Bring Your Own Book is a party style game in which three or more players take turns submitting quotes from various books in order to win cards that are used as points at the end of the game. In essence, this game is quite simple to learn and very easy to play, but it makes for some hilarious fun.
- A one-minute sand timer
- 100 prompt cards
The game is set up a lot like Apples to Apples. Each player takes a turn being the judge and draws a card from the pile. This card is then read out loud and every other player searches through the book that they brought (hence the title), or one that was given to them to use, in order to find a quote that they think fits the best or that they think would be the funniest in the proposed situation. As soon as the first person finds a quote they want to use they start the timer by flipping the included sand dial. The remaining players then have one minute to find a quote or forfeit submitting anything this turn. Once the timer runs out, or everyone has a quote, the person who flipped the timer starts by reading their quote out loud and play continues clockwise. Once finished the judge then gives the prompt card to the player who’s quote they liked the best. The game is then over when a player gains the predetermined number of cards and wins the game.
My experience with this game
My wife and I found this game to be a lot of fun. It really is quite simple. It’s simple to learn, it’s simple to play, and the contents are quite simple in and of themselves. However, I found that this game is super engaging. Everyone we’ve played this with has had so much fun playing it and has considered getting a copy for themselves. The instructions recommend 3-8 players, but I have found that 5 or more tends to be the most fun.
Replayability is very high because you just need to switch up the books you’re using in order to find new quotes. This then brings up a wonderful feature of this game, you can use any book. Anything at all works. Be it a cookbook, a magazine, a fantasy novel, or even a college textbook. Granted, some things work better for some prompt cards than others, but that’s part of the fun of being able to explore your options. We once had my father-in-law use a bass fishing magazine and he was able to find some really funny quotes in it.
Some examples of the prompt cards include things like, “Something shouted at a fleeing criminal,” “The meaning of life is…” and “The slogan on a bumper sticker.” These get to be really funny when you have books that some people would consider to be more “cheesy,” or overly popular, such as Twilight, Harry Potter, or Hunger Games.
We once had a prompt that asked for a witch’s spell and we all had what we thought were really good ones until a friend came out with a copy of Macbeth and read the entire witch’s spell out as his quote.
Is it worth it to buy?
That entirely depends on you as the consumer. This game is simple enough and requires little enough resources that you could easily make your own copy for much less than the $14 it is currently priced at. My wife and I were so enthralled by it the first time we played that we bought a copy as soon as we could. Yes, we could have made our own, but sometimes I find that it’s worth the money not to have to come up with the prompts on our own.
If you do decide to buy it, the quality is very good, considering the price. The timer works great and the cards are aesthetically pleasing and made of good quality cardstock. One neat thing is that the case itself offers a space for you to write down different books that you’ve used in the past or however you like.
If you decide to go it on your own, the creators of this game offer a free demo version of the game on their website to get you started. Or if you like going mobile, they are also are currently developing an app you can use to play the game (I have no idea on the price they’re going to set it at) that will be available on iOS and Android.
Pros and Cons
- Simple to learn and to play
- High replayability
- Engaging and thought provoking
- Great party game
- Almost too simple to not build yourself
Overall I really liked this game. It was simple to learn and easy to play, but it made you think and often got people laughing together, and sometimes that’s really what I look for in a game.
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