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Talent Show

A new party game from Blue Orange Games, Talent Show offers a mix of mechanics. It’s a word game, with drawing, miming, clue words, and even singing!

With both a competitive and a cooperative mode, it is family-friendly and fast, and keeps turns down to forty-five seconds.

Gameplay

Depending on the number of players, the game is played in 2-6 rounds. Each round consists of every player taking their turn as the performer. On your turn as performer, you begin by having the forty-five second sand timer started. You then roll all six dice. Four of the dice will roll letters with a color. One die only rolls a color. You must come up with a mystery word that starts with at least one of the letters you rolled, however it cannot be the letter whose color matches the color die. You want to include as many of the letters you rolled as possible in the word in order to potentially earn more points.

With the timer still running, you must then try to get the other players to guess the mystery word. The sixth die you rolled tells you what type of clue giving method you must use. One of the sides indicates drawing on the dry erase board. Another one indicates that you can write down two clue words on the board and show them to the other players. The third die result allows you to choose to either mime the word or to sing, coming up with a song to a known tune. During the clue giving, you can of course never actually say the mystery word or use a word that it is part of.

Talent Show has two different modes. In competitive mode, if the word is guessed before the timer runs out, the performer and the guesser each earn points equal to the number of letters from the dice that you used in the word. In cooperative mode, players as a whole earn points equal to the number of letters used from the dice if the word is guessed in time, while the game earns points equal to the number of letters not used from the dice, or five points if the word was not guessed at all.

At the end of the game, in competitive mode, the player with the most points wins. In cooperative mode, the players win if they have more points than the game, with a final score based on the difference between the players' points and the game's points.

Talent Show Components

Review

Talent Show is a fun mish-mash of party game elements. There’s a little bit of everything mixed in and played against a fast timer to keep things moving, making it a good fit for fans of party games in general who like visiting these familiar elements all knitted together.

Forty-five seconds is the perfect length for the turns, as it keeps players from spending too long coming up with a word. Of course you want to use as many letters as you can to score more points, but if you spend thirty seconds trying to think of something, you’re eating into your time to get other players to guess it. Also, since the words are determined by the players, the game can in fact be played in multiple languages, as long as you all agree which one you’re using when you start. This flexibly is a nice feature for a party game.

We like that there are multiple ways to give clues, and you’re always hoping that die roll plays out in your favor because everyone always has a favorite clue giving method. Being able to choose between cooperative and competitive modes is also a nice touch, each mode fitting better with different groups.

It’s nice to have a party game that can be played by two people but still also be able to reach higher player counts. That being said, while the game can be played by up to ten, we wouldn’t recommend it. Everyone is always engaged each turn trying to guess, but you still have the most fun as the performer and don’t want to have to wait very long for this role.

Talent Show doesn’t bring a lot of new ideas to the table, but we enjoyed the combination of different mechanics packed into a really light rule set. It makes for a party game that’s really easy to start playing, great for light moments, and also quite family-friendly.

Pros: Mix of light mechanics, range of player counts, fast turns

Cons: Not ideal at its higher player counts

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