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HIT OR MISS

Reviewed by Herb Levy

(Gamewright, 3-8 players, ages 10 and up, about 30 minutes; $19.99)

 

The search for the ideal party game is never-ending. Each year, many pretenders to the throne of supreme party game/ice breaker appear. One of the newest and best of the current crop of candidates comes from the roster of games published by Gamewright: Hit or Miss.

Hit or Miss, as designed by Brian S. Spence, Garrett J. Donnet and Michael S. Steer, falls into the genre of making lists to fit a certain category. The game comes with 252 category cards, a 45 second timer, 8 Hit or Miss cards, pads and pencils, a score pad and a large six-sided die with three faces reading “Hit”, two reading “Miss” and one depicting Gamewright’s familiar jester logo.

Each player is given a Hit or Miss card (which, as you would expect, reads Hit on one side and Miss on the other). The Leader for the round (chosen in any way you wish) draws a category card and reads it aloud. Then, with the sand timer started, all players quickly write down as many things they can to fit the category. So far, so good but we’ve been down this road before. But now the game takes a twist. With the Leader going first, each player, in turn, rolls the special die. The die roll determines what you are trying to do.hitormiss

Should “Hit” be rolled, the player must circle one item on his list that he thinks will also appear on the cards of other players. The other players indicate whether or not the word appears on their lists by placing their Hit or Miss cards in front of them – Hit if there is a match, Miss if not. The active player scores 1 point for each Hit card showing; each player with a Hit card showing will score 1 point for himself as well. (Words used are crossed off all players’ lists.)

Should “Miss” be rolled, the player must take a different approach. Now he chooses a word from his list that he believes other players will NOT have. Again, the other players use their Hit or Miss cards to show if they have or have not that word. The active player will score 1 point for each Miss card showing. However, should another player have the same word (a “Hit”), he scores THREE points for “hitting on a miss”.

Finally, the jester may appear on a roll. In that case, the active player may decide to go for a Hit or Miss at his discretion. Scoring is done as above.

After everyone has had a chance to roll the die and score, the round is over. The next player to the left becomes the Leader for the next round and the game continues until all players have had the chance to be Leader. At that point, the player who has accumulated the highest number of points wins!

The production of the game is top notch; the large colorful die is welcome and providing the necessary pencils and paper is a nice touch as well. As in any game of this type, the dice play a part. Rolling the die prevents any 100% assurance that your preference (“I’d like to try a “Miss” rather than a “Hit”) will come up but that’s one of the game’s strengths. You need to play “both sides of the street”, being prepared to match other players as well as having an unusual word “up your sleeve” should your chance to garner some extra points present itself. You also need to have a set of “house rules” for some of the inevitable pitfalls. For example, how close do you need to be to score a “hit on a miss”? Would “dog” and “pit bull” be a match? (Probably not exact enough.) If the category is “house pets”, do you accept “aardvark”? (“But my friend keeps an aardvark in his house”. I don’t think so.) A generally accepted set of guidelines that all players agree on goes a long way in keeping the game running smoothly. And, in a pinch, a vote around the table can quell any “uprising”.

Hit or Miss is one of those games that manages to incorporate some of the best features of classic party games (word lists, matching words and knowing the personalities of those around you) with the twist of having the option of going for the unusual and unique word. That is an option that other games of this type do not have. It makes you wonder: “Why didn’t someone think of this before?” Well, now they have! Hit or Miss is most definitely a hit! —— Herb Levy


 

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