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The Invention Game Board Game Review and Rules

The Invention Game Board Game Review and Rules
How to Play | Review | Final Verdict | Comments

How to Play


To begin the game each player takes a writing utensil and some paper to write on. One player volunteers to be the reader for the first round. The reader takes one of the cards as well as the red decoder.

Writing the Purpose of the Invention

After picking the card for the round, the reader shows the picture of the invention to all of the other players. The reader then uses the red decoder to look at the red section of the card to find a description of the actual purpose of the invention. They write the correct description on a sheet of paper.

While the reader is writing down the correct solution, the other players need to come up with an idea of what they think the invention is. Each player writes down what they think the invention is, puts their name on the sheet, and passes it to the reader without anyone else seeing what they wrote down. When creating their description players are trying to either guess the actual purpose of the invention or come up with a purpose that they think the other players will believe.

Creating descriptions in The Invention Game

For this particular card players could come up with ideas such as dog pajamas, or a dog raincoat. The actual correct purpose of this invention is a dust cover for dogs.

Guessing the Purpose of the Invention

Once every player has submitted their description, the reader mixes up the descriptions and reads them out one at a time. If one of the submitted descriptions are similar to the correct answer, both descriptions are read aloud. The reader shouldn’t give any indication to the other players about who wrote each answer. Once the reader has read through all of the choices, they read through all of the choices again and each player (other than the reader) has a chance to guess which one of the descriptions is correct. Each player gets one vote and they can’t vote for their own description. Once everyone has voted the reader reveals the correct answer and points are awarded.


Players score points as follows:

  • 1 Point: The player guessed the right description.
  • 1 Point: For each player to select a player’s incorrect description.
  • 1 Point: If a player’s description is almost identical to the actual description.
  • 2 Points: To the reader if none of the players were able to guess the right description.

After scoring is completed a new round begins.

End of Game

After seven rounds the game ends. The player who has scored the most points wins the game.


Simply put The Invention Game is essentially Balderdash/Definition Game/Dictionary Game for inventions. For those of you who have never played any of these games before, each round all but one of the players need to create a description of the invention for the current round. The objective is to create a description that is good enough that it will trick the other players into picking your description instead of the correct description.

I was interested in trying out The Invention Game because I like these “Balderdash” style games. I like these type of games because they work well as party games especially if you have creative people in your group. The Invention Game is a lot like these other type of games, a fun solid game that lacks any originality. It is Balderdash with inventions instead of words.

A lot of the inventions in The Invention Game are very strange. While all of the inventions in the game were granted patents, I doubt many of them were ever used in a commercial manner. Some of the inventions in the game include self tying shoes, scream mufflers, and the strangest invention we encountered the “dust cover for dogs”. Why would anyone make a dust cover for dogs? The strangeness of the inventions adds quite a bit of humor to the game especially if the other players are creative enough to come with ideas just as ridiculous as the actual purposes of the inventions.

Like Balderdash creativity is important for the game. If the players don’t come up with creative descriptions, it will be really obvious which one is the correct description. No matter how creative the players are though some of the inventions have such a specific description that it is pretty obvious which one is correct since no one would come up with the random purposes of some of the inventions.

While the inventions are really strange, it is actually quite a bit easier to actually guess the correct purpose of an invention than it is to guess the description of a word in Balderdash. For several of the inventions players were able to guess pretty closely to the actual purpose of the inventions with one person guessing the exact purpose of one invention. This rarely ever happens in Balderdash.

The Invention Game is the type of game that is better as a game just to play for fun than playing to see who wins. The game recommends playing seven rounds but that is way too short in my opinion. It is better to just play the game for as long as you want, preferably with each player being the reader for the same number of rounds. The scoring system is just like every other one of these types of games which could be improved. You might be better off not keeping score and just playing to have some fun and laughs.

Other than being far from original, the other big problem with The Invention Game is the lack of cards. The game only comes with 80 double sided cards. Unlike with Balderdash where you can just find new words from a dictionary, you can’t really do that with The Invention Game unless you want to dig through old patent applications. While you won’t remember all of the inventions, most of them are so strange that you will have a strong indication of what every invention does after playing through all of the cards. So there isn’t a lot of replay value in the game after you have played all of the cards unless you want to create your own cards.

Other than the lack of the cards, the contents are nothing special. The pictures could be a little bigger since it is hard for everyone to be able to see the invention at the same time. Players have to pass the cards around in order to get a better look at the inventions. The text on the cards is also kind of small for some players. Even though the text is hidden behind the red sections, you can see also how long the description is so it makes it much easier to guess the correct description.

Final Verdict

The Invention Game is essentially Balderdash for inventions. I had fun with the game and plan on playing it again. The game isn’t original though and it doesn’t have a lot of replay value due to the lack of cards. As I have said it is Balderdash for inventions. If you like these type of games I think you will enjoy The Invention Game and should consider buying it. If you don’t really like these types of games though, I don’t think the Invention Game is going to change your mind.

If you would like to purchase The Invention Game you can purchase it on Amazon here.