Most people have experienced the horror of jinxing someone, double jinxing them, and then owing them a soda that will never be delivered. Grab those friends and family members who act like mind readers to play the game Blank Slate from USAopoly.
I tend to deal firmly with words. Math scares me. In high school, we used to have days where we did math problems on mini whiteboards–the only part of math class I could tolerate. Teachers reprimanded me a time or two (or 200) for drawing pictures on the board. For kids like me who are, for some reason, obsessed with writing on whiteboards, Blank Slate would make a great addition to the family game shelf.
Blank Slate, suitable for players ages 8 and up, can be played with a minimum of three players and a maximum of eight. Each player gets a colored whiteboard and a dry erase marker. The whiteboards wipe off easily but if the game is played a lot, marker stains might be inevitable. The object of the game is to choose a word to fill in the blanks that only one other player will choose.
If only two players write the same word, each of them gets three points. If more than two players choose the same word, they each get one point and all other players get no points. Players are prompted to choose answers they think only one other person will write and answers are revealed one-by-one.
The rules that constitute a valid answer: no single-letter additions are allowed, two-word phrases and compound words are good to go, adding a one syllable addition to the word is okay but only if you can still hear the original word, and proper nouns are acceptable as long as the addition is still just one word. There are super easy words like super____ (Superman, anyone?) And there are harder ones like fresh____ (Fresh Direct, maybe?) This fast-paced game takes about 20 to 35 minutes to play. Once a player reaches 25 points, the game is over.
This is a great game for critical thinking and bonding, which parents will love. It will promote teamwork with a healthy dose of competition, but since the object of the game is to match words with other players, it creates more cohesion than friction. The whiteboard element will make this word-heavy game fun instead of feeling like a chore, all while building vocabularies and challenging players to anticipate what other players might choose to get the maximum number of points.
This game is enjoyable for players of all ages, including teenagers and adults because of its versatility. It features components reminiscent of Cards Against Humanity and Scattegories with an updated, new feel. Like whiteboards helped lessen my hatred of math, this game can tame the aversion to vocabulary that many kids have and low-key convince them to love words.
Blank Slate will be available exclusively at Target this summer.