Who tries to stop Christmas from coming by stealing all things Christmas from the Who's?
|Oh What Fun! (2022)|
|Designer(s)||Project Genius||Artist(s)||Project Genius||Publisher||
Growing up, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day consisted mostly of movies, opening presents, and eating meals. If we did play games together, they were often your traditional games like Scrabble, Spades, or Rummy. I don't really recall ever playing a trivia game beyond maybe Trivial Pursuit or Pictionary. Oh What Fun! is a family friendly holiday game that mixes trivia, puzzles, and singing in a compact box. It is simple enough that anyone in the family can join in and flexible enough that the game can run as long or as short as needed. Let's take a look at what this game has to offer.
Box and Components
Oh What Fun! comes in a box that is very similar in shape/size as most party games. It is overall pretty decent quality. The box is sturdy and the divider actually makes sense to help keep things separated. It may be a slightly bigger box than it needs to be, but it isn't too unreasonable. The box's artwork is alright; it certainly feels suitable for the type of game it is. It does give me some vibes of older Christmas card boxes; nothing wrong with that though.
The game includes:
- 200 Puzzle Cards - There are four categories of trivia cards: Claus's Clues, Tinsel Trivia, Christmas Tree Conundrums, and Carol Collisions. How these are different will be covered in the mechanics section of the review.
- One Spinner - The spinner contains the 4 categories represented on the four decks of cards; the spinner is used to determine what the team's challenge will be each turn.
- Christmas Tree Board and 6 Ornaments - These components are used for the Christmas Tree Conundrum cards.
- Single Rule Sheet
The cardboard pieces are nice and sturdy. The cards are standard cardstock; I wouldn't bend them too much, but they aren't flimsy to the point they will bang up too easy. They should hold up under most circumstances and will remain playable even if not (they don't need to be perfect like many people's Magic the Gathering cards).
There is a QR code in the box that I assume will take you to the Project Genius games website, but it appears the QR code is no longer valid. Hopefully, they can address this in future print runs or fix the connection with the printed QR codes.
The gameplay is pretty straight forward; what is different about the gameplay is how each of the card categories are presented and played. The goal is to be the first team to successfully complete 10 challenges.
- Shuffle the four decks individually placing them in reach of the players along with the spinner.
- Split into at least two teams.
- Place the tree board and ornaments nearby.
Select a starting team by your preferred method.
- The active team takes the spinner and gives it a spin to determine the category of their challenge.
- A player from another team draws the card of that category and reads it to them.
- The active team must then complete the challenge based on the rules of the category listed below.
- If they succeed at their challenge, they take the card.
- If they fail, the card is placed at the bottom of that category's deck.
The next team repeats this process.
This is a visual trivia challenge. Players will be shown a group of pictures with some hints to what the phrase they are looking for sounds like. For example, you may be looking for Eggnog and be presented a picture of an Egg picture + a head picture - GIN. It is Egg Noggin but without the "gin" at the end of Noggin; therefore, Eggnog. There are certainly some cryptic ones in my opinion, but a team should be able to figure them out. In the event the team is stumped, they can skip one time and try to answer a different card.
Unlike the other card types, another team is able to try and answer this one to steal a point.
This follows the typical trivia game format, where players are presented with a question they must answer. Only one answer per team is accepted. In the event the team is stumped, they can skip one time and try to answer a different card.
Christmas Tree Conundrums
For this challenge, you are allowed to use the Christmas tree board and ornaments. You have one minute to correctly solve a puzzle which will ask you to identify where a specific ornament is. The tree board is divided into six sections (three rows and two columns). You will be presented with hints for where the other five ornaments are on the tree, and must identify where the sixth is located.
This is an interesting challenge where players need to sing Christmas song lyrics to the tune of other Christmas songs. For example, one card has the lyrics for "The First Noel" but it has to be sung to the tune of Silent Night. To complete this challenge, you have to sing through all of the lyrics to the listed tune. You have two attempts and cannot pause for more than 10 seconds during the song. There is some flexibility to what part of the song the tune comes from, but you do have to avoid slipping into the tune of the original song.
In the event you don't know the "tune" part of the card, you can draw a second and pick one of the two cards.
The first team to complete 10 challenges is the winner of the game.
This is one place I would suggest a minor tweak to the rules. It is entirely possible a team can win simply because they are the first team to go in the game. I would suggest that once a team has completed 10 challenges, finish out that round so all teams have an equal number of turns. If there is a tie for the win at that point, there should be some sort of sudden death or tie breaker. Either, keep playing until one team misses an answer or have them compete on a single card.
- If you have the teams that are tied for 1st place to keep going until one misses a challenge, I would recommend setting a timer for 10 seconds for the answer to be given.
- If you have a sudden death round, have a player from another team draw either a Tinsel Trivia or Claus's Clues card and have read/reveal the card to the teams competing. Require teams to stay silent until they are ready to answer and indicate as such (hit the table, raise their hand, buzzers, etc.), and give them one chance to talk each.
This is a very minor critique and probably too much for a simple family game, but it would be good for competitive families to have an option for a fair end game.
The game is pretty easy to learn and should be a good fit for families of gamers and non-games alike. It is nicely packaged and has a nice insert to keep the cards from shuffling together. The overall contents are of good enough quality that should hold up to a reasonable number of holidays especially since it is not likely to be a game played year-round. The game could easily be expanded with more cards for each category, but they wouldn't fit into the box with the current divider, which is fine and easily addressable.
There a few things with game I do find odd (very minor though):
- I do find the second card mulligan for most of the challenge types is a little bit strange decision; I feel the point of trivia is to know something or not. I would personally not use this rule unless playing with children or limit it to once or twice per game.
- I find it odd that only the Claus's Clues allows for another team to steal. I like the idea in theory for two team games, but if you have more than two teams, I don't think this rule is really going to work since the question is: which team would get the chance to solve it.
- There were some minor spelling issues on a few cards such as "Silent Knight" instead of "Silent Night" as well as punctuation issues. These issues absolutely do not impact the game though and could be fixed in future print runs.
- End game could certainly be homebrewed by families of gamers if they want a fairer target for winning.
Beyond these minor issues and places for some house rules, I think it is a nice family holiday game that should offer a bit of fun leading up to Christmas. It isn't a game for everyone. It is not trying to re-invent anything, but I also don't think it needs to. If you are looking for a holiday themed game for your family gathering, be sure to look into Oh What Fun! by Project Genius.
Oh What Fun Board Game Geek Page
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