Guestwriter: Thessaly Tracy
If you frequent online discussions of boardgames to any degree, it is almost assured that you have come across a fan asking the following: “What is a good game to bring to a family/friend gathering, where most of the other guests would not be familiar with modern style games?”
“That’s a Question!” is one of the first games that would come to mind for me. Ostensibly a “game about squirrels”, TaQ is actually a game about the people sitting across the table from you, and how well you know them. It is very easy to learn, and each player only has to manage a few basic game components, so it is an ideal game to bring out in groups with wide variations in age. It is immediately engaging, and has a short play time.
Its components are aesthetically quite beautiful, although one of the things that works for the game, that it is small, and easy to pack for travel, also works against it in the sense that the board, which is quite lovely and appealing, also felt a bit cramped. It was difficult to move the squirrel pieces of any one color without knocking over another squirrel in the process. Being aesthetically pleasing, the components are also very easily contained. The few working parts are easy to distinguish from one another.
The real essence of the game is in the asking of questions, and this works in the games favor in multiple ways. It would be an excellent icebreaker game. Instead of serving only that purpose, the game gains depth and some degree of strategy if you actually know some of the people pretty well. And it could get downright competitive if you had different players who knew each other to different degrees.
None of this strategic or competitive element would even be apparent in the more casual icebreaker situation, and that is the beauty of the game, it has some depth to explore while remaining completely simple, being very portable, and very sturdy to look at. Gameplay works with each player drawing five cards from the octagon shaped deck of question cards. Each of these cards has the sets of color coded question types in which there is a pair of answers.
A really interesting variety of questions can be produced with these. Eventually the questioner will offer the player being questioned a choice between two options. Then all other players must guess what they think the questioned player’s answer was. Scoring is based on both who guessed correctly, and how many. The questioner wants some people to get the answer right; but not everyone. Therein lies the possibility for strategy if you want to explore the game beyond its simple, friendly, sociability.
My group, a mixed group of families and friends who play games regularly really enjoyed playtesting this game. Universally, from youngest to oldest, said we would play again, That’s a Question! I would give it two thumbs up.