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witswagersmainscreen3Ah, board game video games. Every once in a while a sucessful table top game will come along and attempt to win family’s hearts through a television instead of a “typical” family game night. Wits & Wagers manages to balance questions that range from “impossible” to “I know that!” in one entertaining package.

The title of the game says it all. In Wits & Wagers, you recieve a question that has a numerical value. In order to recieve the maximum amount of points in a round, you must correctly guess the answer, as well as “bet” on the correct answer. What this means is more gameplay for you. Not only do you get the chance to prove you’re the “smart one” in your family, you also get to bet all your money on someone else if you’re not confident in yourself. Do this seven times, and whoever is on top, wins. There’s no unique “final round” or “special” mini-games in-between like You Don’t Know Jack: what you see is what you get.

Each round has a different “theme”, to attempt to break away from being a standard video board game. Costumes throughout the rounds range from hilarious to disturbing. Wits & Wagers parodies movies such as Pulp Fiction and Indiana Jones, but overall there are very little total costumes. It leaves a very bland taste in your mouth to see the same costume set multiple times in the same round; it really feels like the developers could have put a little more effort into making more “scenes” feel unique. To break up the monotony, Wits & Wagers has a “dance” system that’s initiated by moving around the analog stick. It’s downright hilarious to see a raptor avatar flail about while you’re trying to think up the answer to the next question, and will keep you entertained while you wait for everyone else to answer.

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Wits & Wagers does a fine job of giving you reasonable questions, which should be the aim of a “family” oriented quiz game. Questions such as “how many countries participate in mens world cup soccer?”, and “in what year did Benjamin Franklin prove that lightning was electricity?” could easily be answered by sports and history buffs respectively. Basically, it offers something for every “buff” in the family, and throws in some curveball questions that no one would have any hope of guessing, which helps mix it up a bit.

The game is definitely fun to play with others, but there isn’t much incentive to play by yourself .The AI seems to either be extremely spot on, or completely off when guessing answers. Also, there are no unlockable characters, outfits, or question packs received if you win. It also couldn’t have hurt to include a specialized “category” mode, allowing families who aren’t “in the know” regarding some topics to have fun with questions they actually do know how to answer. If it’s some consolation, Wits & Wagers supports the Xbox Live Vision Camera.

Overall, if your family has 4 controllers, and nothing to do with them, Wits & Wagers would be a good purchase. It doesn’t offer expanded gameplay or all the bells and whistles, but it gets the job done if you’re just plain looking to have fun.

Rating Category
7.0 Presentation
Semi-weak visuals, and not enough character costumes to keep it interesting between rounds.
How does our scoring system work?
9.0 Gameplay
Wits & Wagers allows you to guess the answer to a question, and bet on all the guesses, making sure you're always having something to do. Plus, dancing like a maniac is a blast!
5.0 Sound
The announcer only chimes in to announce the round; it would feel a lot more "fun" if he chimed in more often.
9.0 Longevity
With completely interchangable 6 player online and couch play, Wits & Wagers will keep you going for a while.
8.0 Overall
While slightly more effort could have been involved, Wits and & Wagers boasts fun gameplay for you and your family.

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