Clickbait Review – This Review Will Change Your Life
The Internet – it is a marvellous place for it is full of magical things. It is full of bloggers, for one, and board game blogs. It is also full of information and news and websites with cats on them. Gifs would not be around if it weren’t for the Internet. It gave us Google Doodles, The Dice Tower, and the legend of Slenderman. If it weren’t for the Internet I, for one, wouldn’t have a job. None of us would have done the Ice Bucket challenge and, fellow board gamers, we wouldn’t have Kickstarter. The Internet is amazing.
Well, Clickbait by Big Potato Games is kind of about the Internet and also kind of like the Internet. It is about clickbait, the phenomenon of writing catchy titles to entice people to click through to an article in the digital sphere. It is also kind of wacky, a bit creative, and was made with community in mind. Plus, it can be really funny at times, which is always a plus.
Before we start this review properly, I would like to thank Big Potato for sending me a copy of Clickbait to take a look at.
What is Clickbait and how do you play it?
Clickbait, by Big Potato Games and designer Reiner Knizia, is a party game for 3-8 players based around creating ludicrous titles to try and sell specific items. Like all Big Potato games it has helpfully simple rules that are easy to get a grasp of.
Everyone has a pencil and piece of paper. Every turn someone will be the judge and turn over a card. On that card will be an item. Five six-sided dice are rolled, with each side having a letter. Those letters must be then used as the first letters in words to create a clickbaity title for the item. The letters can be used to form words in any order. Not all have to be used, but you can only use each one once.
Everyone writes down their answer, folds it up, and hands it to a judge. The judge shuffles them, opens the sheets of paper again, and reads them out.
The funniest title wins the round. It then moves onto the next person to be the judge. The person with the most points when you stop playing wins the game.
That is kind of it. It’s simple, and that is one of the potential joys of it. It also comes in a giant arrow shaped box, which is cool and novel and makes it stand out in shops. That being said, it is a nightmare to store on the shelf.
So, what does this mean? Well, since the rules are so simple, let’s use an example. Picture a four player game. Four people, sat around a table, with a pile of cards in front of them. One is the judge. The card they turn over says “Martial Arts Course for Dogs”.
The five dice are rolled and we get C, C, S, H, B.
So, the remaining three members of the group write down their answers. They may be:
- Canine Bushido Class Has Spaces
- Helpful Course Causes Bare-Knuckle Spaniels
- Samurai Husky Becomes Capoeira Champion
The three would then fold them up and hand them to the judge who’ll read them out so that everyone can have a jolly good laugh. The judge then chooses their favourite answer, “Samurai Husky Becomes Capoeira Champion” because that is amazing and we’ll begin the next round, only this time the person on the current judge’s left will become the judge instead.
It’s that simple really.
What is Clickbait like to play?
So it’s simple to learn, but what is it like to play?
Well, Clickbait falls into a category of game we are starting to see more and more of in the board game world, and that is the creative drawing or writing style game. Unlike with games like Cards Against Humanity and Bucket of Doom, answers in Clickbait aren’t prompted by objects or concepts, but rather they are prompted by letters. This makes it more challenging to play, and yet it still has the potential to be funny and light.
What this means is that Clickbait not only falls into the party game category, but can also be classified as a word game as well. It is because of this that Clickbait is a good party game that can appeal to various different audiences.
The subject matter is, in my opinion as a millennial board gamer, also a farcical stroke of genius. With all the news stories about fake news (I just realised the irony of that), creating fake news style titles as a game concept is fantastic. Playing Clickbait is probably the only time I have thought to myself “but what would Buzzfeed do?”
That being said, it is because of this that Clickbait also (I would argue) has more of a niche audience. The concept of Clickbait revolving around the Internet can be limiting. I once played Cards Against Humanity with my grandmother, but being about a fairly technical concept on the Internet means that I will probably never get her playing Clickbait. That being said, my 28yr old sister is not a gamer and she was adamant that Clickbait is the kind of game for her. It fits into her demographic; however, it may be wasted on older generations due to the subject matter. Where this isn’t necessarily a bad thing (a lot of games have a lower age limit, so why not an older one?) it also means Clickbait is not as inclusive as some other party games.
With that in mind, Clickbait and whether you enjoy it probably comes down to who you want to play it with. This is not the kind of game to take to a hardcore gaming group, but it is a good game to take to a casual board game couples evening. It is not the kind of game you would want to put in between Gloomhaven missions, but it could be perfect for sitting between Munchkin and Telestrations as you drink beer and talk about life.
So, what about the mechanics?
Personally, I really like the concept of the dice. What the dice do is create a challenge and elevate it above being purely about coming up with something funny. Instead, unlike with some comedy games, there is a structure that needs to be adhered to and this can create two different types of comedy. There is laughing at the actual concept, like samurai huskies or bare-knuckle boxing spaniels, and then there is a kind of meta-humour. When Clickbait is at its absolute best you are laughing at the attempts to be funny as much as the funny answers themselves. When it is at its worst it can fall a bit flat.
It is because of this that Clickbait, like a lot of party games, becomes a reflection of those who play it. If you have a group who like party games and playing silly games then Clickbait is a great game that would be a fantastic addition to your collection. It is novel and new and offers something different to other party games. What it does is offer you a contemporary and collective puzzle to solve in your own individual and comedic way. It is a game, not only to enjoy but to relax and sink into for an couple of hours with friends.
That being said, if you have a more board game centric group, the kind of group who gets deep into a challenge and strategic game play, then this may not be the game for you.
TL;DR: The Good, The Bad, and The Copywriting
Like with all games we are now going to break Clickbait down into good, bad, and neutral points.
- It gets the creative juices flowing. This is a creative game.
- The concept is fantastic. It is original and there are no games I personally know of with similar themes.
- It is a relatively relaxing game that you can sink into.
- Clickbait allows for both a challenge and humour.
- It is a game that may have an upper age limit (unless you know really hip 80yr olds).
- The game works best with groups who are similarly creative. If one person is less creative than someone else then it can potentially isolate them.
- This may be a pedantic point but since the box is really quirky and different it doesn’t stack. This makes it a pain to store.
- It can fall flat with the wrong group.
Clickbait Review Conclusion:
So, what is the best way to conclude a review of a game like Clickbait, a game that heavily varies depending on who you are playing with? Well, I can only offer my honest and heartfelt advice.
If you really like word games then Clickbait is an interesting addition to your collection. It will add a new dynamic to a genre you already enjoy as well as a new kind of challenge that is well worth it. Likewise, if you work in Digital Marketing or PR this is a funny game to enjoy due to the subject matter. Seriously – what are you waiting for? Buy this game.
If you wanted a recommendation for a party game, and didn’t want Social Deduction, then Big Potato would always be one of the first companies to come to mind. Their games are so innovative and different that I would always recommend everyone has a couple on their shelves. We now have seven of their games on ours. That being said, if you asked me to recommend a Big Potato game then I would instantly choose Scrawl or, as of recently, Truth Bombs. After those, if you enjoy the concept then Clickbait is worth exploring. In my opinion though, those other two are more gaming essentials whereas Clickbait is more of a “nice to have”.
So, what do you think? What are your favourite party games to break out? Is Clickbait the kind of game you would enjoy? Let me know in the comments below.
Thanks once again to Big Potato for sending me a copy of Clickbait to take a look at.