Quick: Think of the name of an insect! A power tool! A game show! That’s Anomia. Trounce your friends with common knowledge topics in this quick-thinking game.
15-20 minutes per game
The game comes with two playing decks: one blue, one red. We’ve found the red deck to be a little harder than the blue one, so I’d suggest starting with the blue one. Each deck has 100 cards: 92 cards with 8 unique symbols differentiated by color and shape, plus 8 wild cards. To start, shuffle one of the decks and split it into two piles. Put both piles face down in the middle of the table. Set the other deck aside.
How to Play:
Determine who will go first. That person draws a card for either pile and quickly flips it onto the table, face up in front of themselves without looking at it first. Then, go clockwise around the table with each player doing the same. As each new card is flipped, you are watching for matching symbols. When two players have matching symbols showing on their cards, as quickly as possible you try to name an example of the person, place, or thing on your OPPONENT’S card; they are trying to do the same with your card. (Anomia rules call this a “Face-off.”) Whoever correctly answers first “wins” that card and takes it from the opponent. The winner places these cards face down next to his active pile.
*Note: We have had some argument about whether the “winner” should be the person who starts their answer or finishes their answer first. Some answers are just inherently longer than others to blurt, so we think the most fair way is whoever starts first. Anomia rules say whoever finishes first. Either way, agree upon this point before you begin.
When a player wins a card from an opponent, therefore taking that person’s top card, it will expose a new card. That card may have a matching symbol with another player, thus creating a chain reaction of “Face-offs,” so be ready at any time to blurt your answers!
Once there are no more matches, continue going around the table flipping new cards from the draw pile on top of your face up deck (so there is only one card showing in front of you at a time) until there is a new match.
Anomia gives you an added level of complexity by incorporating “Wild Cards.” These cards show two different symbols at the same time, indicating that those symbols will also be considered a match for the sake of Face-offs, as long as that Wild Card is in play. (You are still looking for directly matching symbols, too.) When a Wild Card is drawn, it is placed in the middle of the table between the two draw piles. New Wild Cards drawn are placed on top of old ones, so there is only one active Wild Card at a time.
The person to amass the most “winning” cards from Face-offs at the end of the game is the winner.
The most obvious strategy for this game is to come up with answers to the topics on your opponents’ cards each time one is drawn. That way, if you end up with a match, you already have an answer in mind to quickly blurt. Otherwise you could get stick on the spot doing the “uuuhhh, ummm….” thing while the other person beats you to the punch (but that’s sort of the fun of it).