I never played the original Anomia which came out back in 2010. I would like to say it’s because I was far too young, but alas that would be a big porkie pie! That decade was part of my BBG (Before Board Games) years.
But my days are peppered with chronic bouts of Anomia [uh-NO-mee-uh], noun! Ooh painful and TMI(!), you might think. And, in a way, it is! But the discomfort is less biological, more brain related.
For Anomia means a problem with word finding or recalling the names of everyday objects. You know the feeling. You can see a can-opener in your mind’s eye. You can feel the word forming on your tongue. But can you get it out? NOPE! What you say instead is “thingumybob”, “wotsit”, “oojamaflip” or some such nonsense that means something to you but no other human on earth!
So Anomia 2.0 was going to be a challenge! But, as we found out, it’s a…..oh what’s the word, now……ah yes….. A fun one!
Anomia 2.0 is based on the original and is a word based party card game where chaotic, crazy calling out is the baseline! But in 2.0 there are two brand new decks of cards to play with.
Once you have decided if you are going to play with the purple or the yellow deck, pop the other one back in the box and shuffle the chosen deck before splitting it into 2 draw piles. First player flips a card from either deck. Then in turn other players flip a card from the same deck until two players have matching symbols face up. At that point, you both need to be race-ready to be first to call out a correct example of the thing shown in symbol form on the other player’s cards! Yep, not your card – their card! Whoever gets there first, takes their opponent’s card and forms their own winning pile!
BUT! When the victor of that particular face-off takes the card they have just won, the card underneath might reveal another instant match! And that means the race to recall is on again between those players before play can resume!
There are also wild cards that have two symbols on them. These makes for more potential matches each time players turn over cards! And that’s because the two symbols are now also considered matching! Plus, whenever a wild come out, they stay in between the two decks until a new wild card is drawn. But don’t worry – the player who drew the wild card gets another turn after any sudden additional related matches are resolved!
If both players call out at exactly the same time, the tie is resolved by flipping a single card from the deck. Whoever calls out a correct answer first wins the tie! Then play continues.
When the decks are depleted, the end of the game is triggered. The player with the most cards is the…..oh what’s the word…….the thingie, you know……..the winner!
We love word games. And gone are the days when we used to go clubbing until 5am. So parties with friends and board games are now very much our jam! And we are having a blast with Anomia 2.0. There are a lot of vocabulary/word recall games around. But the fact you have to name something that fits with your opponent’s card rather than your own is a very neat trick!
Plus, by limiting the face-off- moments to just two players out of the group, the chaotic calling out is still there for sure. But for me it feels like it’s in a more manageable form. Having a free-for-all where everybody calls out words can be a little bit Marmite; you either love it or you hate it. And it can be too much for me. But here you get the best of both worlds; the intense, delicious dollop of 2 player crazy cranial pressure spread over a big old slice of group sized granary!
We also like the momentum crank that the wild cards bring. You can suddenly find yourself in a chain on face-offs that make you feel like your mind is going to melt if you have to think of the name of just one more thing right now! And the box is nice and compact compared to the original printing. Also, you can combine these new cards with the original to expand your gameplay, or have it as a standalone copy of Anomia! Just don’t sneak any looks at the card before flipping it fully face up, cheaty-pants! haha
As a gaming parent, I am also always super keen on games that support education and our son’s development. Right now, our 7 year old is a little too young for many of the categories. But to be fair to the game, it is designed with players age 10+ in mind. And it doesn’t matter because we have house-ruled a team based option where he buddies up with someone (supposedly!) a little more experienced until he is ready to whoop us all with his independent wordsmithing!