Lost in a Good Book: A Review of Bring Your Own Book

Bring Your Own Book

"The moment in a horror novel before someone goes missing?" Grab your trusty book and search for the perfect moment to fit that description in this party game for booklovers.

Gameplay

Each player selects a book. It can be any kind of book from novel to travel guide. The stack of prompt cards is shuffled and a player is selected to be the first Picker. The Picker draws a prompt card and chooses which of the two prompts on that card to play with. Prompts can be things such as “An alien’s first words to humankind” or “A line from a teenager’s diary”.

The Picker reads the prompt aloud and all the other players then search through their book for a piece of text to fit with the prompt in either a funny or clever (or both!) way. The text they select may be a single word, part or all of sentence, or even several sentences in a row.

Once a player has selected some text, they announce this fact and then start the sand timer. The remaining players now have sixty seconds to finish searching their own books. Once the time runs out, if you have not selected any text, you may open your book to a random page and choose a random sentence.

The players then read aloud their submissions to the Picker, who then selects her favorite one and gives the winner the prompt card. The person to the left of the Picker will become the new Picker for the next round.

Every time a player has won two cards, all books are passed to the left.  The first player to win a certain number of prompt cards wins the game.

Bring Your Own Book Components

Review

Bring Your Own Book uses mechanics that many people who enjoy party games will already be familiar with. But the books really set the game apart and make it one worth owning no matter how many other party games you already have.

The game itself feels unique and fresh, while the wide range of books you are encouraged to play with ensures a wide variety of answers for each prompt — the prompts themselves are well varied. It’s a lot of fun to search through the books and you’re often surprised by what you come up with.

If the game has one flaw it’s that the Picker has nothing to do but wait while the other players search through their books. However, the game does include a variant in which all players search for something to fit the prompt and the last player left searching becomes the judge.

It’s a very low-key game, as you sit around and search through books, with some good moments of chortling thrown in. For fans of party games or of books, Bring Your Own Book is an excellent fit.

Pros: Lots of variety, low-key party game

Cons: In the standard rules, there is downtime for the Picker while the other players search through their books

Disclosure: we received a complimentary review copy of this game.