If you've ever seen any sort of TV show where contestants run around doing things, you've probably thought "I could do better than that." Well, now's your chance! The Taskmaster TV show came fully formed from Alex Horne's brain, providing us all with a chance to enjoy with the subjective whims of Greg Davies. And now there's a board game, so that you can enjoy the subjective whims of your friends and family! So strap in, let's talk about the Taskmaster Board Game!
All The Information Is On The Task
The rules of the game are pretty straight forward. Players take it in turns to be the Taskmaster, putting the gilded head of Greg Davies in one of four locations - Garden, Lab, Kitchen and Living Room, and drawing a task to provide to their fellow contestants. You have to read all of the instructions and that's pretty much it. From there on in, it's the Taskmaster's call. Even the points scoring is arbitrary, with the Taskmaster able to dole out points for whatever reason they want.
You also have a secret task that you try to do throughout the game. (Mine was pet an inanimate object like it was a pet.) If you manage to get through the game unobserved, you get a bonus three points. If anyone catches you when it's time to guess and describes your task, they get three points. Finally, you all take part in the "Final Task," either reading the task or scanning the QR code so Alex Horne reads it for you. Whoever has the most points at the end is the winner!
Oh, you also have a bonus task at the start - draw a self-portrait to go into the little picture frames to help keep track of the scores.
Your Time Starts… NOW!
We played this as part of our belated Christmas party and there was a lot of fun to be had. We drew a task from the show (conceal a pea in your mouth or hand), and we had to make a representation of the Taskmaster Trophy with stuff around the house. It's definitely a different kind of party game, and actually, one which would work well over Zoom if you can't get out to see people.
There are some drawbacks though. The player who is the Taskmaster doesn't take part in the task they readout. It might be that someone wants to be Taskmaster the entire time and that's fine, but I felt like I had nothing to do whilst my opponents drew their hand and turned it into their face. We also drew a Final Task which was throwing paper into the box which we felt was really wasteful. That said, it is easily avoidable by putting that card back in the box. It's also not a game you'll play every game night but it is a lot of fun. It's a great change of pace from Cards Against Humanity, even though it does use the "Impress the Judge" mechanic. It brings out some of the creativity that comes from a game of Scrawl and sends you around the house, looking for the right thing to make your Taskmaster happy. It's also completely family-friendly, so you don't have to censor for your kids.
5 Points Go To...
To make it even better, you've got an expansion of forty cards you can shuffle into the pack, so you've got even more replayability and a little Alex Horne standee to come with your game!
I really enjoyed playing the Taskmaster board game. The show is one of our favourites and it really does capture the essence of the merriment we all enjoy.