Review: Are You Phrazy?

by Frances Moritz

Gotta Laff Games entered the gaming market with Are You Phrazy?, a fast-paced card game that makes fun of casual conversations.

This is not a beer and pretzels game you're going to need to set them down to play. In fact, putting them on another table, well out of reach so they don't get knocked over in the excitement, might be a good idea.

The object of the game is to get rid of your cards as quickly as possible to end up with the lowest score. There are three types of cards: conversation starters (green), conversation continuation (yellow), and conversations stoppers (red). Whatever cards you're left with at the end of a round count towards your point total 1 point for each yellow card; 5 for each red or green card. The game ends when someone reaches 100 points.

The conversation moves in a simple clockwise rotation, starting with a green card, progressing with yellow cards, and ending when someone plays a red card. As each card is played, the player reads the text from the card out loud. The text must be read correctly or the player returns the card to their hand and the turn passes. Quite simple until somebody butts in. Players butt in by playing the phrase that was just played. There are only four green, four red, and twenty-four different yellow phrases, so butting in happens more often than normal turn progression.

A "normal" conversation progresses something like this:

Player 1: "What's up, Doc?" Player 4 immediately buts in with another "What's up, Doc?" Turn progresses to Player 1, who plays "I've fallen and I can't get up!" Player 2 continues with "Where's the beef?" Player 3 says "Sock it to me! Sock it to me!" Player 2 butts in with the same phrase, followed by Player 4 and Player 3 butting in. Play progresses normally to Player 4 with "Not!" Player 1 continues with "Go ahead, make my day!" and butts in on herself with the same phrase. Player 2 ends the conversation with a "Can the chatter!" Player 1 plays another "Can the chatter!," followed by Player 3 butting in. Nobody else butts in, so it falls to Player 4 to start the next conversation with a green card.

Any time a player cannot meet the play requirement on their turn, they draw a card and, if they still cannot continue the conversation appropriately, pass the turn.

The one flaw to this game disregarding placing the beer and pretzels on another table is that the font can be difficult to speed read. This was particularly a problem for a couple dyslexic players. Beyond that, this is a great game for all ages There will be an extra level of enjoyment for players old enough to remember certain phrases "Where's the beef?" and "Whatchoo talkin' 'bout, Willis?" but missing the context will not detract from the fun of the game for younger players.

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