SNAP Review – 25 Words or Less
22! 20! … 17! .. I can use 15 words. [laughs] OK, you got it!
This is NOT a SNAP review for “Name that Song”. This is a SNAP review for the game 25 Words or Less, published by The Op. 25 Words or Less originally came out way back in 1996, The game was resurrected as a TV show three years ago, and now we’re back in the board game world with a new edition of this 25 year old classic.
25 Words or Less can be enjoyed by as many people as you want, but you need at least four. Its best for ages ten plus, and a game lasts about a half hour officially, but you can change that if you want to.
Let’s talk about the art in this game. [pause] We’re done.
There’s no art in this game to speak of. It’s words on cards. Although, Meredith Vieira looks quite lovely on the box.
The design of the central board is clever. There are numbered spots from 0-25 that fit the exact footprint of the timer. But that’s about it for art.
This is a game that’s played in rounds. In each round, a cluegiver from each team looks at one of these cards. (Let’s look at this card.) They agree on whether or not they can be successful with the words (you’re supposed to start by picking a color of words to stick with, but it doesn’t matter, they’re all the same difficulty).
Then, the clue givers bid back and forth, starting around 25, about how many words they can use to get their team to guess all five words on the card. That’s why it sounds like “Name that Song”.
Once someone wins that bid, it’s go time. The other clue giver keeps track of the words that were said on the number mat – and also with a timer! Not only are the words limited, but the time is limited, too. You have a minute – one minute!
If the team gets the words, they win the card! If not, the other team gets to take the card instead.
The first team to 10 cards wins!
What did we expect from this game?
Well, it’s a game that’s related to a TV show. You can tell from the box where it says “Based on the hit TV game show”.
I really wasn’t expecting a lot, and when I saw that it was for four or more players, that was a pretty good sign I knew what we were going to get.
We were expecting some family fun and laughs, probably a team game.
What surprised us about this game?
Honestly, I was surprised at just how poorly this game landed with our family. It seems like a simple idea, obviously they made it work for television, but it’s just impossible in a family setting. There’s not enough time to do anything.
Timed games or limited information games can work, but when you mash the two together, it’s really hard. We house ruled this (two rounds into our first game). We decided to use the timer twice – so when it ran out, we would just flip it over and keep going. And we still struggled to complete the cards in time.
Because the communication is so limited – something like 17 words to get your team to guess 5 words, there isn’t enough room for anything funny to get out and people to laugh or inside jokes or anything like that. It was so intense.
The joy of a party game is having fun, and this was really all about the competition. It really hurt it from a family perspective.
On top of that, since the guessing team is determined every round by the bidding, you could end up waiting through several rounds before your team “wins” a bid and you get a chance to do something.
It’s not “stealing” the card, your team just gets it if the other team fails. So you could be sitting around for a long time.
I think people might know the answer to this, but do we recommend this game for families?
Not really, especially in a family setting with kids. There’s not a lot of room for creativity when you’re only able to say a couple of words, and the limitations just aren’t that interesting for kids to get their creative juices flowing.
If you’re looking for a great party game to play with kids from this company (The Op), we love Telestrations for this instead.
But back to this game. Anitra, what are we going to rate 25 Words or Less?
We’re going to rate it 2 words out of 5.
And that’s 25 Words or Less, in a SNAP.
The Family Gamers received a copy of 25 Words or Less from The Op for this review.
This post contains affiliate links, which do not change your price, but help support The Family Gamers.
SNAP Review - 25 Words or Less
Age Range: 10+
Number of Players: 4+
Playtime: 30 minutes