How to Play
The game begins with setting up the game board and giving every player their playing piece, pencil, and answer pad sheet.
Each round begins with the round leader (rotates every round) rolling the dice. A card is then drawn and the question that corresponds to the number rolled is read to all of the players. All of the players take a guess at the year/number that is the answer to the question asked. Everyone reveals their answer. The correct answer is revealed and the player whose answer is closest to the correct answer (higher and lower guesses are both valid) gets to move their player token two spaces. In addition if any of the players get the answer exactly correct (very rare) they get an extra space. If the question was written in green text, the player who had the closest answer takes possession of the dueling chip.
In addition to the basic rounds, there are dueling rounds. After a non-green question is read but before anyone answers the question, the player with the dueling chip may challenge another player. They pick who they would like to challenge and how many spaces (between 1-3) they would like to bet on the question. The challenged player must always accept the challenge. The two players in the duel then answer the question. Whoever is closest moves forward the number of spaces bet while the other player moves back that many spaces. The other players not in the duel can provide an answer for the question and if they somehow get the answer exactly right they get to move forward three spaces. Once the duel is over the dueling chip is returned to the gameboard.
The first person to reach the finish line is the winner.
For those of you familiar with the game Wits and Wagers, Guesstimation will sound very familiar. This is actually one of the reasons I picked up the game since I really enjoy Wits and Wagers. Except for some light rule variations they are essentially the same exact game. Since they are pretty much the same, the best way to review Guesstimation is to compare it to Wits and Wagers.
For those unfamiliar with Wits and Wagers, here is a quick recap of the differences in the rules. In both games the questions are of the same variety where the players need to guess the number/date. Wits and Wagers follows the “Price is Right” rule though where only guesses lower or equal to the actual answer can win the question. Once all of the answers are revealed, all of the players are allowed to bet chips on the different answers that they think are correct. They can bid on either their own or other players’ answers. Correct bids on the closest answer wins chips while incorrect bids lose chips.
As you can tell the gameplay in both games are very similar. The only main difference is how players score points. Guesstimation is not a bad game and is fun at times but Wits and Wagers’ rules/gameplay are considerably better in my opinion. Guesstimation’s rules just seem like a simplification of Wits and Wagers and the game as a whole feels like a poor man’s Wits and Wagers.
The gambling mechanic is the main reason why Wits and Wagers is a better game. In Guesstimation you pretty much just answer the question and you find out the winner. There is no player interaction and it is just kind of boring. Meanwhile in Wits and Wagers there is quite a bit more interaction between the players. The gambling mechanic adds more variety and strategy to the game. It allows players that are not as good at the trivia aspect of the game, a chance to stay in the game. Unfortunately none of this is present in Guesstimation and due to that fact the person who is best with the trivia aspect will almost always win.
The dueling chip in Guesstimation is also pretty stupid. It was rarely used in the game I played and I honestly think it should have been just left out of the game entirely. The whole concept of the dueling chip feels tacked on. It is like the designers of the game had finished developing the game and decided that something was lacking. Then they just added in the dueling chip without altering the game to make it fit. The dueling chip’s only purpose is to mess with other players. If one player is far ahead all of the other players will challenge them in order to try and knock them back. The dueling chip also essentially takes all but two players out of the game for the question. The other players can still guess the answer but that is pretty pointless since the only way to benefit from guessing would be if they got the answer exactly correct which is very unlikely. Otherwise the other players have to sit around waiting for the question to be over.
Wits and Wagers is also superior in question quality. In the games I have played of Wits and Wagers all of the questions that were asked were well written. All of the players could understand what was being asked. For the most part the questions in Guesstimation are pretty good but some of them have some issues. Some of the questions in Guesstimation are not written clearly and there is some ambiguity in what the question is actually asking. A lot of the questions are also time based. These questions usually compare something from the past to the current day (which ends up being 2009 since that was when the game was created). While the questions will still work pretty well now since the game is still pretty recent, as time passes the questions will be less and less relevant.
I do have to compliment Guesstimations on the quantity of cards provided though. Guesstimations has 300 cards while Wits and Wagers only has 126 cards. You get a better bang for your buck with Guesstimations at least regarding the cards. Unfortunately the rest of the components are pretty pointless. Wits and Wagers came with nice erase boards to write down answers while Guesstimations only includes paper sheets. I actually ended up just using the boards from Wits and Wagers when I played Guesstimations.
So would I recommend purchasing Guesstimation?
If you don’t like party/family games or have played Wits and Wagers and did not like it, I would recommend that you pass. Guesstimation is a pick up and play type of game that works well in a family or party situation. If you didn’t like Wits and Wagers you won’t like Guesstimations since they are essentially the same game and Wits and Wagers is the better game.
If you like party games, the concept sounds interesting, but you have never played Wits and Wagers; I would recommend picking that up first. Wits and Wagers is the superior game in my opinion and is a great game that I would highly recommend to fans of party/family games.
If you have played Wits and Wagers and enjoyed it, you may or may not want to pick up Guesstimation. Since Wits and Wagers rules/gameplay are better than Guesstimation, Guesstimation’s value comes from the cards themselves. If you have played Wits and Wagers and you would like new cards for the game you can essentially use Guesstimation as an expansion pack for Wits and Wagers. You will need to slightly alter how the cards are played since there is a different number of questions on each card but they should work well with Wits and Wagers. I actually am going to keep my copy of Guesstimation to use its’ cards in Wits and Wagers.