Folks, I’m likely going to let you down here. I don’t have it in me to look up all the great lines from Mean Girls and interweave them like a fine tapestry into this review. I wish I knew the movie better to give you that fan service. But, that aside, I think you’ll find Mean Girls: The Party Game has all the makings of another fetch party game from Big Potato Games. Go ahead, say it.
Mean Girls: The Party Game plays four to eight players, where you write things about each other secretly and guess who wrote what.
To start, everyone takes a page from their own Burn Book and writes their name at the top. Then they pass it to their neighbor. You won’t see your page for the rest of the game, but you’ll see why in a second. Set out a number of cards in the middle of the table, one less than your player count, on top of colored mats that are included in the box. The double-sided cards will have various questions on them, and with the large number of cards included in the game, it’s unlikely you’ll see repeat questions for some time.
Everyone picks one of the dealt-out questions and fills in their answer for that person in the corresponding colored space, making sure to keep it a secret. Pass the sheet around. The next person has one less question to pick from, since the neighbor has already answered one. The sheets get passed around until all the questions are answered. Now, going around the table, players read whose Burn Book sheet they have, and the questions and answers that were filled in. The person’s page that was read picks their favorite response and who they think wrote it. If it’s right, that player and the writer get a point. Keep going around until everyone’s sheets are read. The player with the most points after all the pages are read is the winner.
I requested this game because my wife is a big fan of the movie and we love party games. Really, we just like having a good time with friends. I decided to take Mean Girls to a game night with some of our friends and I wondered how well it would work. The game asks you to answer questions about a person. How is it when you know little to nothing about a person who’s playing? Does that mean your answer will stand out? What if someone says something mean or that I take personally? Well, that’s going to depend.
Mean Girls requires a couple of things to have an enjoyable time: a sense of humor and a group understanding that this is all for fun, regardless of the answers that come up. If you don’t have these, the game could veer into a dark and hurtful territory, not unlike the Burn Book it was inspired from. So, if you have those needed things for a good time, what’s the game like when you’re playing with mixed company? I tried this and it works pretty well.
Here’s how it went for us: The answers started out mixed and it was obvious when a person we knew answered one of the questions, because they included things that were true about us. But as the game went on, people started to get smart and looked at answers other people had written down and started to riff off those answers. That’s when the game really sort of opened up and showed that you don’t have to give honest responses for someone, just ones that have developed over the course of your play.
Let me give you an example of what this might look like. One of the questions in the game is, “what does their face smell like?”. You could try to answer this honestly, or you could take the multiple references to Dairy Queen that have been tied to that person and come up with something along those lines. The choice is yours. Overall, I think if you’re playing with all or mostly friends, it’ll be a good time. I don’t know how well the game would work if you were playing in a group where no one knew each other. I think you’d have to have some sort of social mixer before playing, you know, to get some fodder to play the game with.
I wasn’t totally sure why the game just has you play essentially one round before determining a winner. I didn’t play it like this, mostly because the score sheet has more spaces to track points than we would get out of one round. So we just played it until someone got to the end of this, something like eight points. Which, now that I think about it, would be great if you’re playing with eight people… Anyway, this game plays fairly quickly so I say, conclude the game how you want. You have my permission.
Mean Girls: The Party Game can be a really fun game, but it requires everyone being on the same page. I thought about diving into the conversation of humor and making fun of ourselves, and how I think that’s a lost art in this time where everyone takes everything seriously. But I’d probably need more time for that topic. While the inspiration for Mean Girls comes from the dredges of our worst high school nightmares, the game doesn’t go that direction. Or at least, the players control whether it goes there or not. I’d sure hope it doesn’t. Life is too short to take yourself seriously. We all have different experiences. We are at various places along our own journeys. I hope you find some laughs along the way.
Final Score: 4 Stars – A good time with the right group.
• It can be like the real Burn Book, if people aren’t in it for the fun
• Not sure how well it would play with complete strangers