From being the oldest sister of three little siblings and that job as a camp counselor I held for several summers, I thought I had seen and played everything. In a way (especially with this gig I have at the Toy Insider) I still feel like I pretty much have, but R&R Games never fails to surprise me with original and innovative games that are great for family and friends.
One of its newest releases, Guess the Mess is more than just a fun party game. It bends the rules of other card and board games and tells players to literally make a mess. I’m sure anyone reading this can recall meticulously organizing your Monopoly money and then tucking it half under the board to keep it in place, but with Guess the Mess there’s hardly any order to well, anything.
Let me explain: each player is given a Place card and there are more than 400 Mess cards to pick from that best describe your place. Because there’s no structure when up to eight players are digging through 400 cards, it’s best to accept early on that there’s going to be a mess (sorry to all of you tidy people out there). The Place cards have a location written on them from a Dorm Room to Grandma’s House and each Mess card will have a different picture of a certain item or a group of items on it. Sounds easy enough, but unfortunately picking Mess cards that best describe your place is nothing like picking cherries. Players only have 30 seconds on the clock and they can only pick up one mess card at a time.
After the 30 seconds are up, players will swap cards based on the directions that the Which Way card gives. Then once all players have a someone else’s Mess card(s) in their hands, everyone guesses “Where the heck am I?” Each player is allowed three guesses and depending on which try he or she is correct will determine how many points that player gets. The kicker is that the player who made that mess is also given the same number of points that the guesser got—so there’s a reward to making sure that the Mess cards you choose really do your Place justice.
Guess the Mess is a fast-paced game great for players ages 10 and up. Because it’s made up of a ton of different cards and there’s no board there’s a lot going on, but it’s super easy to get the hang of once you get started. Play between three and eight players,make a mess, laugh a lot, and don’t bother worrying about putting it neatly away in the box because it’s just going to get messy again the next time you play!