Concept…Concept…how do I describe this weirdo, anomaly of a party game? The first thing I can say is that there are indeed points awarded in this game, but they really seem unnecessary. This is one of those games you can play more as a cooperative group experience and have just as much fun. On its surface Concept shares a lot in common with guessing games like Pictionary or Taboo. You are trying to get people to guess a person, idea, phrase etc. that you’ve got on a card. However, Concept does this in a really unique way.
There are dozens of icons on the Concept board. It’s split up into columns that each contain pictures or icons that are going to help with getting your idea across. On your turn you are aimed with a large green question mark pawn and several smaller exclamation mark pawns. You’re going to strategically place some or all of these out around the board to (hopefully) lead to the guessers to the idea you’re trying to convey. You can move things around and even confirm or deny when they are on the right track. As support you also have cubes in the colours of the question and exclamation marks. This allows to grow and expand upon a base idea.
For example if I draw JFK on my card, I’ll probably put the big green question mark down on the ‘man’ icon and supporting green cubes on the ‘non-fictional person’ and the ‘politics’ icons. Now the guessers can quickly see I’m trying to convey a male, politician, who did exist in history at one point. Already halfway there!
Now that’s a pretty easy example. Imagine trying to get people to guess Censorship or Lose Your Cool. It can pretty quickly lead to some creative leaps of logic, but it’s oh so satisfying when you get them to guess a tough one.
The components are pretty straight forward, a few idea markers and supporting cubes in their colour, a board and a deck of cards. The icons on the board are purposely generic. You can get the sense of what they mean, but they are vague enough as to not lead you to one specific answer.
Concept is not going to be for everyone. You have to be ready to commit to a silly, but logical guessing game and you have to be prepared to be stumped sometimes. Some rounds can drag on, as you struggle to extract the Concept from your guesser’s minds. It’s in there somewhere, but connecting the dots so that’s they can figure it out is up to you.