We pulled this family favorite out of the cupboard last week to take with us to the cottage. Before it could be packed however my family was gathered in our bedroom laughing, joking and having a riot with this old friend.
The object of the game is to be the first team to reach a score of 25 points and land in the Oval space on the play board first. Points are obtained by each team member trying to decipher sayings, names, places or things printed on the cards within a 30 second time limit. Sound easy? Well why not give it a try...you just might be surprised with how complex it actually sounds the first few tries. Take "Wellum air emee", that one's easy no? Alright then, what about "Ask rude arrive her", or what about "Bat Tree Snot Ink Looted" hmmm?
Two teams totaling 2 to 12 players choose a team member to be a 'reader' on one team and a 'stealer' on the other. Both the 'reader' and opposing team members will be privvy to the answers to the Madgab phrases that are on the cards being played while the 'readers' team members and the opposing team's 'stealer' are not. The object of the game is for the 'reader' to read the Madgab phrase as it appears on the cards, one at a time, to his team members. They must provide the correct answer and the opposing team must verify the answer as correct in order for it to count. The three card puzzles are read one after the other and solved while the timer ticks off the seconds and buzzes loudly when time is up. The game is equipped with a manual wind timer, a card holder and a play board. If the 'reader's' team members can't correctly solve all three puzzles in the time limit allowed, the opposing team's 'stealer' then has the opportunity to do so. The 'reader's' team receives a point for every puzzle they correctly solved and for the puzzle(s) they didn't solve, if the opposing team's 'stealer' can solve those, he gains those points for his team. Of course if the 'reader's' team solves all three then the opposing team doesn't have the opportunity to gain any points til next time. The 'readers' team can request that the reader speak more slowly or more quickly, and in this game listening skills do count ... as the game claims "It's not what you say, it's what you hear" and definitely, listening closely will help you solve the puzzle in record time...sometimes.
Once the 'readers' team has answered the puzzles correctly he moves the playing piece for his team counter clockwise on the board and on the team's next turn follows the instructions for how the next set of cards will be played. The teams then reverse roles...the opposing team's 'stealer' becomes the 'reader' and vice versa until all team members have had a turn reading and stealing.
We've often played this game without the play board and it works out to be just as much fun and sometimes more so. This is a great little game to take along on a road trip for children who are of reading level because it will keep them entertained for some time as they try to figure out the clues on their own or with the help of others reading to them. My kids are all teens and young adults now but that certainly didn't stop them from playing this game on our 2.5 hour trip and again when we arrived at the cottage.
The one thing we have found with this game is that you can quickly run through the 1200 different puzzles that are on the 300 cards and you are left wanting new clues to solve. To remedy that however and because we don't want to bother searching out additional cards in order to play, our children have coined some of their own madgab clues that have turned out to be pretty creative and a lot of fun. It's an excellent way to spend some quality time with the family and takes little time to set up or put away.
Madgab has added additional games to the lineup including Madgab Bible. Age range is recommended for age 10 and up but if you have younger ones that are pretty adept at sounding out words, I think there are at least a few puzzles in the game that they'd love to be involved in solving or even reading aloud to their team mates.
A great game that's quick to play, taking approximately 45 minutes or so and is easy to carry anywhere packaged in it's own little cube box and very self contained. So far this game has been a hit with everyone whose played it in our home.