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November 14, 2005

-- Game review --

Fast, brainy Hoopla a riot

By Josh Blackler

Hoopla is a game that is a party for your brain.

Hoopla, a new game from the makers of Cranium, is a game for the fans of Pictionary and Charades.

With playtime ranging from 20 to 25 minutes, and a setup that takes only a couple minutes, the game is easily started and quickly played.

The game consists of cards and a die. The cards indicate a “who,” a “what,” or a “where,” and the die decides which activity you will do to make the other players guess the phrase on the card.

There are four activities that you use to indicate the phrase on your card.

In ‘Tweener,’ you must give clues by saying the phrase “it’s bigger than,” and “it’s smaller than.”

‘Soundstage' is an activity that involves dramatic gestures and outrageous sound effects, but no words may be used.

For the artistic types there is ‘Cloodle,’ which is similar to Pictionary in that you must draw to indicate the phrase.

‘Tongue-Tied’ is a game of alliteration. Players may only use words that start with the same letter to indicate the phrase on the card.

What is enjoyable is how easy it is to play. The game setup and learning to play took about three minutes. 

Also, it is fun to keep playing and guessing even when it’s not your turn, which is an advantage over games like Trivial Pursuit.

What makes this game unique is that you are not playing against your fellow players, but you are all on one team competing against the clock, which is set for 15 minutes.

I dislike the low replay value of Hoopla. It seems that once you have been exposed to all of the cards, the game loses its challenge, but it’s still worth the mere $15 it costs to purchase it.

Another problem with the game is that the box is misleading.

It indicates that the game will take 15 minutes. This is preposterous.

The game clock is set at 15 minutes and you pause between turns, so the game will take at least 20 minutes to play.

The draw of Hoopla over other games is that it is fast-paced, and not competitive. It is a game played with all the players on a team against the clock, making it a great choice for play among a group of friends.

Hoopla is no children’s game. It is meant for teenagers and adults.


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