If I had to use two words to describe the game Stay Cool, I would choose stressful and fun.
It doesn’t sound like those two would pair well, but in the case of this game from Scorpion Masqué (distributed by Iello in the U.S.), the stress of the game is what makes it fun — and super competitive!
Designed for 3-7 players ages 12 and up, the game is one that tests your ability to multitask. Reading the instructions may feel a bit overwhelming at first, but once you get playing, the premise is fairly straightforward. Basically, players take turns as the “active player,” who is going to get bombarded with questions as a sand timer counts down. None of the questions are hard, but what makes the task daunting is that the active player has to answer questions in two different ways at once, which requires serious brainpower. One other player will be asking questions that the active player has to answer out loud. Another player will read questions/clues that the active player has to answer by spelling out a word using included letter cubes. The question-askers alternate, but don’t have to wait for the active player to answer the other question before repeating their query. Basically, you could still be scrambling to spell out “lice” (in response to the clue “hair parasites”) with the letter cubes while being asked to name the eighth month of the year out loud. Talk about pressure!
I know that was was a wordy explanation, but the company also offers video instructions for the game, in case you are a more visual learner. Check it out below.
Believe it or not, the game actually gets even *more* complicated in later rounds, as keeping track of flipping the timer becomes part of the active player’s job.
Players accumulate points each round based on how many questions they answered on each card (verbal and written), with a possible 10-point maximum. The player with the most points at the end of three rounds wins the game!
Personally, I loved playing Stay Cool — but I may be biased, as someone who constantly multitasks and who was, therefore, very good at the game. But even if multitasking isn’t usually your jam, this game has a lot to offer. For example, because players aren’t focused on only one question, they may incorrectly answer very simple questions (such as “How many sides does an isosceles triangle have?”) with hysterical results. You’ll also learn a bit about your fellow players, as some of the verbal questions are personal, such as “What’s your favorite food?” “What are you going to do after you finish playing Stay Cool?” or “What do you wear to sleep?”
It isn’t the perfect choice for a *relaxing* gaming session, but Stay Cool offers a play pattern unlike any other party game I’ve seen. Get ready for some competition, chaos, and a fun brain workout!