Game Review: Fictionaire


Merry Fictionaire Flair

The day was Black Friday and all through the city,

the stores were a’bustling and grease traps smelled shitty.

My brother led the party through the darkening streets,

to a bastion of games, a 20-sided cube in stone relief.

The usual FNM odor of card shops had shockingly ceased;

it seems the magic players had showered for their thanksgiving feasts.

A trivia game was procured with an odd sounding name,

one that would give us some fun, but cause us some pain.

Fictionaire it was called, but none of us could discern,

Is it “airy” or “aer”? I still haven’t learned.

The game itself is like a Balderdash clone,

lame jokes for answers and players constantly groan.

Could it be fun in groups? Absolutely, it’s true!

Are the questions too easy? I knew all but a few…

The secret to fun, in this particular gem,

is learning to lie exactly like the card writer’s pen,

because when you lie, in a believable voice,

you actually win and can start to rejoice.

We played a short while until we discovered the rub,

lying while drinking ain’t simple, it’s easy to flub.

We quit the game playing and ate our small dinner,

I don’t think we even kept track of the winner.

A recommendation is hard for a diversion like this,

Fictionaire is fine, but effortless to dismiss.


A couple quick points about Fictionaire that I want to clarify.

I compared the game to balderdash (which i assume most people know about), the difference between the two games is that in Balderdash the responsibly to make each answer sound believable is shared between the person reading the entries and the author’s writing, where-as here it’s a matter of players being light on their toes. It really is the best and worst part of the game; making the liar speak their lie aloud, themselves, on the spot. Players that are really good at the game are few and far between, but that one person who can do this is going to win every time you play.

Also, I honestly have no idea how to pronounce the name. I did no research to rectify this. It could really go either way, Fictionaire (Dictionary) or Fictionaire (Millionaire?). S.W.A.M.S. (*Shrugging With All My Shoulders*)

If there is anywhere where this game could shine, it’s a bar. It’s super portable and easy to whip out at a moment’s notice. We played while we snacked at a bar/restaurant, but figured out that with our small group even one small stutter could give players the answer. They recommend 4 players at a minimum, and that seems reasonable, but this is one that is simply a the-more-the-merrier situation.

One more thing. If you’re a trivia snob, you’ll find this game very easy. There are several variants of this game, I’m not 100% sure of which package of question we had, but they don’t try to find overly obscure facts. A lot of the questions we had were word definitions that weren’t really that complex. A few were fine… I had no idea Plato was a famous wrestler before he started philosophizing, but most weren’t that obscure.

The replay value is also quite low if you have any sort of long term memory. Once you get through the deck, it’s all over.

-Final Grade-


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