Every now and again, maybe at the start or the end of an arduous board game night, you just want to throw down some cards and shout at each other. Walkie Talkie perfectly fits the small, fast, loud type of party game that would slide into this void effortlessly. While it may not be anywhere near the best party games I have played, it's swift, cooperative and does do a few things that make it feel different to other games of this ilk.
Colours And Letters
Walkie Talkie is very simple and light in the rules department. In my opinion, that's what you need from a brisk game such as this. It contains minimal faff, can be explained in seconds and you're into the meat of the game before you know it. The game revolves around a deck of cards that has letters of the alphabet on one side and colours on the other.
To set up you split the deck in two, flip one side over and re-shuffle them so you end up with a deck roughly half colours and half letters. You then deal 6 cards to each player, in this hand of cards you will have a nice mix of colours and letters to play with. After that, you flip over one colour card and one letter card, set a timer to 30 seconds per player and you are ready to Walkie Talkie!
A game of Walkie Talkie is a blur of card slapping, stuttering and bawling. Walkie Talkie is played in real-time with no turns or downtime. When you can, you place a card down on one of the piles, letters on letters and colours on colours then you have to name something that begins with the top letter and is the colour of the other card. Easy as peas. Everyone knows though, in the heat of the moment, you can easily forget something that's orange beginning with 'O'.
One thing I really enjoyed was that there are very thin rules to what you can say. As long as the group agrees pretty much any answer, apart from names of colours is valid. This can lead to in-jokes and funny references that only your gaming group would understand. The manual gives a good example, if you had a green card and a 'T', you could say Tom because Tom is a vegetarian. As long as the whole group agrees, the world is your oyster.
Words To Get You Out Of A Pickle
There are times when you cannot for the life of you think of an answer with the current cards in your hand. In these moments the game does have a few things you can do to get some fresh eyes on the situation. You can shout 'Roger!', then everyone can flip their hand over, giving themselves fresh colours and letters to try and match. You can also, in emergencies, shout 'Over!' When someone shouts over, everyone passes their cards to the person on the left and play continues as usual.
Scores On The Doors
As the rulebook says, there are no winners and losers in Walkie Talkie, which, in my opinion, is a bit fluffy but I can see why they state that. Walkie Talkie is an easy-going, shouty, party game and is more about having fun with friends around the table than crunching numbers and pushing cubes. It does however have a very quaint and light scoring mechanism.
To total up your score, you look at all the letter cards, count the asterisks on them and take away how many cards everyone has left. Unless you get rid of all your cards it does lead to low scores but as I said, the scoring is secondary really to laughing at Brian trying to think of something pink beginning with P, *wink wink'.
Components-wise, there is little to speak of really. It's just a deck of double-sided cards. The cards are of average quality but the graphical design on them is very attractive. They have a white border, which is great to prevent nicking and white marks from appearing. They are very colourful and even the coloured sides have stylized designs on them, making sure it's not just a boring block of colour. All in all, even though Walkie Talkie is just a deck of cards, it's an attractive deck of cards nonetheless.
Walkie Talkie is a fun and entertaining way to cooperatively, in real-time, have a laugh with friends around a gaming table.
With the setup, letter and colour combinations always being varied and the fact that people's brains often forget the simplest thing when there is a timer involved, Walkie Talkie is a quaint way to start or end a game night. Especially after a few drinks, when things start getting rude.