While trivia games might not be quite as prevalent as they once were, the trivia game genre is easily one of the board game genres that have had the most games made for it over the years. There has been trivia games made for almost every topic from general trivia to trivia based on specific movies or TV shows. I personally have conflicted feelings about the trivia game genre. I actually enjoy trivia quite a bit in general but there have been way too many bad trivia games made over the years for a quick buck. Heading into The Game of Quotations I wasn’t expecting much but I picked it up anyway as it is hard to pass up a board game when you find it for $0.25. Unfortunately my initial impression was correct as The Game of Quotations is a generic, outdated, overly difficult trivia game that ends up being a pretty boring experience.
How to Play The Game of Quotations
- Separate the playing cards from the rest of the cards. Shuffle the playing cards and deal six face down to each player. Place the rest of the cards in the middle of the table to form a draw pile.
- Each player looks at the hand that they were dealt. If a player want to get rid of their whole hand, they can discard all six cards to draw six new cards. All discarded cards are shuffled back with the rest of the draw deck.
- The player to the left of the dealer starts the game.
Playing the Game
A player begins their turn by playing one of their cards face up on the table. The player to their left will take the top card from the corresponding box of cards and read the question corresponding to the letter on the card.
- If the player answers incorrectly they will discard the card they played and draw a new card from the draw pile.
- If the player answers correctly they will discard the card they played and they won’t have to draw a new card from the draw pile. If the question has a bonus question the player can choose whether or not to answer it. If they choose not to answer the bonus question, their turn ends. If they decide to answer the question the outcome will depend on whether they answer correctly.
- If the player answers correctly they can get rid of one of the cards from their hand.
- If the player answers incorrectly they have to draw a card from the draw pile.
After a player is done with their question card, play passes to the next player clockwise.
All answers on the cards appear in bold.
Any Question: The player who plays the card can choose whichever category they prefer.
Buzz Words: For this round all of the players (excluding the reader) are able to compete. Poacher cards cannot be used. In the buzz words round a player has to say the word “buzz” in order to ring in. The first player to ring in gets to answer first. There are two different types of buzz word cards: derivations, and clue words.
- Derivations: The origins of a famous phrase are described. The players need to come up with the phrase that is being described.
- Clue Words: The word on top is read out loud. Players need to recite a proverb, saying or common phrase using the word. The card only lists a couple options. If a player gives another phrase, the players have to agree on whether the phrase should count.
The first player to correctly answer gets to get rid of one of their cards. If the player who played the card answered correctly, they get to discard their buzz words card. If the player who played the card doesn’t provide the correct answer, they will draw a new card from the draw deck. Anyone who provides an incorrect answer will also have to draw a card from the draw pile.
Missing Words: The player has to fill in the missing word.
Poacher Cards: Poacher cards are used to steal other players’ questions. Once a player has played their card but before the question is read, any other player can play their poacher card in order to steal the question. A player could also use a poacher card to steal a bonus question if the player chooses not to answer it. Finally a player can use a poacher card if the player answered incorrectly as long as there is more than one possible answer remaining. The outcome of playing the card depends on if you answered correctly.
- If you answer correctly you can discard your poacher card.
- If you answer incorrectly you get rid of your poacher card but have to draw two cards from the draw pile. If you stole a question and got the main question right but the bonus question wrong, you only have to draw one card.
- The player who originally played the category card will have to draw a new card.
Quote Vote: The quote and the three possible answers are read to the current player. The current player chooses one of the three answers.
True or False: The player has to decide whether the quote attribution is true or false.
Who Said That: The player has to figure out who originally said the phrase.
End of Game
When a player only has one card left, they knock on the table to alert the other players. If your last card is a poacher card you must play it on another player’s turn and will have to pass your own turn. The first player to get rid of their last card wins the game.
My Thoughts on The Game of Quotations
I am not going to waste time trying to sugarcoat it, The Game of Quotations is a very generic trivia game. Basically The Game of Quotations is the trivia game of “who said that”. The whole premise behind the game is trying to figure out famous phrases or who said them. The game has five different categories but all of the questions boil down to identifying quotes. Now this is not necessarily a bad premise for a trivia game as it brings something new to the trivia genre that you don’t really see in a lot of other games. I wouldn’t say that it is the most compelling premise for a trivia game though.
I honestly can only think of two areas where The Game of Quotations differs from your typical trivia game. The most obvious is the fact that all of the questions in the game focus on famous quotes. Other trivia games have occasional questions that deal with quotes but I can’t think of one off the top of my head that focuses entirely on quotes.
The bigger difference is that the game uses cards to determine what questions the players will be asked. In some ways I like the addition of the playing cards but in other ways they make the game worse. I like that the cards give players a little choice over the order that they will answer questions and it removes the need to land on a specific space in order to get a certain type of question. On the negative side the cards don’t really reduce the reliance on luck as the cards you are dealt will have an impact on how well you do in the game.
