Wednesday, October 19, 2011

You've Been Sentenced and Twisted Fish Review!!

As part of my holiday gift guide, I wanted to bring back a game I reviewed last year, that our family still loves to play. Every game night, at least one person is bound to ask "Can we play You've Been Sentenced?" Yes, we play this game almost every week! So, for any of you looking for a great family game for the holidays, here it is, along with a mention of the add-on decks available, and the Twisted Fish card game. And by the way, while you're doing your holiday shopping, keep an eye out for these awesome games. They're now available at Toys R Us and Kohl's!!

Our family plays a lot of board games, and we now have a new family favorite! It's called You've Been Sentenced, produced by McNeill Designs; and it makes building sentences fun! Even the kids love this game, and have fun trying to make a sentence! 
The object of the game is to make a sentence that is grammatically correct and makes sense (the hardest part of the game :) This game often turns hilarious, and some of the sentences we have made stretch the limits of believability. For example, the 9 year-old came up with this one: "The Aliens Partied Six Feet Under".
And 15 year-old E made this:

Yep, that one definitely was a little bit overboard!  One of my favorite things with this game is that it never gets boring or repetitive. There are over 2,500 individual words, so you never end up with the same words or sentences! No matter how many times you play, it's always fresh and fun!
This game is a lot of fun for people of all ages. Everyone in our family loves it. After we had played it a few times, I heard 9 year-old M remark to her sister "I love playing this game". And the best part is, they're learning, whether they realize it or not! By playing You've Been Sentenced, they are learning how to put words together, build sentences, be creative, and improve their grammar. 

McNeill Designs generously offered to send me the Add-On Decks for YBS, and I was thrilled to have the chance! There are a total of 5 decks; Sports Highlights, Sci-Fi Fantasy, Pop Culture, Gourmet Cuisine, and Reader's Digest National Word Power Challenge deck. The Word Power Challenge is a little unique, in that the cards aren't mixed in with the other YBS set. Instead, you can choose to receive 2 of the WPC cards and 8 regular YBS (normally each player gets 10 YBS cards). These cards have harder, uncommon words on them. So, they're worth more points, but you better hope you know what the word means, or you're in trouble! I enjoy using these, even when I don't know what the word means. Most of them I have heard of before (I do a lot of reading, so that helps); but the words I don't know, we look up in a dictionary so we're ready for the next time they come around. This is helpful for the kids too...they are learning new words, and having fun while doing it!

The other decks all have words and names related to the respective themes. Of course the gourmet cooking deck is a favorite with the girls in the family. Cooking, foods and popular chefs are all featured in it, and let's just say that the words have been used in some pretty wacky sentences! 
The pop culture was an instant hit, with words like "venti" (think Starbucks frappuccinos!), ipod and such. Our family isn't really into sports, so some of those cards were a little harder to use, but still make for some fun sentences. We have driven by the Wrigley Field, so when someone draws a "wild stadium" card, it usually ends up being Wrigley Field. 
The sci-fi, while it had some cards from movies that we have never watched, also has a lot of space-based words, which was fun for my brother and I, since we both like astronomy.
The fun thing with these add-on decks is that while the meaning of the word on the card may be one thing, you can change it into something totally different. For example, in the gourmet cooking one card has American, Swiss, Provolone, etc. for different types of cheese. I was dealt this card, and used it for an American president...instead of American cheese! You've Been Sentenced was a barrel of fun before, but adding these other decks adds a whole new layer of fun to the game!

I can't think of another game that our family has become as "addicted" to as You've Been Sentenced. We are going out of town this weekend, and when I asked what games we should bring with us...everyone shouted "You've Been Sentenced!!" Seriously! 

McNeill Designs also offered to send me their other game for review. This game is called Twisted Fish, and let me tell you, it is addictive! We sat down to play one round, sort of try it out and see how we liked it. Well, 2 hours and quite a few "rounds" later, we decided it was another family favorite! 
The game is basically like Go Fish, but with a...well...twist! I have to admit, I first thought this game would be more for the younger kids. However, the older children and adults really liked it too! The fun part of this game is trying to remember who has what cards! There are 13 fish, in 5 colors each, and the goal is to collect all the "full baskets" (a set of fish in each of the 5 colors) you can. But, this can be harder than it sounds! In our first game, E started out with a couple of the "card sharks", which are the highest scoring fish. But, C collected a couple, and they went back and forth taking each other's card sharks! And then...I picked up the missing yellow card shark...collected the rest from E and C, and ended up with the full basket of card sharks! To make the game play even more interested, there are "zinger" cards, which let you break the rules....legally of course! For example, usually you have to be specific about what card you ask for. "E, do you have the green hammerhead?" But if you have the "Net" zinger, you can just say "E, do you have a hammerhead?" So, having these zingers definitely adds more excitement to the game! (There's also a zinger that lets you keep the card an opponent asked for!)

I honestly think that McNeill Designs has some of the most hilarious games I've ever played! If you're shopping for a fun gift for your child, or just want a new game for the family, I recommend you try Twisted Fish!


  1. Thanks so much for sharing! :)

  2. This looks like fun. Will have to keep an eye open for it in the stores.

  3. I think we would especially enjoy Twisted Fish. I've never heard about this game before.

  4. What an awesome game! We homeschool, and I am always looking for educational games that are fun to play. Thanks for the review!