Game Length: 40 minutes
Best enjoyed: With a group wanting a unique Charades-like game where they don’t have to get up and act out their clues
Concept is a social game that can best be described as Charades with a number of coloured cubes, question mark and exclamation mark figurines used on a board of, well, concepts. Concept was the 2014 runner up to the Spiel des Jahres, the prestigious German board game prize, and it is a light and original game that offers a new take on social deduction using restricted clues.
The concept board itself contains a range of options, such as colours, shapes, and other more abstract ideas, and it is up to the players to try to use this board and the tokens available to communicate their topic to the other players. Players will draw a card from the stack and be given a number of topics to choose between. Each card contains nine topics over three difficulty levels – so if you don’t think the other players will know who Laurel and Hardy are (or if you don’t know yourself!) you can choose a different topic from the same card.
The board itself is quite intimidating when it first comes out, and it will take a few rounds before players start to understand how to get others to guess their topics using the coloured tokens. Fortunately, the rule booklet comes with a number of examples to explain how to communicate using the concept board, and as play progresses people will gain confidence in using the board and tokens.
The rules contain mechanics for team play and scoring, but it’s really far better to completely ignore these and instead go around the table, with each player trying to get others to guess their subject, as that’s where the fun lies. Concept makes a great light social deduction game for those who aren’t willing or able to get up and act out their clues like in Charades, or those who just want to try something that forces you to think a little differently.