Reviewed by Cath Joyce
Taskmaster is a comedy game show which was originally created during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2010 by Alex Horne, a British comedian. It was adapted for TV in 2015 and has since been a regular fixture on Dave before making a move to Channel 4 where a new series is currently showing. The TV show stars comedian and actor Greg Davies in the role of the Taskmaster and he is ably assisted by fellow comedian Alex Horne. Simple but bizarre tasks are given to the five contestants, who tend to be fellow comedians and the teams are scored, based on their ability to complete the random challenges. It is very entertaining to watch as the participants tend to either complete the challenge successfully, make a real hash of it or occasionally just don’t get the task at all with hilarious consequences.
I have two teenage sons and Taskmaster is a firm favourite with them so I knew they would enjoy playing the board game.
The game consists of
– A playing board, representing different areas of the Taskmaster house
– Taskmaster cards
– Miniature picture frames, pen and paper
– Taskmaster trophy
The game can be played by 3 to 5 players however it can be played with more people if you split up into teams.
Just like in the real show the game can start with a prize round where players bring in prizes which are judged by the other players and the eventual winner of the game gets to keep the prizes. This would work well if you were playing with a group of friends and you decide beforehand on the category for the prize but is of course optional.
A different player takes the role of Taskmaster for each task, starting with the tallest player. Play passes to the left and all players should have the same number of turns. The Taskmaster doesn’t take part in the location tasks or score points so if you are playing with family at Christmas it is the perfect role for Grandma!
The task cards are in four categories, kitchen, living room, lab and garden and this gives you an indication of the things you might use for the task. The real fun of the game is the interpretation of the tasks, we had great fun disguising fruit as a different fruit – have you ever seen a strawberry pretending to be a banana before – no me neither! Sticking the best thing to the ceiling had hilarious results and designing a new ice cream flavour had us salivating. The garden tasks were fun and found us hiding a chair in the garden, the neighbours must have wondered what we were up to! There is also a secret task where the players have to carry out the task covertly during the course of the game.
The Taskmaster awards points to each player, based on the number of players, if there are four players the winner gets four points, second place gets three points and so on. The Taskmaster can also randomly give out points as they see fit, adding to the fun of the game. Once the scores have been totted up the players then write down what they think the other players secret task was and bonus points are given for players who guess another players task or whose task isn’t correctly guessed.
A modern twist to the games means the final task cards have a QR code which you scan with a mobile phone, this gives you a video of Alex Horne telling you the last task and is an interesting way to end the game. There are a few cards that just state the task in case you don’t have a mobile phone to hand but assuming you are playing with teenagers this shouldn’t be a problem!
Obviously if you play this game a number of times you quickly become familiar with the tasks so luckily there is a game expansion pack available that contains 40 more task cards, 50 more paper slips for the playing pieces and a cardboard Alex.
This is a great game for all the family, it’s the perfect game for Christmas parties and if we can’t meet in person it will be fun to play it over zoom!
RRP: Game £19.99 and Expansion pack £12.99
The game can be purchased from Amazon here.
The expansion pack can be purchased from Amazon here.