Did you ever want to play charades, but without all of the acting? Concept is a guessing game where the clues are given via icons on a game board and a ton of colorful tokens. 2-14 players can play this party game which lasts about 40 minutes, but in reality can go as short or as long as you like. Concept was designed by Gaetan Beaujannot and Alain Rivollet and is distributed by Repos Production.
The board for concept is made up of nine columns of symbols ranging anywhere from icons to indicate television, books, sports, various shapes, materials, colors, and more. The current player or team draws a card and selects one of the words or concepts to give the clues for. The cards are broken up into three difficulties; easy, hard and difficult, but these have no effect on the scoring. The player then uses tokens made up of various colors to give their clues. The primary concept is depicted by a green question mark and cubes, and sub-concepts can be denoted using other colors each of which has an exclamation point and cubes. For example, if the subject is the movie Rambo, the green question mark might be placed on the movie camera with a green cube placed on the sword and gun space, indicating combat or war. Then a red exclamation point might be placed on the male symbol and further explained by placing a red cube on the fictional character space, and maybe a red cube placed towards the top of the head space and then the black space to indicate that the male actor has black hair. Finally you could place the blue exclamation point on the fabric space and then a blue cube at the top of the head icon and one on the red color indicating Rambo’s red bandanna. This is just an example, and a pretty bad one at that, but you get the idea. By adding more and more definition to the main concept via the sub-concepts you narrow down the possibilities until someone is able to guess the correct answer. The person who guesses correctly receives two points while the person giving the clues receives one point. Whomever has the most points at the end of the game is the winner.
Concept has been hit and miss for us so far. It turns out to be much harder than you think it should be. Part of the problem could be that there are cheat sheets included that give descriptions of the various spaces on the board. While these are meant to help the players get some ideas, I find that players tend to stick to just the text associated with that space rather than forming their own ideas of something similar. Or they stick with the very first thing that they think of associated with that space, and don’t consider other options. For example, one of the words that someone was trying to give clues for was prima-ballerina, and they put cubes on the icon for artist and the icon for music. Everyone assumed it was a singer or musician, but nobody ever considered ballet. Another thing that tends to happen is that players hit a stale-mate, where the clue-giver can’t think of anything else to add to the board, and the guessers don’t really have any idea what the word is, but nobody calls it as such and so the whole game just stops while people think. I’m considering adding a timer to the game so that there is an automatic point at which each turn will end.
I like the idea of the game, and I intend to bring it to the table more often, perhaps to game night with a bunch of new players… but I find the execution of the game to be more difficult than it seems that it should be. I hope that with further play the game becomes a little easier to play.