As I already mentioned The Game of Quotations features five different categories with various degrees of success. I would say the best category is probably the buzz word cards as they allow all of the players to play (except for the reader). I think I preferred the buzz word cards for a couple reasons. First they feature the most variety and actually provide you with some interesting trivia regarding the origins of some famous phrases. Second they are some of the easier questions in the game as they aren’t as time sensitive as some of the other categories (more on this soon). Finally I like the fact that all of the players can compete at the same time. Usually having players compete at the same adds some excitement to the game as players have to think quick in order to beat out the other players.
Other than the buzz word cards, the rest of the card categories are pretty generic. Missing words is your typical fill in the blank cards. Quote vote is multiple choice. True or false is self explanatory. Finally “who said that” is a typical question about who the quote is attributed to. In general these categories play pretty similar to one another and are what you would expect out of a typical trivia game.
In general I wouldn’t consider myself to be fantastic at trivia but I would say that I have a solid base of trivia knowledge. With that said I have to say that The Game of Quotations is a pretty hard trivia game. I think the biggest contributor to the difficulty is the game’s age. The game was originally released in 1987 meaning the game is slightly older than I am. This is relevant because I would say that the game is kind of outdated at this point. Even though the game is officially from 1987, if I didn’t know better I honestly would have thought it was even older. The game obviously doesn’t have any quotes more recent than 1987 but it seems like the game mostly went with quotes quite a bit older than 1987. This might not have been that bad if the game mostly focused on really recognizable quotes. It might be because all of the quotes were from before I was alive but the game seems to use quite a few obscure quotes. There are some that I have heard of but there are also plenty that I have neither heard before or even heard of the person who originally said the quote. The game also shows its age by occasionally including some quotes that I would argue are no longer politically correct.
Other than being outdated, I would say a lot of the difficulty comes from the categories not being created equally. Some of the categories are considerably easier than others. Probably the easiest category is true or false as you have a 50% chance of guessing correctly even if you have no idea what the correct answer is. The quote vote, buzz words and missing words can also be easy from time to time as they give you choices and focus on more recognizable quotes. Who said that is by far the most difficult category as you need to know exactly who said the quote in order to get rid of your card. As the different categories can vary pretty significantly in difficulty, there is a decent amount of luck that comes into play regarding which cards you are ultimately dealt. Whoever gets dealt easier category cards has a built in advantage in the game.
The Game of Quotations’ difficulty can be seen as both a positive and a negative. For me I see it as a negative as so many of the quotes I had never heard which lead to me having to make a lot of guesses. In a lot of cases it was not even an educated guess as I had no idea what the right answer would be. I could see true trivia buffs enjoying the game’s difficulty though. The game truly tests your knowledge of quotes where the most knowledgeable player will likely win the game. If other trivia games don’t provide you with enough challenge I could definitely see The Game of Quotations giving you the challenge you have been looking for.
Outside of the main category cards I wanted to quickly talk about the poacher cards. There are things that I like about the cards but there are some issues as well. I actually like that the poacher cards add a little risk/reward to the game. By playing a poacher card you are able to steal another player’s question but you do so while taking a risk. If you use a poacher card and get the question wrong you will end up having to draw two cards instead of one. If you play your poacher cards wisely though you can get rid of your cards quicker which improves your odds of winning the game. The biggest problem that I had with the poacher cards is that I think there are too many of them in the deck. Players will regularly have one or more poacher cards in their hand at a time. Good luck playing a true or false question as someone is likely to steal it before you are ever able to use it yourself. There is also the problem of getting stuck with a poacher card as your last card as you then are forced to try to steal another player’s question in order to win the game.
At the end of the day the biggest problem that I had with The Game of Quotations is the fact that it is just an overall boring game. The game has next to no theme as the cards basically just contain text. The game boils down to players taking turns answering trivia questions until someone is able to get rid of their last card. There isn’t a lot of excitement or suspense in this which leads to the game becoming boring pretty quickly. You pretty much have to be a trivia aficionado in order to remain interested in the game for very long.
Should You Buy The Game of Quotations?
The Game of Quotations is pretty much exactly what you would expect it to be. It is a basic trivia game about quotes. The idea of using cards to choose your category is kind of interesting and you can learn some interesting facts in the game. Unfortunately there is not much more to the game. The game is pretty boring where only true trivia aficionados will probably avoid boredom throughout the entire game. This is made worse by the fact that the game is surprisingly difficult. The game is outdated and features a lot of obscure quotes that will really challenge you from time to time.
If you have no interest in a trivia game about quotes, The Game of Quotations is not going to be for you. If you want a more challenging trivia game and like the idea of a trivia game based on quotes you may have some fun with the game. I would still only recommend the game though if you can find it for cheap.