December 12, 2015
Switcheroo! is a fun category game from Endless Games, the company that brought you Oddly Obvious. Switcheroo! is like Scattergories on helium: Instead of silently filling out a grid, in Switcheroo! players hold cards with either a letter or a subject card (e.g., “Something that you put on pizza,” “Something that often gets stolen”). On the table is a discard pile of the same cards, face up. When it is your turn, you can take any card from your hand and place it over the appropriate card in either of the two piles. For example, if you have a P card in your hand, you could say “Pepperoni” and place your P card over the appropriate subject card. Then the player to your left can play her subject card or letter card. There are a few wild cards that add an element of luck and strategy.
While the categories in Scattergories are mundane and clear-cut in most cases, many of the subject cards in “Switcheroo!” are goofy and more subjective. Players might disagree about what movies make you cry, or something that you are embarrassed to own, so the rules stipulate that any disagreements are settled by a majority vote of the players. Another ambiguity lies in multi-word answers, especially ones where the first word isn’t the key element in the phrase. If an answer is “cough drops,” it makes sense to count that as a “C” word, but what about “French Horn” for a musical instrument? Is only F acceptable? Is a “horn” a musical instrument? As always, establishing house rules is a good idea, and the key decision is whether to use the 10-second slap-timer. For expert word gamers, Scattergories! without time pressure is on the easy side, but in our experience, enforcing a time limit not only increases the challenges, but boosts the fun quotient.
The rules and game play are so simple you can be up and playing within minutes of opening the box. Switcheroo! is a terrific party game, faster-paced than Scattergories (even if you don’t use the timer), and with a chill group of friends, full of laughs.