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Randomise Review

Quick Look: Randomise

Designer: Hazel Reynolds
Artist: Leelu
Publisher: Gamely Games
Year Published: 2015
No. of Players: 4 (or more in teams)
Ages: 8+
Playing Time: 30-60 min.

From the publisher:

RANDOMISE is a mainstream, family-friendly party game that revolves around guessing random (silly) identities.

It consists of 110 cards and is played with a minimum of four players in two teams (no maxiumum player number). Each turn, a player draws cards to get a random identity and must choose whether to draw (90 seconds), act (60 seconds) or describe (30 seconds) their identity to their team mates. They can also choose whether to take on an easy or hard identity (with more points on offer for hard identities). 

Maybe they'll become a ticklish turtle baking a cake, or a blushing robot scuba diving. With more than a million different identity combinations possible, every game is different.

The first team to score 30 points wins. And that's pretty much it - although there are a range of alternate gameplays that can be introduced later.

Find more info on BoardGameGeek.com

I received a copy of Randomise for the purposes of this review, but the opinions here are my own, or those of my family and friends, but not those of the publisher.

Review: Randomise

Overview and Theme:
Randomise is a goofy, light-hearted party game where teams are trying to describe, draw, or act as silly random identities. Created originally as a way to keep the designer's sister off screens and interacting with family, Randomise is engaging and often hilarious, and was a hit with all the groups who played it with me.

Components and Setup:
The game of Randomise is made up of 3 decks of cards:
  • A - adjectives or descriptive phrases
  • B - nouns (animals, people, roles - your identity)
  • C - verbs or action phrases
To begin, divide your group of players into teams and decide which ruleset you're using. The basic rules give a time limit for each player, so you may want to grab a watch or timer. One of the ways to give clues is by drawing, and if your group wants to have that as an option, you'll need paper and pencils, too.

Game Play and Mechanics:
The basic premise of Randomise is super easy to explain and learn: you need to get your team to guess your random ridiculous identity! You can describe yourself (not using any words on the cards or clues that use "rhymes with" or "starts with"), you can draw your secret identity, or you can act it out (which always gets the most laughs).

The heart of the game is digging into the random goofiness inherent in being a Dirty Horse Cleaning Windows and acting it out, drawing it, or describing it. Folks are also welcome to break it down and get teammates to first guess Dirty, then give another clue for Horse, and so on, but the real hilarity is found when you try to imagine all the parts of your identity together.

There are lots of suggested ways to play, too. The base game divides you into two teams, gives time limits for each type of activity, has the opposing team randomly tell you which items to choose from each card, and plays until one team reaches 30 points. But you can play with longer time limits, or without using them at all. You can play an all-acting version, or try a version where you can't choose the same method of giving clues that your last teammate used. If you don't want to keep score or don't want to break into teams, you can still have a great time giving and guessing identities.

The Good:
Randomise is different from other clue-guessing party games because of the random elements of giving you not only a role, but a descriptor and an action too. It lends itself very well to acting (especially if you're willing to ham it up) but is great fun with drawing and describing, too.

I love the illustrations on the box and wish there were an opportunity to have even more of the adorable creatures featured in the game.

Randomise is very flexible and the instructions encourage you to find the method of play that's right for you. Every card has 3 easy options and 3 hard options, too, so you can scale the difficulty up or down depending on your players.

As a gameschooling mom, I have really loved adding Randomise to my shelf. Each of the ways to give clues allows the kids to stretch and build skills in different ways, and I haven't met a kid yet who wasn't instantly drawn in and eager to jump into the game. A crowd-pleaser that can also reinforce vocabulary skills, verbal flexibility, fine motor drawing skills, and gross motor movement techniques Randomise was an automatic hit for our group.

The Bad:
Randomise is a light party game, and that's not everyone's cup of tea.

The box does not include pencils and paper for drawing or a timer, so you'll have to provide those things for your own group...but the flip side is that the box is very small and portable, so you can take it with you on trips, to waiting rooms, out to dinner, etc.

Players Who Like:
Groups who enjoy party games from Pictionary to Charades to Taboo will enjoy the mash-up of techniques in Randomise. Friends who like talking about unusual animals in games like Champion of the Wild may really get into the theme here, too!

Final Thoughts:
Randomise packs a ton of fun in a little box. The more comfortable your group is with acting goofy or laughing about a Greedy Worm Conducting an Orchestra, the more fun you'll have with Randomise. It is a portable, flexible game that also makes a wonderful way to work on some vocabulary and related skills while having a blast. We were very glad to add Randomise to our collection!

And really, this Overwrought Octopus Eating Sausage? Love it!

Check out Randomise on:


Alexa Chaplin- Reviewer

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!

See Alexa's reviews HERE.
Randomise Review Randomise Review Reviewed by MamaGames - Alexa C. on August 02, 2019 Rating: 5

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