Get on Board: Just One

A word association game with some clever twists

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Just sometimes, it’s nice to play a game where everyone involved is trying to help each other win. Just One gives you the opportunity, but with some very sneaky twists.

Made by Belgian company Repos Production (known mainly for 7 Wonders), Just One is a word association game at its core. Players will aid each other to guess a mystery word, armed only with a small, white easel and an erasable marker. Taking it in turns, a player will turn their back while other players look at a given word and write down an associated one, working their way through a deck of 13 and scoring as many points as possible.

Twist number one: players are not allowed to communicate with each other – they must come up with their clue words in silence. Once everyone has their answer they must show each other. Twist number two: if two or more players have the same word it’s cancelled out. For example, if the word is “princess” and two people write down “castle, “castle” is erased completely. Once the group has conferred, the guesser will turn back around, look at the clues provided and guess. Twist number three: they only get one guess.

Just One is a simple, entertaining game but there are a few things that let it down slightly. The printed words are very simple – examples such as “police” and “cheese” could probably be guessed with just two clues. Also, once the group has grasped the gameplay, getting through a round without cancelling out words can become very easy, giving the guesser up to six clues to guess a word like “doctor”. Adding levels of difficultly would help combat this. Repeat gameplay is limited as you’ll soon be familiar with the words included and, although it is enjoyable to work together, perhaps splitting the group into two teams could give it a more competitive edge.

Just One feels like a prototype that needs fleshing out. Its basic framework is fun, but can only take you so far. Adults might be happy just to play one full game, but older kids will certainly be challenged enough to get a bit more mileage out of it.

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