PuzzleNation Product Review: Smart10

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[Note: I received a free copy of this game in exchange for a fair, unbiased review. Due diligence, full disclosure, and all that.]

If you’re familiar with trivia games, then you know there’s one answer per question, one crack at a pie wedge or a Linkee letter or a few steps forward or an answer point or whatever.

The subject of today’s post turns that convention on its head with a clever tweak: there are up to ten possible answers to each question, so you get more than one chance to earn points with your trivia knowledge.

Yup, you get multiple opportunities to “smarten” up with Smart10, the latest trivia game from the crew at Bananagrams.

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[Here you can see the Smartbox playing case, as well as the trivia question, the answer markers, and the score markers along the edge of the Smartbox.]

The concept is fairly straightforward. Once the trivia cards are loaded into the Smartbox, you pass it around, allowing each player/team the chance to answer the question and pull one of the answer markers. If they’re correct, they keep the answer marker in front of them. Then, pass the Smartbox to the next player.

The round ends when all the markers are pulled or players agree that there are no more correct answers to the question. Once the round is over, you add a point for each answer marker to the total indicated by your scoring wheel on the Smartbox. Then reset all the answer markers, pull the question card out, and put it at the bottom of the deck, and you’re ready for a new round.

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Now, if you’ve never played this game before, you might be confused by how the round ends, since I mentioned two possibilities — all the markers being pulled or the players agreeing that there are no more correct answers. That’s because there are different kinds of trivia questions you’ll encounter while playing Smart10. There are six categories, each represented by a different colored circle that surrounds a given trivia question.

Some of them are true/false style, where you only want to pull the answer markers for the true answers. Others offer ten variations on a theme — like listing a piece of music and asking for the composer — which means the Smartbox gets passed around until all 10 variations have been answered.

This variety of question styles — covering everything from history and math to pop culture and language — keeps the game from becoming bogged down or repetitive. (The fact that every card is two-sided, meaning you have LOADS of questions to try, also helps in this respect.)

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[Here you can see the checkmarks for the true/false type of question.]

Plus, the entire game is self-contained. You’ve got questions, answers, and score-keeping all built into one portable device. There are no decks of questions or game boards and pieces to tote around. That makes the game both travel-friendly and perfect for tossing around at a party without a lot of set-up time wasted.

The questions balance nicely between moderate difficulty and greater difficulty, so there’s little chance of the game feeling too easy or exclusionary in its challenge level. Pretty much the whole family can get in on the trivia goodness. And since you can play with up to 8 players (or teams), no one needs to feel left out of the fun.

All in all, Smart10 makes for a enjoyable and satisfying trivia experience that still feels mellow enough for casual get-togethers.

[Smart10 is published by Bananagrams and available from local and online retailers, plus it’s part of this year’s Holiday Puzzly Gift Guide!]


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Back to School Puzzle Punnery!

You may be familiar with the board game Schmovie, hashtag games on Twitter, or @midnight’s Hashtag Wars segment on Comedy Central.

For years now, we’ve been collaborating on puzzle-themed hashtag games with our pals at Penny Dell Puzzles, and this month’s hook was #PennyDellSchoolPuzzles, mashing up Penny Dell puzzles with school subjects, supplies, cliches, and more, all about back to school!

Examples include: Mechanical Pencil Pusher, StarSpelling Bee, and Tossing & Turning (the Night Before a Big Exam).

So, without further ado, check out what the puzzlers at PuzzleNation and Penny Dell Puzzles came up with!


PaperBlips

Homecoming and Going

Piggybackpack

Lockerkuro

A-Plus Fours

Three of a Kindergarten

Schoolmaster Words (from Schoolmaster’s Variety Puzzles)

Middle School of the Road

In the Middle School

Back of the Word Rebus

Homework Runs

High School Scorer

Top to Bottom of the Class

Substitutions Teacher

Bull’s-Eye Spiral Notebook

Mixed Bookbag

Exchange Blackboards

Foreign Exchange Boards Student

A Few Multiple-Choice Words

Circles in the Square Root of Pi

Head of the Classified Adds

Crossing Guard Arithmetic

Textbook Worms

Crypto-Names and Dates

Double Occupancy Dorm Rooms

Give Homework and Take Attendance

Parse a Phrase

Staring Out the Window Boxes

End of the Line in the Cafeteria

Summer’s End of the Line

Learning the ABC’s

Class is Across & Down the Hall

High school Drop-Outs

Letterdropout

Letter Perfect Attendance

Short Attention Spanners

Freshman year Ups & Downs

Who’s Calling the Nurse?

Study Group Values

Home Rooms

It Facts and Figures

Lab Partners

Ringmaster’s degree

Gold Stars and Arrows

Chemistry Labyrinth

Yearbook Photo Finish

Spellingbound


Many of our contributors offered up puzzly versions of sentences you’d hear around school!

