I’m not a massive fan of the party games genre, as you’ve probably worked out if you’re a regular reader / listener. For me, if I’m playing a game at a party it’ll invariably be something ‘normal’ like Ticket to Ride or something else along those lines. Something that won’t scare off people who are teetering on the fence about whether or not they’ll play. If I can convince them to give something like that a try, excellent. Of course, such games aren’t for everyone – even Carcassonne can terrify some folks – so there are still a few party titles in my collection.
The latest one to arrive is LINKEE, a new release that purports to be the world’s first crowdsourced game. It’s trivia based which will immediately make some people flee in fear but really, you shouldn’t be too worried. With a focus on team play rather than individual knowledge, even if you’re weak in certain areas you’re still in with a decent chance with a well balanced team. It also favours those who have the ability to think in a slightly odd manner, so who knows? Even the most awful quizzer could be in with a shot!
The objective is to complete the word L-I-N-K-E-E by collecting question cards with the appropriate letters printed on the back. One person takes control of the game as the question master and all other players split into teams, grabbing one of the pads and pencils that are included per team. Once everyone is settled, the questions begin… but this isn’t your normal quiz blowout.
Each card has four questions on the front which are read out in order by the question master, but in a twist to what you may expect, you don’t actually need to answer these out loud. The aim is actually to spot the link between the four correct responses and a final clue that is given once all four questions have been read. At any time, if you reckon you have the connection between the answers, someone in your team must scribble it down and interrupt everyone else by shouting LINKEE at the top of your voice.
Get it right and you claim the card, another step towards glorious, trivial victory. Fail and you’re out until the next card is pulled – it’s a one shot deal that, perhaps unsurprisingly, leads to some pretty tense moments as you’re getting nearer to getting that sixth card. What is surprising is that I really got into LINKEE – as I said, I’m not really that into party games. I also reckon that trivia games are played out, but for some reason this one kind of worked with me.
Why? A couple of reasons. First up, the fact that I’m a big fan of BBC4 uberquiz Only Connect helps a lot. If you’ve not seen it, all you need to know is that it’s all about linking apparently disparate things, it is ROCK HARD and is one of the best things on telly. LINKEE takes that concept and adds in the extra element of needing to work out answers to questions rather than just presenting facts while also making the potential connections that little bit simpler.
Another nice touch comes from that crowdsourcing thing. Where most trivia games are developed by a small team who craft their questions in a certain style, LINKEE is random in the best sense of the word. Thanks to questions being submitted by players, the topics are all over the place which means that pretty much everyone will get that moment of “Oh! I know that!” once in a while. It’s really rather sweet and inclusive.
Of course, the downsides of any question based game are based around the questions themselves. If you’re playing with the same people again and again those cards will soon come round once more, so unless your friends have goldfish-esque memories you will run out. It’s far from a massive issue and is easily solved through expansion sets – not that there are any available at the moment, but should the game prove successful I’m sure we’ll be seeing them before too long.
Aside from that, I’ll happily recommend LINKEE if you’re after a nice little game that everyone can get involved in. It’s nicely produced, simple enough for anyone to understand and – as far as I can see – error free (which is very important for a quiz nerd like me). It’s surprising how many small companies make a trivia based game and fail to check for spelling mistakes or factual inaccuracies, but thankfully the team behind this one have put the effort in. Now… any chance of some new question cards?
LINKEE is currently available from the rather fabulous Firebox site and will set you back a rather affordable £19.99. Oh, and the answer to the LINKEE above? Ice Creams!