Posted by: gschloesser | August 9, 2011

Party Pooper

Design by:  Brian Spence, Garrett Donner and Michael Steer
Published by:  Out of the Box
4 – 8 Players, 30 minutes
Review by:  Greg J. Schloesser 

Who among the group is the party pooper?  Who is the party animal?  That is what players of Party Pooper from Out of the Box Games will decide as they ask questions and point fingers, trying to accurately guess which player will be selected by the host.  The slogan on the box declares “Having Fun is the Point”, and I whole-heartedly agree with that declaration as it pertains to party-style games.  Sadly, fun is missing from Party Pooper, as the game is decidedly dull and unexciting. 

Game play is exceedingly simple.  One player acts as host, picks a card, and rolls the “party cube”.  The party cube will either state “Party Animal” or “Party Pooper”.  Based on the scenario read, each player, including the host, will simultaneously point to the player whom they feel would be most likely to match the die result.  For example, if the card reads “It’s a tradition at your workplace to dress in holiday-themed clothing during the month of December”, and the die result was “Party Pooper”, everyone will point to the player whom they feel the host will select as the person who would NOT dress in holiday clothing.  The idea is to try to match who the host points to, which may not necessarily be the person you think would be the most likely person. 

That’s really it.  Chips are gained for being correct, and the process is repeated a prescribed number of times.  The player with the most chips at game’s end is victorious. 

Clearly, the game is designed to elicit outbursts of shock and disbelief as players point to various players, accusing them of being a party pooper or animal.  Explanations and defenses are intended to be given, resulting in social conversations and good-natured arguments.  Sadly, in the games I played, none of this occurred.  Oh, there was the occasional “What?” and “Me?” outbursts, but that was about it.  The vast majority of rounds consisted reading the card, a quick pointing, and gathering of chips.  Basically, they were dull.  This may be different with other groups, but in my games, the reaction was the same. 

For the most part, I enjoy the games released by Out of the Box.  I find them easy to learn and play, entertaining, and possessing high quality components.  Party Pooper does not disappoint in terms of components and ease-of-play, but unfortunately falls way short in the entertaining category.  It simply doesn’t generate the excitement necessary for a successful party game, but instead falls flat.  I’ll stick to other, more exciting games the next time a party game is in order.

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