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Instant Replay Board Game Review

How to Play | My Thoughts | Final Verdict | Comments

How to Play

Before beginning the game, all of the players need to agree on how many tiles will be used in the game. Between three and eight tiles may be used. The more tiles that are used, the more difficult the game will be. Each player then picks a color and takes all of the tiles of that color.

Before beginning each round, the turntable needs to be wound up until it stops turning.

One player is chosen to be the first player to create a design. This responsibility continues to rotate to the next player each round. This player creates a design with the agreed upon number of tiles without letting any other player see it. When the player has finished creating the design, they place it on the turntable. They then start the turntable. All of the other players look at the design and try to re-create it exactly with their own tiles. No player may touch the design or the turntable before it stops.

When a player thinks they have successfully completed the design, they hand it to the player who created it. Once it is handed over the player cannot make any changes to it. Once the timer either stops or all players turn in their designs, the original designer starts checking them. They begin with the design first turned in and continue in the order that the designs were turned in. When the player finds an exact match, the player who created the match gets one point. The round is over and all designs are disassembled. If a design is not an exact match, the next design is checked. If none of the players make a perfect match, the player who made the original design is awarded the point.

When one player reaches five points they win the game.

Instant Replay Gameplay
In the picture above the player has created a design using 6 tiles. The other players need to match the design exactly before the timer runs out in order to score a point.

My Thoughts

In 1987 Parker Brothers created the game Instant Replay. The object of Instant Replay is create a design with tiles that the other players are unable to recreate within the time limit. Meanwhile the other players try to recreate the design as quickly as possible. The idea behind the game looked somewhat interesting so when I found it cheap at a thrift store I decided to give the game a chance.

At first the game didn’t seem that bad and I actually had a little fun playing the game. The game had an interesting concept and it was somewhat fun creating and re-creating designs with the tiles. It was quick and easy to learn how to play and the rounds went pretty quickly.

Unfortunately the novelty of the game wore off quickly. After only a couple rounds the game became pretty boring. While there are plenty of different designs that can be made with the tiles, creating each design felt like just repeating the same thing over and over again. The game really has no strategy to building the designs so you are pretty much just randomly putting the pieces together. Trying to re-create other players’ designs is actually more enjoyable and at least requires some skill. At times it actually requires too much skill.

Instant Replay has a problem with regards to difficulty. The game could be very easy or very hard. If you only use three tiles the game is extremely easy. Only young children may not be able to solve it well before the time limit expires. On the other side of the spectrum, eight tiles is very hard to the point where is is almost impossible to finish in time. If you were given enough time and the platform wasn’t spinning, most people would be able to complete eight tile puzzles. Few people would be able to complete it within the time limit though. My personal recommendation would be to use five or six tiles.

The biggest problem I had with the game was the turntable. It is likely due to the wear and tear to my copy of the game but the turntable worked terribly. The turntable was highly erratic. There was no way to tell when the turntable was fully wound since it would never stop turning so my group had to just guess when to stop turning it. Once turned on, the turntable sometimes turned at a quick pace while at other times it barely moved. The turntable would also either spin for a couple seconds or it would turn for over a minute. The turntable was so erratic that I eventually gave up on it and used my own timer. The judge of each round ended up having to turn the turntable with their finger.

Other than the issues with the turntable, I thought the components were of a decent quality. The tiles are made out of pretty think plastic so they should last. Sometimes the tiles didn’t fit together very well though. This issue usually presented itself when tiles were placed by each other. If a player ended up putting a lot of their tiles by each other, it was hard to match a design even if you knew what you were doing since the tiles would just not stay in position.

Final Verdict

After playing the game, I cannot say that Instant Replay is a good game. I had a little enjoyment in the first couple of rounds but the game got boring pretty quickly. The turntable that came with my copy of the game was erratic and never worked right. The game is also usually either too easy or too difficult.

Unless the idea of the game really interests you, I wouldn’t give it a second thought. If the game’s concept interests you, you might be able to get something out of the game. I wouldn’t recommend picking it up though unless you can find it for cheap. The good news is that at the time of this review, the game was quite cheap.

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