Absolute Balderdash – Game Review

Though we’re mainly interested in hobby games here at Gameapalooza, we don’t mind the odd mainstream game review, after all, maybe you’d like to know about them to lure family and friends over to the dark side.

“Absolute Balderdash” is a bluffing game, or a guessing trivia game, dependent on the amount of players taking part. 3-6 bluffing party game, 2 players the fun is sucked out and it’s a pure guessing game.

Setup & Gameplay
Let’s look at the game setup and gameplay for an “Absolute Balderdash” two player game. Players take it in turns selecting three cards, choosing a category (words, people, initials, movies, dates – in the Australian version) and reading out the clue to the other player, that player then gets three options and chooses one, if it’s right they score, if it’s wrong the other person scores… meh. That’s it, there’s no skill, there’s no build up, this is not a great 2 player game, but let’s take a look at the 3+ player game before you decide against this one.

Absolute Balderdash board game review gameapalooza Australia tabletop gaming news and reviewsAbsolute Balderdash, no, really it’s not that bad… in 3+ mode.

In an “Absolute Balderdash” 3+ player game (we’d suggest you aim for more than 3 players (it’s a 2-6 player game). Players all get a pad and pen and place their playing piece on the start section of the board. One player takes on the role of ‘Dasher’, he / she takes a card and reads out loud the question / statement to the other players. They then write it onto their pads and come up with an answer to the question / statement that sounds a likely real answer to it and jot it on their pads (without others seeing). All answers are handed to the ‘dasher’ and he / she looks through them, arranges them in random order and reads each answer out loud to the other players, making sure as to not inflect meaning / weight into any particular answer (don’t want to give anything away!).

Given the answers are – if you’re players are on the ball – amusing / hilariously devised, laughter ensues and each player then guesses which answer they think is the correct one, with the ‘dasher’ taking note of who voted on what (by marking their initials on the pad). When everyone’s guessed, the ‘dasher’ reveals the correct answer, players all ooh and ahh and laugh about how another answer seemed way more likely. Scores are totaled based on the scoring rules and in “Dixit” fashion points awarded based on if a players fake answer was thought to be real, if people voted for the actual answer and if a player came up with an answer that was close to the actual answer.

As you can probably tell, it is this version of play that can be a real hit at gatherings. Answers can be hilarious and even the discussion surrounding the real response can lead to further laughs.

That Two-Player Game Though
We’d avoid the two player game, it all just seems so utterly pointless. The 3+ is where this game really comes into its own.

Game Build Quality
The build quality on “Absolute Balderdash” is pretty good, the board is your standard mainstream two-fold long board, with that stuck on graphic style. In a nice touch, instead of a numbered scoring track, the board uses the alphabet as the score track. Cards are good quality, card box likewise. Player tokens are your standard mainstream plastic game tokens as are the 6-sided dice. The pads are good quality, though having three answer areas per sheet seems odd. The insert is terrible, standard corrugated cardboard and weak. Box, standard mainstream gloss stuck game box.

Gameapalooza House Rules
None, other than never play it in two player, but we mentioned that didn’t we.

Overall “Absolute Balderdash” is a good party game. As with most party games however, the gameplay experience is heavily weighted on how into it the players are. In a good group you will have an absolute blast with this game.

2-6 Players
Ages: 10+
Setup Time: Less than 5 minutes
Play Time: 45 minutes

[author] [authorimage timthumb=’off’]/content/images/2016/02/gameapalooza-micro-review-icon-sm.gif[/authorimage] [authorinfo]Micro Review – A word / clue based party game for groups 4+ (yes yes we know it’s a 2+ player game, but seriously 4+ is where it’s at). “Absolute Balderdash” is a lot of fun with the right people. Did we love it? No, did we enjoy it? Sure, but it’s one to try before you buy. [/authorinfo] [/author]

Gameapalooza Sponsor Gameology for Aussie gamers at Gameology.com.au

You can purchase “Absolute Balderdash” from our sponsor, Aussie game store Gameology.


Disclosure: Gameology furnished us with a copy of the game for review. This does not affect the review in any way, other than we were able to bring it to our readers. We thank them for their support.