Funglish is a party game where the players take turns guessing secret words in a charades-like style. But instead of using hand gestures or pictures, you have to use tiles with descriptive words on them.
- 120 descriptive tiles
- 50 “secret word” cards
- An easel with rails and leg supports
- A Timer
Funglish starts by first laying out all the tiles and deciding who is up first. This can be done in pairs or by yourself and I’ll refer them as the clue giver(s). So the clue giver first draws a card from the pile and decides which side to use making sure that no one else can see any of the twelve words (six on each side). Once they have decided, the timer is flipped over and they may place tiles on the easel to try and get the other players to guess as many secret words as they can before the timer runs out.
The easel is divided into three categories: Definitely, Kind Of, and Not. The clue giver’s job is to place different tiles in each
of these three categories so that the other players can guess the word. Then once someone guesses the word, the clue giver may dump the tiles and start on the next word, and so on until the timer runs out.
After the end of each round points are given out based on how many words were guessed and who guessed them. The clue giver is given one point per correct answer (with a bonus point if all 6 were guessed correctly), and everybody else gets a point for each time they were the one who guessed correctly.
The game is over after three rounds (or however long you want to play) and the winner is the person with the most points.
My experience with this game
The first time I played this game, it really took me a while to feel like I actually knew what I was doing. My biggest problem was the sheer number of tiles that you have to look through in such little time before you could get even one word up on the easel, let alone have anyone guess what your secret word is. But after a few times of playing this, it was a lot more fun.
The game does help to make this challenge a little easier. The tiles are color-coded and divided into nine different categories in order to help the clue giver find the words they are looking for more easily. These categories are as follows:
- Green = Positive Traits
- Black = Colors and Patterns
- Yellow = Sizes and Shapes
- Red = High Powered Adjectives
- Blue = Geography, History, Arts, and Spots
- Olive = Negative Traits
- Gray = Materials
- Orange = Opposites
- Tan = Everything Else
While it’s still hard to look through 120 different tiles when you’re in a rush, this makes it much easier, once you know what color the word you’re looking for. I would also recommend making sure that all the tiles are sorted by color BEFORE each and every round to make sure each player has a fighting chance.
Another thing the game does is it tries to make the tiles themselves more memorable. Some of them make sense such as or because they look like things we associate with the word and just gives off the right feel to them. But then there are ones like and you wonder why it didn’t look like this:
One of the things I really liked about this game is the points system. By giving out points not only to the clue giver but to the other players as well, it gives an incentive to both sides to play their best. That way you don’t feel like you got cheated out of a fun time because someone didn’t want someone else to win.
The rules say to start by dividing into teams of two and have each pair be the clue givers when it’s their turn. I can understand this could be useful for new players that aren’t familiar with the tiles, but when we tried it and it got more confusing than it was worth. Often both players would keep adding tiles to the board too quickly for everyone else to process and then the board would have to be wiped in order to clear up the confusion. So we almost always opt for the alternate rules of having only one person be the clue giver at a time.
But overall I just enjoy the fun and laughter that comes with this game. We’ve had many a night that was loud with over-excited guesses flying everywhere. I especially like to find out just how crazy the minds of my family are, just by listening to how random these guesses get.
Is it worth it?
The quality of the pieces in this game is actually quite good. The tiles are made of a fairly thick and solid piece of cardboard and I have yet to have any problem with the paper coming off or the tiles getting ruined too easily. The easel is about the same and does a good job holding the tiles and standing up during gameplay.
At the time of this review, Amazon is selling it for $30. When I bought it, I only paid $13, so my short answer is no, not at that price. It honestly looks like this game used to be really popular (it was even featured on The Ellen Show back in 2010; see below) and has started to die out a little in recent years.
But that’s just my opinion. If you think it’s worth it, feel free to pick up a copy. But if you see it in a thrift store, or somewhere else, for a reasonable price, I would definitely recommend it (just make sure all the pieces are there).
Pros and Cons
- Easy to learn
- Great for large groups
- Fair points system
- Wild and crazy guesses flying everywhere
- 120 different tiles to sort through in a very short amount of time
- Takes a few playthroughs before you can really learn the tiles
So in all, this game has been a lot of fun for us even if it is hard to fully “pick up.” If this sounds like a game you just don’t want to pass up, you can always find a copy HERE, but I’ll try to find a place with a more reasonable cost and update this when I do.
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