Flaggo! review

Untitled-1By Paco Garcia Jaen

I belong to a family where quizzes are almost a way of life. We watch them on TV,  play them at pubs, listen to them on the radio and even invent our own. There is something about a questions and answers game that tickles our fancy for some bizarre reason. Yet, we don’t play games like Trivial Pursuit. In fact I will confess to dislike Trivial Pursuit quite a lot. Despite having been on gamer’s shelves for decades and with more expansions and variants one can even imagine, it is probably one of the best sold games or all time and it does have an amazing following.

Let’s start from the beginning. Flaggo is the creation of George Allen and it is a self published game. If you know anything about game publishing, you’ll know it is not easy. To do self publishing takes a lot of effort, a lot of work and a lot of passion. Not to mention a lot of money!

Flaggo is sort of “Trivial Pursuit meets Monopoly all over the world” situation. When heard of it, I was iffy. Not sure I even wanted to play it! I don’t enjoy games where pretty much the only tool you have to win is your knowledge and there isn’t much strategy and not much in terms of luck either. Although Flaggo’s website did impress me for it colourful and overall higher than the average professional looks, I still didn’t feel too confident about the game.

After a few conversations with George, the inventor behind the game, he offered me a game for review and I couldn’t say no to that. Firstly because it is my duty to bring reviews to the magazine and secondly because George is the type of nice guy you can’t just say no. There is something quite special about dealing with people who are passionate about their creations and George does score very high on that department.

So the box arrives and I open it. Let the surprises begin!

The production values of this game are superb. The only slight criticism that could be given is that the board could do with being a little bit sturdier. This game is perfect for families and I can already see it being on a lot of messy tables with liquids being split all around and over it.

Don’t get me wrong. The board is excellent and perfectly adequate. If treated with a bit of care, it’ll last for as long as you like. It is only under less careful players’ control that it could suffer a bit.

The box, as well as the game board, contains a very nice box with all the question cards,separators for each category in the questions box, a deck pack with the deck of destiny cards used during the game, lots of tokens for the silver and gold coins players obtain during the game, two timers, coloured tokens in the shape of really cute and well crafted airplanes and cardboard tokens with letters to spell the word Flaggo! Everything is very good quality. Although there could be a few more gaps in the box to keep the tokens and pieces separately, there aren’t so many different pieces that it’ll be difficult to find them in the provided recipient.

The game could not be any simpler. Roll two dice, advance your token, answer a question (if you can!) or draw a card from the destiny’s deck and suffer the consequences (or collect the rewards). Each space in the game board has an international flag or an action to perform, like get a card from the decks in the middle of the board. The flag will determine which one of the questions to be answered one has to choose.

For each question answered, you get a silver coin that you can then swap for a gold coin when you get enough of them. Change gold coins for letters of the word Flaggo, but only the letters shown in the space where your token is, and the first player to obtain all the letters for the word Flaggo, wins the game.

Now, there are a few interesting additions you can take or leave as well. You can give players a set time to answer the questions of 30 seconds to answer the questions. If the players don’t know the answers, they can get a clue, which will cost them. I did like that a lot because is enables the game to be more easily played in groups. Setting a time limit to reply to questions stops all sorts of arguments and delays to keep the game running. Giving clues also enables younger players to have a chance to reply and get some gratification. I thought that was pretty clever!

So, is this game worth it? Sure thing!

If you like games that can involve anyone in the family, with next to no time learning curve and very good potential for fun, then I’d recommend Flaggo without hesitation. The questions are very varied and enough to keep you amused for a while. At least long enough until an expansion to the game sees the light. As with any game of this type, the amount of questions should be increased in time, adding new categories to the existing 5, or different levels of difficulty.

Personally, I think my Trivial Pursuit game will see a lot less daylight from now on!

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