Blank Slate – Where ____ Minds Think Alike
Blank Slate is a party style game in which players try to come up a word that completes a cue card and matches exactly one other player.
My gaming tastes don’t really lean towards party gaming at all, but I did find Blank Slate to be enjoyable for certain occasions, including remote play over video (SPOILER ALERT), but more on that later.
Setup for Blank Slate couldn’t be quicker. Give each player a dry erase slate and marker. Select one person to be the score keeper and jot all players names down on score board. Pick a person to be the Selector and read the first cue card.
At the start of the round, the Selector snags a Word Cue card from the box, places it on the table and reads it aloud.
Then each player has to try and predict what answer only one other player would choose, and write down that word on their slate. Be sure to keep answers hidden.
There are a couple things you need to know about filling in the blanks.
- Single-letter additions can’t be added to a Word Cue.
- Adding just syllable is fine if you can still hear the root word.
- Using the Cue in a compound word or two-word phrase are acceptable.
- Proper nouns are acceptable as long as you write only one word.
Once everyone has written down an answer, everyone reveals their word one-by-one, starting with the person to the Selector’s left. Tally up points accordingly on the score board. 3 points for pairs of matching words, 1 point for words that more than two people match, and 0 points for any unmatched word.
Replace the card to the back of the box (discard side) and pass the box to the left. That player becomes the new Selector. They’ll draw a new card and start the next round. Play continues until someone reaches 25 points.
I am not a party gamer. Cards Against Humanity, Joking Hazard, and Game of Things just don’t hold my interest. They’re repetitive and half the time it’s just about coming up with the most outrageous answer or combination.
Is Blank Slate any different? For me it brought something new to the table and I actually felt challenged. I dug deep into my vocabulary to come up with good word combinations. Trying to come up with creative answers is where the fun in this game is. You’ll be agonizing over simple choices. Go with a dead giveaway like brick house or try something like dream house?
While the rules note to keep your slate hidden, my group unapologetically says things like “Oh Anthony, I hope you’re thinking what I’m thinking,” (Wink wink) Hoping that some shared knowledge or connection with that person could trigger a match. Plenty of geek culture references are always thrown around, pandering to others at the table.
Blank Slate is the type of game that even when you’re losing your still having fun. When you don’t score points, you’ll often find yourself complementing someone else’s answer instead of brooding over you pick. Lots of “aw that’s a good one” or “why didn’t I think of that” often roll off tongues.
I think we’ll get a lot of plays out of Blank Slate, since there are 250 double sided cue cards (total of 500 cues). The components are great. I applaud The OP for using dry erase boards and markers in lieu of strips of paper.
Who is Blank Slate for?
It’s best for word nerds and people who enjoy party games…You know who you are! It’s also great if you’re looking for a family friendly game that you can also play with coworkers or your church group.
Blank Slate is a perfect game to introduce non-gamers. My first play was at a New Year’s Eve Party. Aside from my wife, none of the other guests have played modern board games, so bringing a hobby game would have been a terrible idea. Instead I brought along Blank Slate and it went like gang busters. We ended up playing several games over the course of two hours while we waited for NYE countdown. It served as a great ice breaker to get strangers talking.
We also found out that Blank Slate is perfect for remote game play. Technically only one person needs to read off the cards. Players can substitute slates for paper or a phone screen. At the time this review was written, many states have been under shelter-in-place orders due to COVID-19. This game has been a great way to connect a group of friends together for a night full of fun and conversation. We ended up having more than eight players, so we paired up with spouses and had a blast. Just remember to mute yourself when discussing answers!
Oh and before I forget – is Blank Slate kid friendly? Yes, but it’s best for older kids, unless you have a 9-year-old language prodigy. Younger kids would get stressed about thinking up words and trying to spell them under pressure.
- High Player count
- Great for remote play
- Dry erase boards and markers are great quality
- High replayability with 500 possible cue cards
The Family Gamers received a copy of Blank Slate from The OP for this review.
This post contains Amazon affiliate links, which do not change your price, but help support The Family Gamers.
- Art - 7/107/10
- Mechanics - 7/107/10
- Family Fun - 7/107/10
Plays in 20-35 minutes