by Transmute Jun
While many fans are stuck at home this spring rather than attending cons, they are attempting to engage in as many con-like activities as they can. For some, this means virtual conventions, browsing exhibit halls, and attending panels online. For others, it means going through their comics collections, enjoying the books they have acquired. For gamers, this means playing more games, both at home with family, and online with others.
Into the middle of this social isolation comes Half Truth, a party game intended to engage groups of people. While the cons at which the game was slated to appear have been canceled, fans are still able to acquire Half Truth online, as well as at game stores on May 6, when it will be officially released.
Half Truth is at heart a trivia game, dressed up with a few victory point mechanics to add an element of strategy. The trivia was provided by Ken Jennings (Jeopardy! 74 game champion) while the game mechanics were contributed by Richard Garfield (creator of Magic: The Gathering and King of Tokyo). While the marriage between the two is a bit clunky, the overall result is an entertaining game for everyone, whether or not they consider themselves to be good at trivia. To learn more about the creation process for this game, check out FoCC Blog’s interview with the creators last fall.
The concept of the game is that it gives a category, and 6 possible answers. 3 of the answers are correct, and 3 are incorrect. Players have to guess either 1, 2, or 3 correct answers (their choice). More correct answers results in more victory points, but also more risk, because if even one answer is wrong, the player gets nothing. The questions are harder than they appear, even when at first glance it seems easy. However, even if they know nothing about the subject matter (as was the case in our home, when we had a spate of sports questions) it isn’t difficult to make an ‘educated guess’ and pull out 1 possible correct answer. This allows everyone to play, regardless of knowledge base. Knowledgeable players will be tempted to risk all on 2 or 3 guesses, while more tentative players can still get ahead with safer 1 guess moves.
As always, while there are points and a ‘winner’ in this party game, the purpose of it is ultimately to break the ice and allow everyone to have a good time. While it was designed to play in-person with a large group of people, the nature of trivia is such that it could easily be adapted for online play, with a virtual group gathering.
If you enjoy trivia and are looking for a light game to enjoy with family and friends, Half Truth is an easy way to encourage interaction, or as a warmup to a more serious game night.
Are you playing games while in social isolation? Join the conversation on the FoCC forums!