayings from around the world, letting players create new endings and then everyone has to guess the correct one.

Editorial review from Amazon:

Voted a Best Party Game of the Year by Games magazine, Wise and Otherwise belongs next to Pictionary and Scrabble in your arsenal of fun. This creative, interactive game (read: everybody shouting, flailing, laughing) revolves around 500 cards, each emblazoned with five obscure and long-forgotten sayings from around the world. For example, one old Chinese saying is, "Don't add salt to a boatload of salt fish." One side of the card states, "Don't add salt to..." and it is the job of the players to devise probable endings. "Don't add salt to salty soup," for example. Or, "Don't add salt to the open wound." (The actual endings are listed on the flip sides of the cards.) A player wins points when other players vote for his or her special ending, or when the player guesses the actual ending, so the goal is to finish the proverb as convincingly as possible given the geographic region in question. Each elegant box contains one game board, 500 cards, six writing pads, six pencils, one die, and six player pawns. People who love language, oddly hilarious translations, offbeat proverbs, or just making people look foolish by guessing their very clever answers will adore this game. We predict: The one who plays this game ... will hear the laughter.

Product description from manufacturer:

In Wise and Otherwise there are 2,500 wise, funny and unusual old sayings from around the world, and more than a few possible endings! During play the first part of an actual but little known old saying is read aloud. Then, with a little wit and imagination each player writes an ending to go with the beginning. The made-up sayings are read aloud along with the actual old sayings, and everyone tries to guess the real one. You'll get points when other players think your ending is the real one, and points for guessing the real old saying. Contents of Wise and Otherwise: Gameboard 2,500 sayings on 500 cards Writing pads 6 pencils 1 six-sided die 6 player pawns Instructions

And I wonder how many of the old sayings were gathered from old folktales. I know this is the type of game we would play without the game board, usually not even taking score beyond congratulating whoever wrote the best ending in each round. Half of my family is very uncompetitive and so just enjoys playing for the fun of it. This is the type of game that easily accommodates our tastes. And in some ways it would be more fun than Balderdash, perhaps easier to write endings to sayings than convincing definitions. We also learned long ago that Balderdash isn't as much fun with players who have a strong Latin background because they can figure out many of the answers anyway. Although the newer versions of the game don't offer defintions exclusively. And of course, it was always a game that could be easily played with a good dictionary around and no game set at all. Old proverbs are not so easily gathered for a casual game at home for most of us.

So if anyone has played Wise and Otherwise, let me know if it is as fun as it looks.


  1. Oh wow - you are so great at finding these games! Balderdash is one of my absolute favorite games so this sounds great. I haven't heard of it before so will have to search it out. If I hear anything, I will definitely forward it to you. :)

  2. That game sounds like a lot of fun! I can already imagine what kinds of answers my friends & I would come up with. Thanks for pointing it out! :)

  3. I knew I had to post about this one. Felt perfect for SurLaLune's readers since it felt perfect for me! I kept thinking about it all day after discovering it.