By November 28, 2006

ImagiNiff game review

We received the boardgame ImagiNiff from Lady Jaye’s folks as an early Christmas present. There are eight blank spaces around the oval-shaped game board. Players write their names on the dry-erasable surface (marker included), filling in any remaining spaces with names of people everyone knows. We had six people in our game, and put in “Batman” and “George W. Bush” as our two non-player characters. The object of the game is to be the first to cross the finish line by answering questions about yourself and other players.

A six sided die is rolled at the beginning of every turn. The person who rolled moves a gray marker either clockwise or counterclockwise (their choice) the full number indicated by the D6. The subject of the question card is whomever’s name is under the gray marker. The player then draws a question card, and reads the question and the six possible answers aloud to the rest of the group.


Lady Jaye rolls a five. She moves the gray marker five spaces and lands on the name, “DrFaulken.”
Lady Jaye draws a question card.
Lady Jaye: “ImagiNiff DrFaulken were a crime. Which would he be?”

  1. Vagrancy
  2. Homicide
  3. Shoplifting
  4. Corporate fraud
  5. Unsafe lane change
  6. Indecent exposure

All players put down one card, face down, denoting the number of the answer they selected. Once all the cards are played, everyone turns their cards face up.

The majority rules! Let’s say that the majority chose answer #2. Any player who selected answer #2 gets to move forward one space. If the subject (me, in this case) also selected answer #2, they get to move forward two spaces. There is a “challenge” mode where you team up with one other player and try to answer a question card in agreement without prior discussion. There are also bonus cards that allow you to move forward extra spaces — however, the crux of the game is answering silly questions about your friends.

I am not sure how long it took us to complete a game, but I was amazed at how quickly Lady Jaye’s parents reached the center. They did a few challenges together and were able to rocket ahead of everyone else. If I had to guess, I would say the game can be played in under an hour. There is no learning curve, so don’t expect follow up games to be any faster than your first time. I didn’t find the game too lengthy, we had a good time answering the questions and laughed a lot.

I don’t have any major complaints about the game other than I wish they would have spent more time on the actual product development. The question cards don’t stay in place once the game is put away. I ran downstairs to grab an example card and found that some of them were scattered in the game box. I feel that the box is too large, given the size of the board and the game pieces. I would have preferred a two-fold board (so it would fold up into a square). We have a metric shit-ton of games, and to have a larger box just for the sake of it is kind of annoying.

The game is a great ice-breaker, or good for people who don’t like competition/collaborative games. It allows for risque conversation if the group dynamic is right, or more logical/literal answers as your peers demand. As Configuratrix noted during our discussion of the game, ImagiNiff is a nice mechanism for people to discuss their personalities without putting themselves “out there.” This can be an issue with other games/activities such as the book “If,” or “Gizmondo,” the would-you-rather game/book. It’s harder to discuss yourself or someone else while everyone else is staring at you. I like asking and answering dangerous questions, so this doesn’t bother me. However, if your friends are more sensitive about recounting personal history or preferences, then ImagiNiff might be the game for you.

All in all, I give ImagiNiff four and a half out of five STFU mugs!

full STFU mug full STFU mug full STFU mug full STFU mug Half empty or half full STFU mug?

ImagiNiff is available from FunAgain Games and other fine game retailers.

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6 Comments on "ImagiNiff game review"

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  1. Ed says:

    I wonder if this is a game that the lawyer would like?

  2. Stomper says:

    Sounds like it could be a lot of fun. Can’t imagine what the 4 horsemen would come up with. 🙂

  3. drfaulken says:

    @ Ed: She liked the “If” game well enough, I think that the questions would intrigue her. The game is best with a lot of people (eight would be ideal) so it’s definitely a party game. I don’t think it would be very much fun with three or even four people.

  4. Dino Delellis says:

    To drfaulken
    You said that this might be a game for those who don’t like competitive games ( uhmm, 70% of the girls that I know of ) and whom also don’t like collaborative games.

    By your description, I thought that perhaps to some degree, this game had collaborative aspects to it but perhaps I have it wrong.

    Dino Delellis

  5. drfaulken says:

    Hi Dino,

    Thanks for your comment. I wouldn’t say it’s collaborative as much as there is a (very short) co-operative aspect of the game.

    I am not disagreeing with you, as much as suggesting it’s a difference of degree. To me, collaborative play is in games like Hoopla or even Last Night on Earth.

  6. Joe says:

    Sounds like a game that’s easy to learn and play, suppose it would be good when some of the family are around or good friends. Also, looks as though it couple be a good game to play at a couples dinner party, especially when you all don’t know a lot about one another’s partners.