In the end of July I received a reviewers copy of Knee Jerk. I was super excited and wanted to play it immediately as soon as I saw a picture of some of its cards. I was also lucky enough to get it before its launch on Kickstarter, as I already told you in this post. Thanks for the opportunity, Andrew! :)
A couple of weeks ago I finally had the chance to test drive this new game from knapsackgames (whose Kickstarter started today, by the way, do check it out at: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/andrewfederspiel/knee-jerk-the-party-game-of-instant-reactions ) - with my partner and a couple of his friends and now I’ll tell you all about it!
The rules are simple. Here’s the gist of it:
- The player wearing the brightest clothing hosts the whole first game.
- After the deck being shuffled the host draws 2 cards and places them face-up in the table. After that the host draws 3 cards as his/her hand and chooses one of those to be the third and final card of the first pair s/he drew, then reading aloud across them in order to form the beginning of a phrase.
- At this point the first person to call out a funny ending to the provided scene wins a point. If more than one person comes up with a funny ending the host becomes a judge, awarding a point to his favorite answer.
- The host repeats the process until someone in a group of 4-5 players get to 4 points – or until 3 points are made by someone in a group of 6-8 players.
- The winner of that game becomes the host for the next and so on.
Our game experience:
We had a lot of fun and I, personally, got to know my partner’s friends a bit better due to the game. We started playing at a mall’s restaurants spot, but then someone said a “naughty word” as a reaction and there were kids in the tables nearby, so we moved onto a house, so we could have some fun in private and avoid ruining someone’s education even more. :B
At home we kept playing for what seemed like an hour – although I wasn’t really clocking it.
Here’s some of the funniest plays we had:
-> I believe I can flyyyy…
-> “Look out!”
-> *gesture of male masturbation*
In the end we had a couple of minutes of consideration about the game and concluded that:
- This game is a good way to get to know people better;
- It is easy, fun and quick, which makes it perfect as an ice-breaker at parties, young-lings groups (camping, summer school, you name it!) and also as a laid-back game between friends or even co-workers at lunch break;
- The game experience can be even cooler if there’s more people involved. The box says it’s for 4-8 players and we all agreed that the bigger the number of players the better, so there’s a bigger variety of knee jerks (especially true if the people involved do not know each other too well and/or are feeling shy);
- The game is in English and, despite our good knowledge of that language, it was harder to react quickly and naturally to the game’s prompts. However, this was surpassed by the host reading the phrases out loud in Portuguese, so if there isn’t a Portuguese version in the future that game flow issue can be easily turned into a non-issue;
- We liked the game so much we wished it had even more cards so we could play it for more time although even as it is we didn’t exhaust all its possibilities*. I know the final product has 4 more cards, providing the gamers with a total of 150,000 unique situations, so insta-wish-granted on that one for us greedy players! Yay! \o/
* There was a tiny bit of repetition of general situations to react to, which in turn lead us to give some similar replies (a couple of them even at the same time) – although here, to be fair with the game, the group was small (only 4 people), very like minded (read: silly and pervy) and we did play it for waaaaaay more than 10 minutes, which is the time the game’s box says each game lasts.
Oops? Sorry, Andrew, we may have gone overboard with this! xD
Also: sometimes the host just couldn’t pick for himself the funnier reply, so the whole group ended up helping him with that. At other times the decision was unanimous in such a way that we didn’t even gave the host an opportunity for him to make his judging part (Oops again?).
We all laughed so much at the reaction, and we were at such a loss for words (and sometimes breath) that we just pointed the finger at that person, making him/her the winner of that point, whether the “judge” liked it or not (he did, though).
I’ll take this game with me next time I’m with a bigger group of people in order to test this “reactions’ variety theory” - one time with people that all know each other and another with a lot of strangers in between.
ANNND, I’ll also bring this game with me next time I’m with my “drinking games” group and change the rules a bit. Tehe! Every time someone does NOT react to a phrase s/he must drink a shot or something. That should spruce things up. Mwahaha! :3
In conclusion, since it’s a fun game small enough to fit my purse I’ll bring it with me whenever I see a chance of being with friends or with a group of people that needs some ice-breaking time.
I’ll feel very proud if I see this game in the shelves around here in the future, and will definitely recommend its buy to my friends and pretty much anyone I know that like games!
I had a lot of fun playing Knee-Jerk and will keep you updated on my next game parties, so you can either join or read about them!
I do know that if the Kickstarter campaign goes well it may include variant game rules. Who knows? Maybe they’ll pick up on my future drinking-knee-jerk experience?
Keep tuned! :D
DISCLAIMER: I received this game at its reviewers version; a prototype whose quality is top notch that I believe will be a Kickstarter sucess. It’s a game for pretty much all ages and it’ll depend on its players to make it family-friendly or not (we didn’t, really…). This review was made of my own and my friends’ raw opinions and we were not paid in any way to give them.