Reviewed by Catherine Joyce
Concept is a team game where the goal is to guess words based on the icons chosen by another team. The team chooses a word from a Concept card drawn from the deck and then uses the icons on the playing board to guide the other players to the answer. The players cannot give any verbal clues or gestures which makes guessing the word much much harder! The Concept cards have a choice of 3 words or phrases in three different categories – easy, medium and hard so the game can be tailored to the player’s experience and ability. We played with our sons who are 9 and 13 and found that we mainly used the easy category but as we got the hang of the game we did pick an odd word from the medium category. I think it will take a while before we are trying any of the hard ones though!
To illustrate the word the green question mark pawn is placed on the most appropriate icon with the same colour cubes being placed on other icons to clarify the main concept. If needed sub concepts can be developed using the exclamation mark pawns and the corresponding colour cubes.
As the game is played in teams of two, the minimum number of players is four although we couldn’t see why the game couldn’t be played individually.
There is nothing worse than opening a game and spending 15 minutes or more setting it up but Concept is great as it can be played pretty much straight away – the only setting up was pressing out the light bulb tokens from the card, reading the rules and then we were ready to begin.
It took a couple of rounds to get the hang of it as with over 100 icons, each representing various “concepts” including colours, shapes, sizes, materials as well as general ones like, male, female, animal, transport etc… there are a lot of pictures to look at. We did keep finding better ones to use as the game progressed as it does take a while to familiarise yourself with all the choices. The game designers have obviously expected this and provided a helpful card with all the icons and descriptions to help you decide which ones to use.
The player that guesses correctly scores two points and the team giving the clues scores a point each. Score keeping is made easy with the light bulb points tokens, the rules suggest playing until somebody’s score reaches 12 but we were just getting into the swing of it by then so we carried on playing and didn’t bother with the scoring. There is an Editor’s note in the rules saying that when testing the game they gave up on the scoring too and we agree that the pleasure in playing the game is guessing and providing good clues for the other players to solve.
There is no restriction on the number of guesses that can be made and it is up to the players to decide a suitable game length. We have played games lasting between 30 minutes and an hour but if the game is played with more players then the game will last longer.
This is a great game and requires players to “think outside the box.” The suggested age is 10+ and that is about right as it can be tricky trying to create the Concepts, even for adults! With the summer holidays just starting I think we will play this a lot over the coming weeks.
Suitable age: 10 years + | Players: 4-12 + | Game Time: 40 minutes (approx)
Available to buy from Amazon here.