No eating Chips in the library.

Honeycomb your hair, you’ll be late for school.

Line ’em Up… for detention!

TODAY’S MENU: a Bowl Game of Alphabet Soup

Passing notes? Would you care to Share-a-Letter with the rest of the class?

Brick by Brick the new school was built.

Class, take your Places, Please.

Student: “Miss Lane, I can’t do this problem.”
Teacher: “Try to Figgerit out!”

What kinds of tests do monsters take? Criptoquizzes

Snow day Cancellations will Carry-Over into the summer!

Rodney DanGarfield Quotables: Double Negative lesson: “I don’t get no respect”

Rodney DanGarfield Quotables: “Why don’t you call me some time when you have no class?”


One solver offered the voice of experience…

Even though I graduated long ago, I still get excited by school supply displays! And now a little advice for those back-to-schoolers:

This might be a Throwback, but I remember when you got ready for Class-ified Adds by packing your TrapperKeyword in your Bookworm bag.

You could be a WordMathlete ready for the big Countdown.

You can get through those two-a-days Two at a Time to practice a perfect Bull’s-eye Spiral and make it to the Bowlgame.

And there’s One and Only valedictorian, so Try-Angles your best, and you can do it Step by Step.


Another solver delved into history with a look back on her puzzly school days:

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, please join me on a trip down memory lane as I travel in my TIME MACHINE and go back to school. During my first few DAIS-Y of school, I learned the ALPHABET PLUS played a lot of SIMON SAYS. My teacher gave us CRACKERS for snack time, but I wish she had given us BOXES of CRACKERJACKS instead. Some of the kids in my class loved constructing with wooden shapes and were pretty amazing BLOCKBUILDERS.

In elementary school, we were encouraged to increase our vocabularies and had to EXPLORAWORD every day. There was quite a bit of homework in which we had to FILL-IN the BLANKWORD to prove that we understood what we had learned. In my junior high years, I took shop class, in which we were taught to use JIGSAW SQUARES. I remember that there were BITS & PIECES of wood all over the floor of that classroom.

It was also during one of those junior-high years that we had the dreaded CIRCLES IN THE SQUARE dancing unit in gym class. Having to stand there, FACE TO FACE with a random classmate was nothing short of awkward. Later on, in high school, I KENKEN remember having a particularly cranky math teacher. I used to joke that he taught CROSS ARITHMETIC.

Well, after covering all those years of school, WHAT’S LEFT? Oh yes – just my college years. You may laugh when you PICTURE THIS, but I was the DRUMMERMAN major of our marching band. We’d SHUFFLE along, HERE & THERE during HALFTIME at every football game. Well, friends – that concludes our journey. I hope that you enjoyed your ONE & ONLY chance to experience the magic of time travel.


Finally, one solver set her puzzly school ideas to music…

It’s a fact
School is a Balancing Act
We race to Beat the Clock
Jocks hit Home-Runs and run Around the Block
While all the Bookworms and busy bees
Are learning their ABC’s
Dodge ball teams
Odds and Evens
Pick and Choose
Todds and Stevens
Tots Add One on their Abacus
Seniors are taking Quote Calculus
Rah-rahs cheer “All Four One
Teachers are saying “Are we having fun?”
Lunch bell rings, Woohoo!
Lovebirds enjoy Alphabet Soup for Two
Keep on Moving, Line-Em Up
Scholars bolt down lunch before time is up
Outside kids play games of Hopscotch, Simon Says, and Seven-Up
Substitutions Fill-In when teachers are out
Classes and studies, hopefully no Drop-Outs
Text Message, Telephone Call
Is Johnny taking me to the Harvest Ball?
Guys and gals Mix and Mingle, then Pair Off
Stags feeling Out of Place at the Disco
Cause Double Trouble, throw Chips
Then Face to Face with…Guess Who?
Principal Chase!
School play time!
So Places, Please
Custodians clean the school Top to Bottom
Sweep spilled Animal Crackers and Crackerjacks
Miles of Bounty, the quicker Picker-Upper
Days come Full Circle
Work is done
Now home to supper!
Only question is: How many more days till summer?


One of our fellow PuzzleNationers also got involved in the puzzly fun! Jane W (aka @jawurts10) offered up the delightful entries “Essay Can You See” and “Cramming And Jamming,” which were great fun. Nice job!

Have you come up with any Penny Dell School Puzzles entries of your own? Let us know! We’d love to see them!

Thanks for visiting PuzzleNation Blog today! Be sure to sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date on everything PuzzleNation!

You can also share your pictures with us on Instagram, friend us on Facebook, check us out on TwitterPinterest, and Tumblr, and explore the always-expanding library of PuzzleNation apps and games on our website!