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Search History Review

Quick Look: Search History

Designer: Tom Rohlf
Publisher: Player Ten
Year Published: 2018
No. of Players: 3+
Ages: 10+
Playing Time: 30-60 minutes

Find more info on PlayerTen.com

: I was provided a copy of Search History for my review, as well as the NSFW (Not Safe For Work) edition.

Ah, Internet search engines. A true haven of knowledge. A place to look up useful information, things like recipes, directions, questions that need answers. But that doesn't always mean that the most common searches are also the most obvious...

In Search History, players are tasked with guessing the most common web searches. They are only given the first half of the search, and it is their job to find out how it ends. However, they're also throwing red herrings into the mix, in the hopes that everyone else will guess incorrectly. The first person to earn 25 points will win. Can you keep everyone guessing for long enough - or will you get lucky and match the correct answer to boost yourself ahead?

The family edition (white box) and the NSFW edition (black box).


Rules and Setup:
The rules are simple: each round, the "Leader" draws a card from the top of the deck. Each card has three prompts, each of which is the first half of a common web search; the Leader selects the prompt that corresponds to the next card's matching color and reads it aloud. The other players then fill out their answer pads with what they believe is the most common (or at least most believable) second half of the web search, and the Leader fills out their answer pad with the correct answer (the top web search). The answers are collected, and the Leader reads them out, giving players a chance to vote on which answer they believe is correct.

After everyone has voted for their answer of choice, the Leader reveals the correct answer, and players are given points (1 point for each player that guesses your answer, 2 points for guessing the correct answer). If two people write the same wrong answer, then their answers are disqualified; however, if someone writes the correct answer down, that person automatically receives 4 points, and the round ends. The role of Leader transfers to the next person, and rounds continue until a player reaches 25 points and is crowned champion!

The components, in all their glory. Make sure you have some pencils handy!

Setup is as easy as giving the cards a good shuffle, and making sure each player gets an answer pad and something to write with (make sure the Leader also gets the score pad to keep track of points).

Theme and Mechanics:
Much like classic word game Balderdash or more recent online hit Fibbage, players must use their imagination to come up with realistic answers, while trying to suss out the true answer among the fakes. It's a tried-and-true party game formula, with the modern twist of internet searches.

Along with the basic rules, the game has a few optional house rules, including letting players pick whichever prompt they want from the card, having people vote on answers they think deserve extra points (if they're really funny, for instance), or even having the Leader look up the up-to-date top searches instead of relying on the card answers, as those things can change over time. These optional rules can tweak the game to make it more enjoyable, depending on the group you're with.

All the cards and answer pads, tucked nicely into the game's insert.

Game Play:
Our family is big into party games, so this was an easy one for us to get to the table. Whereas a game like Balderdash poses odd, usually unknown words, Search History forces you to get into the mind of the average Internet user to determine what sorts of questions they want answered. We had a ton of fun trying to sabotage one another with our answers (my dad even going so far as to vote for his own more than once, just to sway public opinion). This is the sort of party game that is as fun to play endlessly, not focusing on exact scores, as it is to secure victory in, and that's always a good pull in my opinion.

I've yet to discuss the NSFW edition (the box appropriately acknowledges that "Safe Search" is off, a nice tongue-in-cheek reference), but I actually appreciated that none of its cards are blatantly offensive. That works perfectly fine in games like Cards Against Humanity, where the shock value is part of the appeal, but my mother would faint if she read some of the cards in that game. This game doesn't do that. There's definitely more risqué searches, so I would recommend keeping to the age of 17+, but many of them are tame enough to not make the room uncomfortable (this is a fill-in-the-answer game though, so if you prefer the shock value, you can certainly push the limits). For most groups, you could easily mix the two decks together for more variety. One last note: the NSFW edition does include an optional drinking rule, so you have that option available to you.

The editions are easy to tell apart, while still keeping the same design motif.

Artwork and Components:
While there's not much artwork to speak of, the game does have a nice look to it. The box and card designs are sleek, and keep the focus on player interactions.

Some examples of the regular cards...

Speaking of cards, there's quite a few of them - each box contains a whopping 200 cards, meaning a total of 1,200 prompts across both editions! There are also several answer pads in each game (I had 16 in the regular edition and 17 in the NSFW one), a score pad, and an instruction book.

...and some of the NSFW cards.

Search History is a simple, fun party game. It takes mere moments to set up, it has a lot of replayability, and it never takes itself too seriously. The NSFW edition adds plenty of new searches to the mix, and isn't so gratuitous that you couldn't bring it around to most game nights.

While it's a fun party game, it isn't much more than that. If you've never been a fan of party games or answer-voting games before, this probably won't be the one to change your mind.

Final Thoughts:
Search History is upfront about what it brings to the table. It's not flashy, but it doesn't need to be. It just is... itself. And as a gamer, I appreciate that.

Players Who Like:
Balderdash, Fibbage, or other vote-for-an-answer party games.

Check out Search History on:

https://playerten.com/products/search-history   https://www.amazon.com/Search-History-Card-Game-Surprising/dp/B07BK9KQH9

David Jensen - Editor and Reviewer

David has tried his hand at everything from warehouse work and washing dishes to delivering pizza. Now, he's trying his hand at writing creatively and working as an editor for a start-up literary magazine. When he's not busy procrastinating, he's running tabletop game sessions for friends and family.

See David's reviews HERE.
Search History Review Search History Review Reviewed by David J. on May 06, 2019 Rating: 5

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