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Oh Wilderness Not As Much Fun As We Hoped

Reviewing: Ampersand Press Oh Wilderness  |  Rating:
Joan Young By Joan Young on
Badge: Editor | Level: 34 | Hobbies & Crafts Expertise:

The Oh Wilderness card game is designed to help you learn more about outdoor skills. Once you learn the answers to the 180 questions there isn’t too much fun left.

This is a card game with a deck of 60 cards and each card has three questions. Question set A is supposed to be the most difficult, with B and C less complex, if not necessarily easier. It needs 2 or more players; probably it’s most fun with more than 2, although with more than 4, players would probably get bored waiting for their turn.

It is essentially a question and answer game. Each person is dealt 6 cards. Then one person asks one of the questions to the player to his left. If that player gets the answer right they get to take the card and put it in a pile of their own. If they get it wrong, the questioner gets to keep the card in their pile. Continue until there are no more question cards in play. The person with the most cards wins.

There are wild cards which grant certain privileges and change the direction of play to mix it up a little bit.

I bought this thinking it would be fun to play while camping. It turned out that we found it fairly boring. The questions seemed either too easy or too hard or ambiguous. I wanted there to be something more to it than just questions and answers. We used the cards just as a spontaneous pop quiz a few times, and then put the game away.

As I have looked over it again to do this review, it seems to me that there is no way to level the field for people with different knowledge levels to play together. And once you learn what the 180 answers are on the cards then no one will want to play with you any more anyway.

I think this might be something fun to keep at a cabin, and read a question and answer after each meal, or let people sift through them as they want to, even discuss the answers... but as a game, I didn’t find it very appealing.

It’s too bad, because it would be great to have a truly fun way to learn outdoor skills.

This game is by June Fleming who also wrote my favorite book of backpacking recipes, called The Well-Fed Backpacker.

It can be ordered from Ampersand Press.