While I tend to retain a lot of random bits of knowledge, I rarely play trivia games. And when I do, I’m probably going to reach for something like Wits and Wagers. It’s a game where everyone can participate because you don’t have to actually know any answers and can always make guesses.
How Dare You? (from here on shown without the ? at the end for the sake of my spell checker) is a newcomer to this genre. This small box game will have you and your fellow players one-upping each other to see who can find the closest correct answer.
While the rulebook has a few small variants included, the main way to play How Dare You is really simple. On a player’s turn, they read a question from a card and must try to guess the answer. Every question has a numerical answer, so even if the player doesn’t know the exact answer (which is likely), they can still make an educated guess (or take a blind stab in the dark).
For example, a question might be “The maximum speed of a poodle” or “The percentage of Earth covered by water.” Then, the next player clockwise can make their own guess (which must be a higher number), followed by the next player, and so on. However, instead of making a guess, a player can Dare the previous player if they think they’ve already guessed too high. In that situation, whoever was incorrect (the guesser or darer) claims the card. Then the next player takes their turn.
The game ends after a player has collected a number of cards based on the player count. Players will then count the ducks on their cards and whoever has the most is the loser. Spoiler alert: you don’t want to be the loser.
How Dare You is a party game through and through. The rules take just a minute or two to explain and it can be played just about anywhere. I brought a copy to my in-laws house for Thanksgiving to try out with some non-gamer family members, figuring that would be a good test. We were able to sit on the couch while enjoying a cocktail and play the game. It was super casual, but everyone had a ton of fun.
Chances are you are not going to know almost all the answers. I’m sure there will be a few question here and there where someone just happens to be an expert on the subject, but for the most part, it will be a lot of random guesses. But that’s also where we had the most fun. Sometimes a player would make a guess, and then we’d all mock them for being way off (and half the time they were actually closest). But even the questions had a great range and some were really entertaining. “How many women did Joey sleep with on Friends” or “The Number of Coins in the first level of Super Mario Bros.” These are questions that just demand answers!
How Dare You actually reminds me a lot of the Wits and Wagers board game. It’s the same premises (every question has a numbered answers), but this one is a lot more casual and portable. Instead of placing bets each round and then having to make payouts to everyone, it’s a simple dare mechanic that keeps things quick and lively. Interestingly, if I had to choose which one I’d bring to a gathering, I’d probably go with How Dare You. The game play is very similar, but How Dare You is way more portable, requires no table space, has a lower rules overhead, and goes up to 10 players.
The only questionable thing about How Dare You (other than the really odd cover art) is why the game has a point system. The first time we played, we just gave the person who was wrong the card and counted that as a point. Eventually, we noticed the duck icons and realized that those are the points each card is worth. My question, though, is how is it determined? A card can have anywhere from 2-5 ducks on it. So what makes getting a 5-duck card wrong much worse than getting a 2-duck card wrong? I’m somewhat skeptical that there was balancing and math involved here and am guessing that it was just random numbers for each card. Regardless, that’s a really minor gripe in an otherwise fun game.
When How Dare You first arrived on my doorstep, I wasn’t exactly excited to review it. Goofy artwork, just a deck of cards, and a party game. Not exactly something that’s going to make your top 10 list at the end of the year. But after playing it a bunch of times, I’ve found that it’s a really enjoyable party game. There are even a handful of advanced rules to throw in a few wrinkles here and there (nothing that complicated overall though).
And do note that while you can play this game with just 1-2 players, it will lose some of its magic. At 4-5+ you get a lot more interaction and more diverse guessing ranges. Regardless, if you are looking for a highly enjoyable party game that’s easy to grab on the go and can be played just about anywhere, check out How Dare You?
Final Score: 4 Stars – A great party game with no table requirement and very accessible rules.
• That cover art… why?