Well today we are in for a treat. I received CrosstTalk over the weekend.
This game was provided for the purposes of this review by Seth Van Orden one of the designers of this game. They would also like you to know that it will be on a special this Friday 11/24/17 on http://www.nauvoogames.com
With that said lets talk about this game. Crosstalk is party game for 4+ people. You need a minimum of 4 but can play with as many as you like over that. This makes it ideal for the deluge of family get togethers we are all about to attend over the next month or so. Lets take a look at what you’re going to get in the box.
As you can see above you will receive several custom erasable marker boards. These include two hint boards, two private clue boards, six chat boards, and one public clue board. You also receive one six-sided die, dry erase markers, and a deck of nifty word cards. Now I realize this all sounds daunting. It actually is very simple to play and that is our next stop.
So it’s time to divide your friends into two fairly equal teams. Each team is going to select a clue giver and those two clue givers are going to sit next to one another opposite the players. They will determine which word everyone is trying to guess. If they are too stubborn to decide its ok let the die do that as each double-sided word card has a handy one-six marker next to the words. Now that they have done that or fate has done it for them it is time to divide up the boards. Each team is going to take their color chat boards. The clue giver will select their private clue board and their hint board. Each team will receive their private hint and we are off. A team will then give the first public clue. This is really a neat mechanic though as the team giving the clue does not get the first guess on this clue. The strategy here is to be very subtle as you try to combine this with the private clue. For instance we had Quidditch as a word. I received snitch. Now snitch could be a lot of things. That is until the other team wrote broom. Now said wizard. It’s that kind of interaction that makes this game very enjoyable. You talk amongst your team privately by writing on your chat boards but you make your guess out loud. Now this can all become even more fun if your clue giver decides to use the hint board. This ingenious addition to the game allows you to try to straight up deceive the other team. You may only use it once per round and only after your team has guessed or passed. It allows you to indicate several different implications on clues and guesses that have occurred so far. Such as opposite of, ignore, partial, etc. Heres the gameplay example from the manual to give you a visual idea of a rounds gameplay. The game is played till a team wins five rounds or till your all tired of playing as my group didn’t want to stop.
Well now you know what the game is and how it’s played. It’s time for my personal thoughts and opinions. I will just come right out and say the game is a blast. I could see almost any group enjoying this. I will assume most of you reading this have heard of, if not played codenames. I like this better. It’s more strategic and requires more thinking. That is both from the team as well as the clue giver. The game is fun enough with just the public clues. The game really shines with the secret chatting amongst the team and the hint board. I cannot state how awesome of a design decision that hint board is. It takes a fairly straight if subtle guessing game and just turns it on its head. I plan on this being a staple not only with my gaming friends but also with my family and their families. My coworker is borrowing it over the weekend to play with her family and now wants to buy a copy. They haven’t done that since Kingdomino and that is the highest of praise for a game as they do not buy many games. On the note of theme. The game has this old-fashioned secret agent vibe to it. While the theme is not necessary it is nice and the art and design is very well done. I would like to congratulate the designers and Nauvoo games on a real stand out experience. This receives an 9/10 from me. Go get it you won’t be sorry.