Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Best of British Review

And so my week long run of reviews on Drumond Park board games comes to a close, and I've saved the best for last. The Best of British asks questions on "what makes Britain British" including all the things you'd expect, from Tea to Mr Whippy, The X Factor to sporting events it's all in there.

It's also very well balanced with questions that suit all ages, and you really don't need to have much knowledge on Britain to work your way through the game....

Questions are split across three types: picture, category and pot luck which give players a good choice of options for every turn. As cards are stacked in three piles, and because you can see the next card for category and picture, it's possible to make life easy or hard for the other players by picking something you think they will or won't know.

Each card has four different questions and there are 400 cards which makes for an incredibly varied game and adds lots of replayability for even the most frequent board game user. Whilst testing the game we tried over 150 cards, and found the difficulty level just right for a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Our favourite type of questions were the picture cards, that have a picture clue on one side and questions on the other. This can range from a list of names, to four separate images that correlate to the four questions. So this could be four cakes that have different British towns in their name, or different dog breeds you need to identify. Category cards offer a similar level of variety, such as 'Fred' where you must name famous Fred's, and a card about that great British addiction; reality TV.

Even if you are an honorary American, only watch American TV shows, only visit American restaurants and don't drink tea, you'll still be able to answer a lot of questions. Not all questions are based on products of British origin, so you may be asked when the first McDonalds opened in the UK, and other questions about countries that link in to Britain. Even the questions we couldn't answer often contained interesting facts and were genuinely fun to learn.

We played the game in two ways, with the board and without. For those using the board, you answer questions in order and the colour of a question shows which step you move to on the board. As the board colours are random, a run of questions can jump you ten spaces, or just four, depending on where you start. Some decisions are odd - you'll skip the first three spaces on the board every time as the first correct answer is always red and the first red is space '#4 - but when it works the board is quite novel.

For two players you can just grab the box of questions and work through them one by one. This is more fun with a smaller group and at 1,600 questions you don't have to worry about burning through the questions too quickly. Options for both types of player then, and I'd gladly pick up another set of questions if any are released in the future.

On the whole 'The Best of British' is one of the best new board games in the last five years. Quite fitting really. It remembers to be fun, and poke fun at the British way of life, which is what we do best. It's also ideal for that other famous British occasion: a rainy day in.

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Every product on this site has been received for free, and given to me by the product manufacturer or their associated PR organisation in return for a review.

I have no other personal or business association with these companies, and all reviews are written truthfully and based on my own experience. If I hate a product I will say so (and have done on many occasions!).