Half Truth Board Game Review: What Is a Lot of Fun?

Designed by Richard Garfield, the creator of the collectible card game Magic: The Gathering, and Ken Jennings, the highest-earning American game show contestant of all time thanks in large part to the game show Jeopardy! where he set a record with his 74-win streak, Half Truth is a fun party game that tests and rewards one’s knowledge in a variety of subjects.

To play the game, one of the 500 cards provided presents a question and six answers, only three of which are correct. The subject matter will be familiar to players of Trivial Pursuit as they cover geography (Countries where Portuguese is an official language), entertainment (Artists who songs topped the singles chart more than 20 years apart), history (The 10 most popular U.S. girls’ names of the 1890s), arts & literature (title characters who survive their novels), science & nature (varieties of orchid), and sports & leisure (Terms from bowling).

Each player picks at least one right answer in order to move forward the number of spaces that comes up on the die (1-4). Confident players can earn bonus points by picking two or three answers, but if any of their responses are incorrect, they neither move forward nor earn any points. There are two places on the dice that alter the game play. “1+” allows a player to move one space and double the bonus points for multiple correct answers. “¡2!” rewards players for selecting the incorrect answer, which will allow them to move forward two spaces. Bonus points can be earned here as well, but any “correct” answer suffers the same penalty.

The object of the game is to have the most points after three rounds, so it behooves a player to take risks earning bonus points. A round concludes when one player gets to the end of that round’s board. Each player is awarded points based on their position on the board and the closer to the end the more points earned.

The game can be played with 2-6 people and suggests ages 12 and up, although with many of the questions I played, I wouldn’t have known an answer at 12. It would have been a lot of guessing. I really enjoyed playing with three other friends, and not because I was the winner of one of the two games we played. The subjects really test one’s knowledge and some of the cards include clarifications to the answers, so there’s an opportunity to learn something for the next trivia game one may play.

If paying attention, the wrong answers may offer clues to a player if, for example, they know a movie to which the answers are referring. And the right answers can come with clues as well. “Classes of four-sided shapes” had drawings of the shapes under the answers, which is either a misprint or they wanted to give players an easy turn.

It is the complete truth that I highly recommend Half Truth for fans of trivia games. I will be bringing it to parties and hoping the makers add more decks because after averaging 19 cards a game, I can play approximately 48 more games without repeating a card.

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Gordon S. Miller

Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of this site.

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