So first up, where I'm coming from in reviewing this:
I'm a board game fan, plain and simple. At last count, I have about 200 varying from the 4-hour brainburner strategy games down to the 10-minute party games. This game definitely falls at the simpler/shorter end of the scale, but it's also the most fun I've gotten out of a new game in the last several months. I also tend to enjoy games published by Bezier. Suburbia, Castles of Mad King Ludwig, and One Night Ultimate Werewolf all see frequent play, but this is a very different style of game from any of those so I was cautiously optimistic when I purchased this.
America plays in about a half hour (maybe a little longer with more players or players who take a long time to make decisions, but I can't see it going much over 45-60 minutes). Each turn, one player chooses one of two categories (for example, the first options we had were "Pizza" and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer") and reads out the three questions for that category. Each card has a question calling for a year, a question calling for a state, and a question calling for a number. For instance, under "Pizza", we had "The year Pizza Hut was founded", "The state with the most pizzerias", and "The number of pizzas consumed annually". Each player then, in order, places markers one at a time on the board for their guesses (years and numbers are in ranges, so you don't have to be exact), continuing until everyone is either out of markers (each player starts with 5) or passes. Players score points for being correct, for being adjacent to the correct answer, or for correctly guessing that NO ONE is correct.
There is so much to love about this game.
1) The questions are incredibly varied. In one evening we got questions about Niagara Falls, the Toy Story movies, the World Series, the space shuttle program, and The Walking Dead.
2) Even if you end up with a category you don't know anything about, if you know which of your friends does, you can use that to guess in the same area as them and get the "adjacent" points. OR, if you know NO ONE knows and is just guessing wildly, you can guess that no one will be right and take all the points!
3) It is very fast. We played three games in under 2 hours and would have kept playing had two players not needed to leave.
4) Component quality and design. The cards are very sturdy, the map and number/year tracks are clear, and the wooden cubes are without defect. The best part of the component design is this: the question box has a tall central divider. Once you finish a card, you put it on the other side of the divider, so it will now cycle through the other side with a different set of questions on the reverse. That way, there are always two options, and you will never see a card you have seen before until you have gone through the entire deck of questions (or very close to it, assuming you choose roughly evenly from both sides.)
All in all, a great game from a great game company.
• In which year was Close Encounters first in theaters?• Which state gets the most snow each year?• How many albums has Madonna sold?It's likely that you don't know any of these facts, but you might have a rough idea, and that's good enough because America is a party game in which being close counts. And what if you have absolutely no idea what the answer is? Take advantage of your friends who do know. And if you realize that no one (including you) seems to know what the answer is, you can bet against everyone!In America, each player uses their knowledge of pop culture, food, products, games, sports, and United States history to score more points than their opponents. If your opponents know something that you don't, you can leverage their knowledge to your advantage, scoring more than them with clever play. The cards have full color clues to help you, as well as interesting factoids for every question in the game. With almost one thousand questions covering more than three hundred topics, America will be a favorite for family and friends for a long time!