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It's in the Bag! A Party Game Review

Quick Look: It's in the Bag!

Designer: N/A
Artist: N/A
Publisher: Gatwick Games
Year Published: 2019
No. of Players: 4+, in teams
Ages: 10+
Playing Time: 20-45 min.

From the publisher:

What do all board games and card games have in common? PURE HAPPINESS... and TEAMWORK! You'll be smiling and laughing in no time as people yell and hope you can answer the implied questions with your ability to communicate!

Find more info on BoardGameGeek.com

I received a copy of It's in the Bag! for the purposes of this review; all opinions here are mine, or those of my friends and family who played the game with me.

Review: It's in the Bag!

It's in the Bag! is a family-friendly party game where the same items will be guessed over three different rounds--first with full clues, then with just one-word clues, then with silent charades!

Components and Setup:
It's in the Bag includes 600 cards (120 in each of five different categories: Locations, People, Recreation and Sports, Entertainment, and Outdoors), a 30-second timer, and, of course, a bag!

The cards are small and a little hard to handle, but that does make them fit more neatly into the small velvety bag. A few players commented that the bag was hard to get your hand into, and we could have appreciated having all the elements upsized just a bit.

To set up the game, you'll draw 10 cards per player in the game--you can choose to draw from just one category, from a couple of your favorites, or take a few cards from each of the five categories. Shuffle them up, and place them in the bag.

You'll need to divide your group into two teams and sit in a circle, alternating players from each team (so you'll sit between two members of the opposite team). Set the timer in the middle, and you're ready to go.

Gameplay and Mechanics:
The most unique part of It's in the Bag, what sets it apart from similar party games, is that you're using the same set of cards three different times, so players who can remember what the clues pointed to in the first round will be more likely to guess quickly in the second and third rounds.

Players take 30-second turns which consist of pulling a card out of the bag and trying to get your team to guess it. If they do, you set it aside as a point for your team and pull another. Get your team to guess as many cards as possible before the timer runs out! When your turn is over, hand the bag to the player next to you so the next team can take a turn. Keep alternating turns until the bag is empty and tally up the points for each turn on the score pad.

Each round will be a little different.
  • Round One: Give spoken clues, but don't use "sounds like" or "starts with" or similar clues.
  • Round Two: Give ONE WORD clues--just one word, then wait for your team to guess.
  • Round Three: Give charades-style clues, where you can act but not speak.
The team that can earn the most points at the end of all three rounds wins!

The Good:
It's in the Bag! is a perfectly pleasant party game with a unique twist that comes from using the same cards for three different rounds. Having large stacks of cards in five different categories allows the players to customize the game each time they play it.

As a gameschooling mom, I appreciate the way that It's in the Bag! allows kids and teens to work on their short-term memory by remembering the items from round to round, as well as vocabulary and communication skills in giving and guessing clues throughout the game.

The Bad:
There are just two things that players mentioned that they'd change:
  • The size of the components could be increased somewhat (especially the bag, which was difficult for adults to get their hand into).
  • The order of the rounds: the one-word-clue round seemed to fit best as the last round of the game, rather than the middle, and after several plays of the game we decided to create our own house ruling and play it in that order.

Players Who Like:
Groups that enjoy traditional clue-giving games from Charades to Catch Phrase will enjoy the same light party-style gameplay in It's in the Bag!

Final Thoughts:
The main twist of It's in the Bag! adds an element of repetition and memory to familiar party games and sets it apart for groups who enjoy that extra layer of interest. I will add it to my gameschooling roster for just that reason!

Check out It's in the Bag! 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!
It's in the Bag! A Party Game Review It's in the Bag! A Party Game Review Reviewed by MamaGames - Alexa C. on March 09, 2020 Rating: 5

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