Party games often get a bad rap from enthusiasts in the board gaming hobby. They can be repetitive, luck based, or boring. There isn’t strategy to speak of. But the limitations of party games are also their greatest strengths. Anyone can pick up the rules to a good party game in about 5 minutes and enjoy themselves. No 45 page rulebook to dig through. No two-hour learning game just to get a feel for the basic mechanics. A good party game should be good for Grandmas and youngsters alike. Blurble is a word-association party game that aims to be just that game.
Blurble states it is for 2 to 12 players, but there is really no limit and plays in about 30 minutes.
Blurble couldn’t be more simple. If it takes five minutes to explain the rules, you probably took way too long. It’s a box of a bunch of cards – 250 to be exact – each with a different hand drawn picture. You must interpret the picture and name a word that starts with the same letter. Do it the fastest and you win the point and keep going.
Blurble is basically a card game. The cards are fine quality and the art is incredibly well drawn. In a game all about quickly deciphering the art on the card, it is critical to be clear and crisp. The cards themselves are thinner than one might hope, but they aren’t going to be constantly shuffled or under some great strain, I don’t think anyone would feel like they quality is lacking in any severe way.
Also included in the box is a molded plastic tray that holds the cards. A good addition to keep them from moving everywhere in the box. I wish more games would include something similar.
How To Play:
So we have already covered the basics. The “Blurbler” flips up a card. Figure out what the art on the card is depicting. Say a word that begins with the same letter. A few catches – no proper nouns, no numbers, and no words less than three letters in length. Also, if a word has been used before, you can’t use it again. Whoever wins becomes (or stays) the Blurbler gets the card as a point. The Blurbler continues challenging each player around the table and you can play until someone has collected a certain number of points.
Sounds easy – right. Lets say the card is a pencil. All you have to do it say “paper” or “papaya” or “pumpkin” or “peanuts”. All kinds of right answers. You just have to be quick!
Blurble couldn’t be easier to pick up and play. Its intuitive and straightforward. Unfortunately, it’s often just not a lot of fun. My biggest gripe – the number of players really impacts how enjoyable this game is. Only two players are really playing Blurble at any given time. It does move extremely quickly. But when you want a game to engage everyone at a party, the downtime when there are 6 or 7 players becomes a real problem.
Just like any speed-based game, there is also the potential that someone is just going to be much better than everyone else at the game. The first time we brought out Blurble, we played a 5 player game with a final score of 10, 0, 1, 2, 2. It was a bloodbath. The box states, “The fast-paced game for quick-witted people!” But, it’s not wit, its pure speed and word association at play here. Subsequent plays without the dominant player fared better, but the younger players were often frustrated by their lack of success.
If you bring out Blurble at a party, you might have a good time. It’s certainly not an awful game. Being advertised as hilarious or witty just doesn’t seem accurate. The funniest situations occur when neither of the two players can seem to come up with any word starting with “P”.
Blurble just falls short on a number of fronts. As a game to play with kids, it’s really hard for adults not to always win. Even among adults, one player may be significantly better than the others. As a party game there can be a lot of downtime in large numbers.
Perhaps, most importantly, when it is your turn to play, nothing exciting or funny happens most of the time. My gaming group really enjoys word games like Train of Thought. We’ve enjoyed speed games like Ghost Blitz. Blurble falls somewhere in between those categories mechanically but doesn’t feel like it ever quite hits the mark.
If you are interested in getting a copy for yourself, you can pick it up for about $19.95
Final Score: 1.5 stars – Doesn’t seem to hit the mark as a party game or a kids game. Every mechanic is done better in other games.
• Party game that has downtime at 3+ players
• Speed-based game where one player my be vastly superior
• Doesn’t lend itself to create many interesting or funny situations you may want in a party game