Making fun of the current President of the United States is a time honored tradition in the United States. No matter their political affiliation every President faces parody/ridicule at some point. Board games are no different. Dating back to at least Bill Clinton every president has had board games made about them solely meant to make fun of them. Today’s game Fake News / Real News: Washington Edition not surprisingly takes a look at the earlier days of the Donald Trump presidency and campaign. As this is not a political website I am not going to judge the game from a political standpoint. Also any political comments on this post will be deleted no matter which side of the aisle they are on.
With that said I didn’t have high expectations for Fake News / Real News: Washington Edition as these type of political parody games don’t have a reputation for being very good. They are usually put together quickly in order to make a quick buck based on the current political landscape. I assumed Fake News / Real News: Washington Edition was going to be another of these games. My initial impression of Fake News / Real News: Washington Edition was spot on as it is a cheaply made trivia game that is not particularly fun except maybe for politically active people that want a few cheap laughs.
How to Play Fake News / Real News: Washington Edition
- Players can either play by themselves or form teams.
- Each player/team is given one of each of the people cards and one fake news card (a total of 8 cards).
- Shuffle the quote deck and place it face down to form the draw deck.
- The youngest player will be the first reader.
Playing the Game
Fake News / Real News: Washington Edition is played in rounds. Each round begins with the current reader taking the top quote card from the draw deck. The player will then read one of the quotes out loud. The game recommends you start with the first quote and then read the other quotes in future rounds.
All of the players, besides the reader, then try to figure out who said the quote that was just read. They will have 30 seconds to pick one of their cards corresponding to who they think said the quote. The players can also choose the fake news card if they don’t think any of the people said the quote. When a player has chosen their card they place it face down on the table. Once everyone has picked their card, they will reveal the cards they chose. The reader will then read the correct answer which is found on the bottom of the card.
Each player that chose the right card will score one point. Everyone returns the card they chose to their hand and the quote card that was used is discarded. The role of reader then passes to the player to the current player’s left or right (depending on the players political leaning).
Winning the Game
The first player/team to score eleven points wins the game. If there is a tie, all of the tied players will play another round. A player not involved in the tie will be the reader for the round. Quotes are read and players play cards until only one of the tied players gets the quote correct. That player will win the game.
My Thoughts on Fake News / Real News: Washington Edition
At its core Fake News / Real News: Washington Edition is a really basic trivia game. The game begins with you being given a quote. The players then try to guess who from the Donald Trump Administration/Campaign said the quote or if the quote was said by no one/fake news. Whenever you guess correctly you score a point and the first team to eleven points wins the game. If you have ever played a trivia game before you should already have a good idea of what to expect from the game.
Regular readers of Geeky Hobbies will know that I have a complicated relationship with the trivia game genre. In general I like the idea behind trivia games. Trivia in general is fun and even if you lose you can learn a few things while playing the game. The problem with a lot of trivia games is that they usually don’t have much to them outside of the trivia questions. Very little effort is put into the actual gameplay. This leads to pretty boring games that all feel the same. Recently some trivia games have actually started to buck this trend by adding interesting gameplay to the trivia. Not surprisingly Fake News / Real News: Washington Edition is not one of these games.
My initial impression of Fake News / Real News: Washington Edition was that it was solely made to cash in on the beginning of the Trump Presidency. The designers were hoping to find buyers that wanted to have some laughs about of the current political environment. Like all games made to make a quick buck, very little was put into actually designing a good game. Fake News / Real News: Washington Edition is your typical trivia game through and through. The game offers nothing new as there are even board games where you try to figure out who said a quote. You are ultimately left with a game that relies solely on its theme.
Even if the gameplay was not like every other trivia game, it still wouldn’t work that well. Trivia games rely on players knowing the answers or being able to make very good educated guesses. This element is not really present in Fake News / Real News: Washington Edition. I wouldn’t consider myself to be a political junkie, but I follow the news so I thought I would do pretty well in the game. I was wrong due to the game focusing almost exclusively on pretty obscure quotes. Unless you have literally studied every single thing the people represented in the game have said, all you can do is make an educated guess based on what they have said in the past and how the quotes are phrased.
