A couple of weeks ago my daughter came home from school with a copy of the Guinness Book of Records from the school library. She’d reached that stage that I think all children get to when they suddenly realise that there are people out in the world doing some crazy, crazy things so that they can become a world record holder. Admittedly there are the more serious records for sports and other notable achievements, but then there are also things like the record for the largest collection of rubber ducks (5,631 at the time theGuinness World Records Challenges game was published, in case you were wondering). She spent the week pouring over the book and also put in a request to Father Christmas for the latest version as a Christmas present.
I had no idea that there was a broad game based on Guinness World Records until I was asked to review Guinness World Records Challenges. Seeing as she was so addicted to the book I guessed that this was something LMC would enjoy, and how right I was.
Aim of the game
The aim of Guinness World Record sChallenges is to be the first player to get to the finish line on the board having completed three challenges during your journey. Let me explain what I mean by challenges and how play actually works.
How to play
Guinness World Records Challenges has a standard style board where players take it in turns to roll a (special) die) to work their way around the board. They start (unsurprisingly) on the start square, and continue in a clockwise direction taking it in turns.
On the board there are three different types of squares that you can land on. Question squares – where you answer a question relating to an existing record – or two different types of challenge square. These challenge squares can be one of two types: Best Time or 30 Second challenges.
Guinness World Records Challenges Die
The die used in this game is unique in that it has the numbers 1 to 4 on it, but also two challenge symbols: one purple denoting Best Time challenges, and the other orange for 30 Second challenges. If you roll a number on the die then you simply move forward that number of spaces. If you roll one of the challenge symbols then you simply move to the next challenge symbol of that colour on the game board.
If you land on a question square you pick up one of the 150 question cards. On each there are details of an existing record and then four related multiple choice questions. The number you rolled on the die tells you which question you will be asked from the card. If you get a correct answer then you roll again and have another go. If you get it wrong then play moves on to the next player round the board.
As I’ve already mentioned, there are two different types of challenge in the game:
- Best Time challenges
- 30 Second challenges
You can access the challenges in two ways during game play. Either by rolling one of the challenge symbols on the die, or by landing on one of the challenge squares as you move around the board. Once you do either of these you can then choose between picking up a challenge card and completing it yourself, or choosing another player and challenging them to beat you in a particular challenge – either by doing something faster (in the case of a Best Time challenge) or doing more of something in a 30 Second challenge.
If you win the challenge then you get to keep the challenge card. You need three of these (at least one of each colour) to win the game.
Challenge levels and other equipment required
The challenges in the game vary quite a bit, but that’s what I think makes this game very accessible to people of all different ages and abilities.
It could be something from how many star jumps you can do in 30 seconds, through to how long it takes you to create a necklace of 25 paper clips. Let’s be honest – there’s one of these that I would expect my six year old son to be able to do quite easily and another which may be more suited to his Granny!
The nature of the challenges mean that the game instructions do include a list of household objects that you need to play. These are things that you probably would have around, but it may just be that you need to find them before you start playing. When you start each game you don’t need all the challenge cards out on the board (the instructions tell you how many you need based on the number of players) so you can filter out any challenges that you don’t have the right equipment to hand for, or that you don’t think will work for the range of players you have round the table.
Verdict as a family game
The more I played Guinness World Records Challenges the more I realised just how perfect it is as a family game for players of all ages and abilities. As well as being able to be a bit selective on which challenges may come up during a game, the fact that the questions are multiple choice means that players who don’t know the answer actually have a decent chance of getting the answer correct. In some questions there are three possible answers, in others four and some questions are true or false ones meaning a 50% chance of getting it right. LMC was able to make a couple of lucky guesses so that she didn’t feel like her lack of knowledge slowed her down. Even the adults had to resort to guesses on some. After all, how many people know that Agatha Christie learnt how to surf???
The game comes with a separate booklet of “specific guidelines” for the challenges included, but I looked at that as being very much guidelines rather than rules. As I saw it you can tweak the guidelines again based on who you have playing.
The only thing I possibly found a little strange was that the game is for 2 to 5 players. I’m much more used to games having an even number of maximum players, but maybe that’s just me not paying attention all the time.
I can definitely see Guinness World Record Challenges being an excellent game to bring out at Christmas. There’s that perfect mix of general and trivia knowledge for the questions, combined with the amusement of the challenges. Whilst the age range on the box is 8+ I think that it’s possible to adapt it a bit for younger players (maybe age 6 and up) whilst still having enough in there to keep the adults amused and entertained.
Guinness World Records Challenges – the facts
Disclaimer: We were sent a copy of the Guinness World Records Challenges for the purposes of this review. All opinions remain my own. This post contains affiliate links.