Publishers: Garden Path Games
Game by: Daniel Pennypacker
Duration: 15 minutes
Age: 12 +
Time to learn: 2 minutes
Board Game Type: Party Game
Polemic Board Game Review
How well do you know your friends? Test your knowledge in the quick and amusing game, Polemic, from Garden Path Games. The standard game offers an array of cultural topics. The rules are simple; in each round, players declare their like or dislike for a chosen topic and then vote on the number of players who they think like the topic.
My first play of this game was especially hilarious. I played the “Adult Expansion” at our monthly Ladies Beer Club. Buyer beware, only purchase this expansion if you are comfortable knowing who shaves what and where, and other very particular preferences of your friends. My friends all appear to be “ladies in the street,” so this was quite an educational evening! All of the adult topics are sexual in nature and were selected by a certified sex coach. In the right setting, and with the right crowd, this version has the potential to be rip-roaring fun. Or horrifying. Choose your players wisely (editor's note - I think this means don't invite your mom to girls' night).
For our evening, the game ended up being a blast. The beer helped. On second thought, I might suggest beer as a necessary ingredient.
After we started the game at beer club, I immediately thought to myself, “what a fun game for team building at work!” No, not the adult version! I work in Human Resources, and I need to stay employed so I can afford my board game habit. The standard deck comes with a wide range of interesting, but unoffensive topics ranging from public radio to the NFL to music festivals.
Game play is perfectly simple. Each player get a “like” card, a “dislike” card, and numbered cards up to the total number of players in your game. The rotating dealer each round draws a topic card and selects a topic from their card. After the dealer announces the topic, each player lays their “like” or “dislike” card face down. Once each player has secretly declared their like (or dislike) of the topic, players then take a guess as to how many like the topic by laying down the corresponding number card, also facedown. Once everyone has made up their mind, all cards are revealed and players with correct guesses are awarded one point. The instructions say you play to four points; however, we found we wanted to keep playing. In fact, scoring is not even necessary if you are in a non-competitive group.
I love party games and lively conversations, and this game led to several lively conversations about preferences and dislikes, naughty or otherwise. The game is so easy any non-gamer would enjoy it. Inexpensive and portable, if you enjoy quick and easy party games, pick up your own copy at www.gardenpathgames.com.
- Easy to learn, teach and play
- Small, portable and easy to take along with you
- Appeals to to a wide range of people, including non-gamers
- I know who shaves what and where
- Hopefully an expansion comes out soon, otherwise frequent players might go through all of the topics after several plays
- If your group does want to keep score, adding score tokens would be helpful
Gateway Game Score (what's this?): 10/10
Overall Rating: 8.5/10