While you usually can only make an educated guess, there are other quotes that basically give away the whole ballgame just based on how they are phrased. For example some quotes reference being President/etc. where there is only one person who could have reasonably said the quote. Then it becomes a game of whether or not the person actually said the quote. This is harder than you would think as the game tends to play with quotes when it uses fake quotes. Most of the fake news quotes we encountered in the game were similar to things actually said and were just altered or rephrased in a way which made them fake news. This means even if you are pretty knowledgeable politically you are basically stuck with making a guess because something could have just been rephrased.
One of the biggest problems with a lot of trivia games is that they can become outdated pretty quickly. I thought as the game was made back in 2017 (less than two years ago) the game would still be pretty timely. Boy was I wrong as Fake News / Real News: Washington Edition is a great example of how much things have changed in just two years. For example there are seven people in the game that you can choose between. At the date of this post three of the seven people have been fired/left their position (Steve Bannon, Reince Priebus, and Sean Spicer). Some of the most notable quotes of the Presidency have also either come out after the game’s release or the game chose not to include them. It is true accomplishment for a trivia game to be outdated after less than two years.
Fake News / Real News: Washington Edition was clearly made to make fun of the Trump Campaign/Presidency, but I think the game would have benefited from branching out a little. The game would still have been terrible, but I think the game should have included Hillary Clinton and possibly even Bernie Sanders. With these additions the game would have been more about the current political environment than just Donald Trump’s Presidency.
While I did not like Fake News / Real News: Washington Edition I do give the game a little credit for the components. The components are far from great, but they are better than what I was expecting from a quick cash grab. The card quality is neither bad nor great. I applaud the game some for the artwork. The pictures are actually pretty accurate when you factor in that the pictures are caricatures of the real people. I do think it was pretty stupid not to put the people’s names on the cards though. If you follow politics you will have no problem recognizing the people. For people that don’t follow politics though, you might not have any idea who some of the people are. Finally I applaud the game for actually including more quote cards than I was expecting. The game has 100 quote cards and with there being three quotes per card you can play 300 rounds before having to repeat any of the cards. I can’t really see anyone playing more than 300 rounds so you shouldn’t ever have to worry about running out of cards.
If it wasn’t already pretty clear I did not think Fake News / Real News: Washington Edition was a good game. Whether you are a Democrat or a Republican I still don’t think you would like the game. So is there any audience for the game? While I think most people will agree with me that it is not a good game, I could see some people getting a little enjoyment out of the game. If you have a group of political junkies (preferably Democrats as the game mostly just makes fun of the Trump Presidency) that want a few laughs, you might have a little fun with the game. I don’t see that lasting long though before you tire of the game.
Should You Buy Fake News / Real News: Washington Edition?
As I mentioned at the beginning of this review I didn’t have high expectations for Fake News / Real News: Washington Edition. This was mostly because these type of political parody games are almost always bad as they are put together quickly in order to make a quick buck. Unfortunately that is exactly what Fake News / Real News: Washington Edition is. It is a really basic trivia game focused on quotes from members of Donald Trump’s Campaign/Presidency. In addition to just being pretty boring, the game doesn’t work well. A lot of the quotes are really obscure where you will have to be a political junkie in order to do anything other than make an educated guess. Then the game resorts to twisting quotes in order to make them fake news. This turns Fake News / Real News: Washington Edition into a guessing game instead of a trivia game. The component quality might not be bad but the game itself is really bad.
I have a hard time recommending Fake News / Real News: Washington Edition to anyone. If you aren’t a political junkie or hate trivia games in general, you will not like Fake News / Real News: Washington Edition. Honestly the only people I could possibly recommend the game to are political junkies. The game is not good but you might be able to have a few laughs with the game. I would only buy the game if you can find it for really cheap though.