Game review: Think ‘n Sync

Gamewright Think 'N Sync box and cards

Kids and adults will love trying to blurt out the same answers

Game: Think ‘n Sync
Maker: Gamewright (Buy here on Amazon)
Ages: 12+ (Can be modified for younger players)
# of players: 3-8 (but larger groups could, in theory, play)

If you have a relationship with a spouse/partner or child in which you finish each other’s ___________ (you know you want to say “sandwiches”), then this game is for you.

Think ‘n Sync is a great party game for 3 to 8 players, in which the object is to blurt out the same word or phrase — at the same time — as the person sitting next to you. It’s a little bit like Anomia and 5 Second Rule (where you have to think quickly), but also similar to Taboo; the more you know someone and what they might say, the more likely you can succeed.

At first glance, we thought the game would involve picking teams, which would limit options for an odd number of players (a third child, for example, would be left out). Fortunately, it doesn’t work like that. Each turn involves three people: One person reads a card, and the next two players to the left of the reader have to fill in the blank. After a turn is finished, the person to the reader’s left is the reader and the next two people to the reader’s left try to be “in sync.” The only strategy would be to sit next to two people whom you know well. (Or so you would think. We’ve played this sitting next to longtime friends, thinking we’re at an advantage, and we couldn’t have been more out of sync.)

Each card has a main category (for example, “Chocolate,” “Bugs,” “At the Circus”) and four sub-categories. The reader announces the category, then reads the first sub-category. In the “Bugs” category, the first sub-category is “A bug with big wings…” The reader then counts down, “3, 2, 1…” and both players to the left blurt out their answers. If they match, they get a point. If they don’t, they don’t get a point. The reader then announces the next three sub-categories on the same card, so each player gets a chance to earn up to 4 points on each turn. This can be great for kids playing with adults, because they have several chances within each category to get at least 1 or two2points, sparing disappointment for wrong answers. In our game test, no team got all 4 answers correct during a particular round; it’s harder than it looks!

The game has small tokens you can give to each player to keep track of their score during a round, but you could also make a note of each person’s score and then write their tally just as easily.

The game is very easy to learn, but succeeding can be tricky. Do you try to think of an answer that you think your partner will say, or go with the first thing that pops into your head? Meanwhile, your partner is thinking the same way. Partners who have a history with each other will likely do better (when I was matched up with my daughter, it was easy to shout “Christmas” at the same time for the “Holidays” category when the clue was “A holiday that kids love”).

The game suggests that all players be at least 12 years old, as some of the categories could be more difficult for younger kids. In that case, the reader just discarded the category and picked one that is easier. Categories like “Name a Republican president” can probably be skipped for younger players. We would recommend that younger players understand the concept at least – in a few of our games some under-12 players would just blurt out goofy answers because they didn’t really know what the category meant.

Game rules suggest that each person get to be the reader twice, but we went around the table four times in our first game because it was a lot of fun. The first time you play, you’ll likely be blurting out answers that don’t match, but the more you play, the better you’ll get. It’s also very fun and rewarding to hear answers that are synched, providing encouragement for all players.

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