Wits and Wagers and Professor Layton

Well, this is going to work out just perfectly. I'll have the new lamp bulb for our tv on Wednesday; I'll be all but finished with the text for my current project (another RPG for a handheld console); and a digitized version of the trivia game Wits and Wagers will be making it's way to XBLA.

It will be a perfect opportunity for Kristin and I to actually spend some time together other than with our backs to one another, staring at separate computers, in my office.

Like many of the other board games I've come to love on XBLA, I haven't ever played Wits and Wagers before, but the game sounds fantastic. It's a trivia game that will utilize the Big Button controllers that came packaged with Scene-It: Lights, Camera, Action, but this one is different. You can not only win by correctly answering trivia questions (showing your wits), but by also placing bets for or against your fellow competitors (the wagers portion of the game). So, in other words, you don't need to know a lot of obscure info to win at this game. Come to think of it, this might not be so great after all -- I almost always win games of Trivial Pursuit when we play. Hmmm...

You can read a full, very detailed review and description of the game at Board Game Geek, but for those looking for the juicy bits, here's a sample that has me excited to get this game tomorrow:

3.) Guessing: Most of the questions are impossible for most people to know. For example, how many people know how many knives were discovered during U.S. airport passenger screenings in 2004? Probably no one, and that's the point. If no one knows, then it's very interesting to see who comes close. Of course, every once in a while, you'll have someone who - just like in the Price is Right - will bid 1, just to have the lowest number, because they just might win. Or, and this is what the designers intended - someone just might know the answer.

4.) Bidding: But why would they want one person to know the answer? It's because of the bidding. See, the person who is the winner is not the person who knows the most information, but the person who knows which of their friends knows the most information. Some people know a lot about certain topics, and it's up to you to guess which ones. Of course, this leads to a lot of bluffing - "I know this one!" is shouted in many games. Sometimes, and this is funniest, people are not bluffing, and certainly are sure that they know the correct answer. Then, they are shown that they are wrong by the card, and usually after they've convinced several others to join them in their folly. Of course, at that point there's a lot of laughter and /or a denouncement of the facts on the card.

5.) Questions: With seven-hundred questions in the game that allows one hundred games of Wits and Wagers to be played. Unless this is the only game you'll ever buy, that is certainly plenty enough to be satisfied with. The selection of questions is very well done; I know that they took great care and had a large group of people look them over before producing the final game. Many of the questions are obscure, but some of them are actually easy enough to guess close to. And often they lead to interesting discussions.

In other news, I'm still playing Professor Layton and the Curious Village on the Nintendo DS and, yes, I still do completely recommend the game for anybody who likes brain teasers and well-made games. I've solved 52 of the 53 puzzles I've uncovered so far (I can't solve one of those sliding grid picture puzzles -- I hate those things) and am roughly 6 hours into the game. I only play it in doses of 10-15 minutes here and there, but I am definitely enjoying myself with it and will certainly finish it one of these days. I was all set to pick up a copy of the The World Ends With You the other day for the DS, but Professor Layton and his apprentice Luke are keeping me entertained... and my brain fully teased.


Mory said...

The sliding puzzle (if it's the one I think it is) is not as difficult as it seems. Look again, more carefully.

Doug Walsh said...

Thanks mory. It's the one with the apple. Those puzzles have been the bane of my existence ever since childhood. I don't know if I've ever solved one in my whole life without getting frustrated.

I'll try it again, but I'm probably going to have my wife solve that one, as she enjoys those things.

Mory said...

The apple? Wait, I'll check if that's the same one… yep. Puzzle #107, yes?

"Those puzzles have been the bane of my existence ever since childhood."

That may well be a problem, but it's not why you can't solve this one. As I said, look again.