How to Play
To begin the game everyone gets 5 cards. The foam target is placed in the center of the table.
During the game, when answering questions your right hand is used for “true” while your left hand is used for “false”. To begin the game one player reads one of the questions on the back of one of their cards. Any reference to “I” or “Me” in the question refers to the person reading the question and “You” and “Your” refers to the people answering the questions. After the question is read the rest of the players answer the question by placing the hand that corresponds to their answer on the target in the middle of the table. After all of the players have answered, the correct answer is determined (may be different for all of the players).
The reader/judge first determines who was first to answer correctly (the hand closest to the target that was the right answer). That player gets to take the card that was just read. The judge then determines the first player to get the question wrong (if any players got the question wrong). The first player to get the question wrong loses one of the cards in their stack to the discard pile. Play then proceeds to the next player who reads the question on their next card that matches the color on the back of the card from the last round.
When one player runs out of cards the game is over. Whoever has the most cards at that time is the winner.
Trigger is a 2011 game made by Blue Orange Games. I would classify Trigger as a trivia game but it is not your typical trivia game. In Trigger you are answering various types of questions regarding the reader, yourself, your current environment, and some other general trivia questions. Instead of going around the table and everyone revealing their answers, Trigger adds a quick reaction element where everyone needs to answer as quickly as possible by placing the hand of their choice onto the target in the middle of the table as soon as possible.
Overall I was expecting Trigger to be a pretty average trivia game. After playing the game I would say that it slightly exceeded my expectations.
Trigger’s greatest strengths are its’ simplicity and its’ originality. It should take a couple minutes at max to read the rules and explain them to new players. The only “complicated” part of the rules is trying to remember which hand to use for true and which to use for false. While some players may confuse the two hands, I actually liked this mechanic more than I was expecting. I liked that Trigger tried to add a speed element to a traditional trivia game. This helped keep Trigger in a more upbeat pace than most trivia games that tend to drag on.
This quick answer mechanic also gives the game kind of a press your luck type element. Almost all of the questions are easy enough that every player should know the answer to them. A player is unlikely to win just because they know more trivia than the other players. You would think that this would make the game very easy. The game prevents this by making the questions tricky. The game likes to word the questions in a way that the answer is not always straightforward. In particular the game likes to use a lot of double negatives and you also need to really pay attention to the usage of “I” and “You” in the questions.
The press your luck element comes from how much time you want to spend analyzing the questions. With enough time players should be able to answer almost all of the questions correctly. Unfortunately you don’t have unlimited time to answer the questions. If you take too long to answer questions you will never win any cards and will eventually lose. If you take too little time, the questions could easily trip you up. These trip ups could lead to some laughs from the group. Therefore you need to balance how much time you want to spend analyzing the question with trying to answer quickly in order to be able to take some of the cards.
While quite a few questions require you to carefully listen to the question, there are also quite a few questions where the player with the fastest reaction time will take the card. If you have a slow reaction time, you have pretty much no chance at winning the game. Since only the first player to answer a card correctly gets to keep it, if you can’t consistently answer before the other players you won’t win.
Due to being more of a casual/party game, Blue Orange made a smart decision making the game pretty compact. The game is small enough that it can easily be packed for a trip or brought along to a party. It’s compact size is also beneficial to space conscious gamers. It won’t take up a lot of space on your game shelf. Its’ small size is one of the reasons that I decided to keep the game. I kind of wish the container was a square or rectangle though because it would have been easier to stack on a shelf.
While Trigger did quite a few things right, there are some issues that hold back the game.
The biggest problem with the game is replay value. The game only comes with 60 cards so you will have repeat cards pretty quickly. Each card does have six different questions on it but you will usually play several of the questions on the card in each round. Once you have played all of the different cards, any future plays will feature only repeat questions. I don’t see the questions repeating very well unless you take a long enough break to forget the questions on the cards.
I also didn’t like the rule that you are supposed to answer the question of the color from the previous card. The rule itself is not bad but it does lead to the same question being asked over and over again. We ended up changing this rule since we would have ended up answering the same questions over and over again which wouldn’t have been very fun. When a repeat question would come up we decided that the reader would get to choose any of the other questions on the card that had not already been asked.
My final complaint is that I think the game’s questions should have been more varied. It seems like most of the questions pertain to the players. I personally would have preferred that there would have been more general trivia questions.
Overall Trigger is an interesting little trivia game. It is a simple game to pick up and can provide some enjoyment. It is not particularly deep though so it is more of a filler game or the type of game you might pull out if you have a couple minutes to kill. I worry about the game’s replay value though since it only has 60 cards.
If you don’t like party/trivia games you won’t like Trigger. If the idea sounds interesting to you though and you don’t mind that the game doesn’t have great replay value, I think Trigger would be a pretty good purchase.