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JabberJot Kickstarter Preview

Quick Look: JabberJot

Designer: Allen Wolf
Artist: N/A
Publisher: Morning Star Games
Year Published: 2018
No. of Players: 3+
Ages: 10+
Playing Time: 20-45 minutes

From the publisher:
Quick! You've got 90 seconds to write a story about a musician, a phone booth and the desert. Make sure you use the words "juggle," "tasty" and "rebel" and write it in the theme of "time travel." It doesn't have to make sense - the wackier the better! If your story is the favorite, you'll win the challenge.

JabberJot is the hilarious word game where you create all kinds of wild tales. In each round, you race against the timer to jot out a story using three pictures, three words and a theme that are different each time.

When time is up, you'll win the challenge if the jabber (the player judging) likes your story the best. You'll fall on the floor laughing when you hear the outrageous stories your friends and family concoct. Score enough challenge cards and you win the game!

Find more info on BoardGameGeek.com

WARNING: This is a preview of JabberJot. All components and rules are prototype and subject to change.

Review: JabberJot

Overview and Theme:

JabberJot is a family storytelling game where you are racing to write a story that contains all the needed elements before the 90-second timer runs out! Lots of different elements are incorporated on the various picture and word cards, so you never know where your story will take you.

"The kung-fu high school reunion was happening at the Windmill of the Toothy Swans. The guys gathered there remembered passing notes and resting in their old school, fond memories for the old masters..."

Components and Setup:

The version of JabberJot that I played with my family and friends was a prototype version, so my components are not the final ones - the pictures will be updated, there will be more cards in the box, etc. The blue Challenge cards in my version will be updated to Theme cards without numbers on them. I have used a combination of pictures provided to me by Morning Star Games and my own photos of the prototype components in this review; black-bordered pictures are mine, and the professional, fancy ones are from the company! Please keep this in mind as you take a look at the game.

The finished game of JabberJot will contain 300 cards, 140 word tiles, and a 90-second timer. Each player will need something to write on and something to write with. Separate cards by type (Hipster - people; Globetrotter - places; Thingamajig - things; and Themes - categories) and set out the word tiles (we used a little felt bits bowl for this).

Each player will get one turn to be the "Jabber," or judge, and will set up their own round. The Jabber will pick a Theme card, three other cards from any combination of categories (Hipster, Globetrotter, and Thingamajig), and three word tiles. All of these elements are double-sided, so the Jabber will choose which side to use and show them to everyone before placing them in the middle of the table.

Game Play and Mechanics:

Once the Jabber has chosen the story elements, they will start the timer. Everyone - including the Jabber - now has 90 seconds to scribble and scrawl the wackiest story they can that includes all the elements. This is a lot harder than it sounds, and we laughed and groaned at the challenge of coming up with a plot, no matter how off-the-wall, that included these random and disconnected elements, For example, making up a story with the theme of "building" that must include a guitar player, a pagoda, and a tea ceremony, and use the words shrink, vengeful, and colorful.

"The shrink wearing the colorful kimono was feeling vengeful after the terrible guitar player knocked over the pagoda he was building and crashed into the tea ceremony..."

After the timer ends, all players pass their stories to the Jabber, who reads them out loud and then chooses the one that was their favorite. The author of that story earns a point. All players who managed to include ALL elements from the story (one theme, three pictures, and three specific words) also earn a point - including the Jabber and the winning author.

Play continues until each player has had a chance to be the Jabber, and then the player with the most points wins.

"Once there was an angel with an angry man talking on the phone. They went fishing together, and they had to handle the live fish..."

We found that in our family and game groups, the JabberJot stories were a little unbalanced between the kids and adults, and so - encouraged by the rules to change the game to fit our needs - we started playing with various levels: the adults needed to incorporate all four cards and all three Word Tiles; teens could skip one card of their choice and use any two Word Tiles from the table; and the elementary kids needed to use two cards and just one word to earn a point.

The Good:

JabberJot is a great mix of storytelling, writing, and judging elements wrapped up in a fun family- and party-style game. We had a great time with it and were usually hysterical with laughter by the end of each round!

It is a great fit for our family's gameschooling life where we use board games to enhance our kids' homeschooling adventures. There are tons of skills that are reinforced here, but because the game was designed to be fun, it's enjoyable for the whole family without anyone realizing that they're working on vocabulary, handwriting, story elements, and so on.

The Bad:

We did find the main variant of JabberJot to be unbalanced between players of different ages and skill levels (as many word or storytelling games are), but the rules encouraged us to be flexible and so we found a variation that worked for us, so this is really only a negative if you are determined to follow the main set of directions.

The rules also suggest that folks can type on their phones and then text their stories to the Jabber - and I think it could also work to have young kids take phones or tablets into another room to record a 90-second audio story, too.

Players Who Like:

JabberJot is a good game for groups who like games like Balderdash, Apples to Apples, DixitSnake Oil, and other party and family games that involve storytelling and judging.

Final Thoughts:

JabberJot is an engaging, funny, lighthearted way to enjoy telling silly stories with super speed. My family and friends really enjoyed trying it out, and I believe we will continue to play it both at game nights and with our homeschooling friends, as it provides a clever and captivating way for kids to expand their thinking and writing skills.

"O Holy Night played softly as the belly dancer drank sake alone, with the bartender at the other end of the room. 'This is a terrible play,' she said..."

Check out JabberJot on:


About the Author:

My name is Alexa: I'm a life-long game player and homeschooling mom to two awesome kids. I've loved board games since my early days playing Scrabble and Gin Rummy with my grandmother, and life only got more interesting when I married a Battletech enthusiast and fellow game lover. We've played games with our kids since they were small, and I helped start a thriving homeschool co-op where we have weekly sessions of board games with kids.  In a family with kids raised on Catan and Pandemic, life is sure to be fun! You may run into me on Twitter, BoardGameGeek, and other social media as MamaGames. Be sure to say hi!
JabberJot Kickstarter Preview JabberJot Kickstarter Preview Reviewed by MamaGames - Alexa C. on June 07, 2018 Rating: 5

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