By Hudson Hornick
In this fast-paced 21st century, time spent together gets shorter and shorter and we often find ourselves without an outlet for bonding with family. Television and movies are fun, but they don’t foster much interaction; reading, although good for the mind and soul, is inherently isolating. If only there were a way to join family time with reading time. Fortunately, a new board game called Booktastic (ages 14 and up) does just that.
The game is familiar enough: Players get a plastic marker reminiscent of Sorry, question cards are arranged, a die is rolled. Booktastic varies from the norm, however, in that players are allowed to move about the board in either direction in an effort to obtain the most cash and collect four “Noteworthy Books,” which they have previously selected from a list. Before rolling the die, the person whose turn it is chooses a question to answer from one of three categories: Casual Reader, Avid Reader, and Collector. Questions for Collector can be quite difficult, but are worth $75 if answered correctly. If your literary knowledge is lacking, a “Casual Reader” question is for you — it only pays $25, but your answer is always right.
The game has a Monopoly-esque style as players can block other players’ advancement by collecting opponents’ Noteworthy Books and bartering for it later. The first player to collect all four Noteworthy Books declares the game is ending, prompting one more turn for each player in hopes of growing one’s collection.
Although probably not a frat-house favorite, the game has appeal. Though somewhat slow-moving, Booktastic is an easy, lighthearted game that gives all players the chance to win regardless of their literary prowess. Booktastic is a mentally stimulating family alternative to sitting in front of the boob-tube.
4•1•1 To buy Booktastic — the Modern Literature edition and/or the Family edition (ages 10 and up) — visit booktasticgame.com.