Quick Look: Paraphrase – Songs in Other Words
Designer: Rachel Palmer
Publisher: Flatworks Games
Year Published: 2022 (Launching on Kickstarter August 2nd)
I got sent this game by the Flatworks crew and wanted to give it a shot. I’m a pretty big music nerd with a foolishly large song database, so I thought it might be a good fit. I was curious how it would play out, and if it was similar to Taboo the well-known party / family game. It wasn’t notably similar but does reside in a similar category.
From the Publisher:
The game came in a very small and portable box. Not that that’s a bad thing, it could actually work well for its genre, but I was expecting a larger product. The card game had decent quality linen finish cards and the rules were short and sweet (Though with a couple of mistakes that I plan to point out to the publisher prior to their launch). Other than that, there was no real art to discuss, but the cards were laid out in a read-able and easy to understand format. UPDATE: The art from this prototype is dated. The box and cards will be redesigned for their launch.
I like the idea that this game can function as a sort of reverse Karaoke night. You’re allowed – actually encouraged – to sing out the tune if you know what it is and I believe the hope is to get people loosened up and to just enjoy an evening together.
The songs covered were from the 60’s all the way to 2010’s with so many from each decade. I knew almost every song that came up but it was a real struggle for some of the players. I believe this game would be improved by making multiple mini games (same size as this box) using either a genre of music, or a specific time period. The number of people that know an abundance of songs across 6 decades, and would purchase the game, are slim. I’ll share that as well as other suggestions privately with the publisher as well.
I had more than a few notes that I would suggest in hopes of them improving the game. Thankfully, there is a lot of time for them to accomplish that before a full manufacturing run. I think the idea of the game is good, and all considered, is a pass, but I also feel their audience is a bit limited based on the ruleset, songs, and game type.
Areas they did well:
– Large scope of songs
– Simple rules / quick setup and play
– Short game length
– Getting players involved
– A way of breaking the ice or even unwinding with a familiar group
– Encouraging to be silly and just enjoy yourself
– Easy way to keep track of points
– Not including a timer (complete waste in this digital era)
Areas they could have improved:
– Fine tune and editing of rules
– Not penalize players who don’t wish to sing (can’t earn the bonus point)
– Reduce the randomness of what category a team might get.
– Allow a team to earn additional points if they get all 5 before 90 seconds.
– Target audience that is more specific.
– A way to include introverts more
I can see this game being a good find for people with an energetic and outgoing group, for people that had, at any time, frequented a karaoke bar, for dance and/or vocal groups, for team building groups, for drama/improv/art groups, etc. Depending on your family, or extended family, this could be a good way to get them to interact with each other too. I am unsure if it would stand the test against standard gaming groups.
I’ll see you next time, back here at The Game Table,
Here’s a link to their website if you’d like to find out more:
Find out more HERE..
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Brad Hiscock, aka “Zerility”, is a construction project manager and electrician by trade who was the owner of a 6-time award winning electrical company. His passion for board games has led him from playing hundreds of original titles to creating a design and publishing company of his own, Convivial Games. As an up and coming collaborator on many projects, he is always eager to try new games and meet new people.
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All of Brad Hiscock, aka “Zerility”‘s reviews can be found HERE.