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Blurble

Blurble is a party game in which a card is flipped and players race to come up with a word that starts with the same letter as the item shown on that card.

Can you think of a word that starts with the letter M before your opponent does? Remember, moon and mouse have already been used, so you can’t use those!

Gameplay

The cards are shuffled and a player is chosen to be the blurbler for the first round. This player takes a stack of cards. Starting with the player on his left, the blurbler will flip over a card and both players will race to come up with a word that starts with the same first letter as the object depicted on the card. For example, if the card shows a compass, both players will race to come up with a word that starts with the letter C. The other players will be the referees, judging who came up with a word first and if a word is legal.

To be legal, the word cannot be a proper noun, number, or acronym. It cannot contain the name of the picture on the card, nor can it be contained in the name of the picture. Also, once a word has been used it cannot be used again for the rest of the gaming session. So if you play the game several times in one night, you cannot repeat a word between games. If a player in the race accidentally says an illegal word, they are not disqualified, but can continue to try to come up with a legal word before their opponent.

After a player has won the race, she takes the card and puts it in her score pile. The blurbler then races against the next player around the table and so on, until the blurbler has raced everyone and the round ends. The player to the left of the blurbler now becomes the new blurbler, and a new round starts.

The game ends once everyone has been the blurbler twice (or once in a seven-to-eight player game). The player who won the most cards wins the game.

          Blurble Components

Review

Blurble is a light, good time. The rules are very easy to teach and learn, and you can be playing in only a couple of minutes. Its fun to try to think up words that start with the right letters, made more difficult by the need to race your opponents, and the steady escalation of more and more words becoming illegal is a clever touch.

The artwork is really quite nice, and with 348 cards there are a huge range of words and pictures to work with. Also, the game benefits from the fact that, as long as you know the rules, you could easily play the game in any language, so long as all players are using the same one — a really neat feature for a party game.

There is some downtime, which is not ideal for this genre of game, as the role of referee isn’t that exciting — while you do still need to pay attention to see what words are used. But each race is quite fast, and as long as you are not playing with a large player count, this downtime is going to be minimal. There is also a suggested variant where, if one of the racers accidentally says an illegal word, any player at the table can attempt to name a legal word to steal the card. This does add a little more player interaction and keeps everyone a little more engaged.

Blurble is simple, nicely designed, and lightweight. It has several variants as well as suggestions for increasing or decreasing the difficulty. It is enjoyable and pleasant, with a solid race mechanic and escalating difficulty.

Pros: Artwork, increase in difficulty the more you play in one evening, several good variants

Cons: Too much downtime for a party game at larger player counts

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