Concept is a Spiel Des Jahre nominee and is the simplest, most enjoyable game I’ve played all year
Concept could probably be best described as a tabletop version of charades, it comes with a large board with many different icons that represent all sorts of things, objects, people sizes, electronic and so forth.
Players are given a card which has a choice of nine things, separated into 3 degrees of difficulty, the first are three are easy, common objects, animals etc, the second set are slightly more obscure and the third set is entire phrases or sayings.
When we played we agreed which set we were using (easy for the first game), then the active player asked another to pick 1,2 or 3. You could probably let the player choose but we found our way more fun.
Once the word was chosen we activated a timer, we went for two minutes but that time will probably be shorter in future games as we get to know the board better.
The player places a large question mark token on the main category for their word. In my case I got iPhone, so my question mark went on the Icon for thing, now you may think that’s not much help to the players trying to guess and you’d be right.
You have cubes that match the colour of the question mark token and you put them on other Icons to help narrow it down further. In this case I put a cube on the icon for electronic, then small, then expensive all the while the other players were calling out their incredibly inaccurate guesses.
You do have the option of adding other coloured question marks to represent sub category or other words if you are doing a phrase or a complicated description.
The most important detail is the active player can’t indicate in any way how the players are doing, no matter how frustratingly close or far they are from the answer.
You can play as individuals or teams, whoever gets it right within the time gets points. You can agree your own target number to win before hand, ten is a reasonable number in my book.
Once the answer is guessed the points are awarded and the next person or team draws their card
Basically it is all the fun of charades without the physical contortions or prearranged hand signals.
The board is quite large so you do need a proper sized table but it takes a minute at most to set up and put away.There’s a small learning curve with the Icons but after the first game you should be over that. Honestly can’t find fault with it.
Concept earns my first ever 5 out of 5 nerds