Theme and What is it?
True Colors is a party game about how well you know your friends. You do this through a series of rounds where you attempt to answer questions about your friends while predicting what they think of you.
True Colors is a pretty straight forward game. Every round a question is asked. These can include, “Who hates to disagree,” “Which player’s true color is green with envy,” or “Who’s still caught up in their glory days.”
After the question is asked you will choose two cards from a hand. You have two cards for each other player and use these to cast your vote. You vote twice for who you think the question applies to. You can vote for two separate people or cast both of your votes for one other player. According to the rules, you should only vote for the same person twice if you feel they really embody the question.
After voting everyone bets whether they got none, some, or most of the votes. The votes are then counted and compared to the bets. If you picked none or most of the votes and are correct you get three points. If you correctly picked some then you get one point. If you guessed incorrectly then you score nothing.
You play ten rounds. Player with the highest score wins.
It’s a party game. I like party games so thought this could be worth a try. I was worried about the voting aspect of the game. Plus, my first impression wasn’t improved by the nature of some of the questions. I went into the cautiously optimistic.
Game Build Quality
For the most part the components are fine. The cards are decent quality with nice edges. The score pad is decent and has lots of spare sheets. There was one odd decision, three of the pawn colors are red, pink, and orange. Since the pawns are a translucent plastic those three look very similar. It’s not a huge problem in a well-lit room but I can see it being a problem in less light or for people who have some level of color blindness. This felt odd to me, especially since they had a multitude of other colors they could have chosen from.
This is a party game, it’s about being silly and laughing out loud. Its main drive is that players will see how everyone voted and laugh about it. There is a problem with this, but I’ll cover that in my conclusion.
Age Range & Weight
The box says 13+ and I’m at a hard pass on that one. Even if you remove all of the cards that are not going to apply to a 13 year old you’re still left with a lot of questions that will cause friction in the group. The rules are easy enough for them to handle, but honestly the potential for getting on one another’s nerves is probably more than they should try. Of course, this depends on the maturity level of the player’s. For me, I just think it’s a bit too much for younger players.
For weight, I’d rank this as fairly light weight. Since it’s a party game and that’s what I’m looking for with your average party game, it’s not bad.
There are going to be people who like this game. I know there will be groups who sit around and ask these questions and laugh about the answers. I am not one of them.
Taking that aside, I can see where this will appeal to some folks. The questions will provoke stories around the table, laughter at who got voted for, and who misread the room about how a certain thing was going to be voted. I get that and am thrilled that people will like this.
Unfortunately, the game hit a couple of snags for me. First, there aren’t that many cards here. If you’re going to give me a party game, give me a stack of cards. This game comes with 85 cards. Yes, they’re double sided but that’s still only 170 cards. That’s just not enough. For a party game to have legs you need at least 400 questions. This is especially true since this one is designed to be played with friends. If you play this game with the same people over and over, you’re going to quickly hit the same questions. That also doesn’t take into account the cards you’re going to skip because they don’t apply. A question about, “who likes coffee the most,” was skipped because no one does. We also skipped one on, “who’s internet search history we’d most like to see,” because we all just didn’t care.
The second problem is that this game requires that you play with friends. I like my party game to be able to work as an ice breaker. I should be able to pull it out in a crowd of new people and use it to let everyone get acquainted and loosened up at the same time. You can’t do that with this game. Don’t get me wrong, I love playing party games with my friends because there are some fantastic in-jokes. However, I still want to play them with total strangers and you really can’t do that with this one.
I’ll admit that those two points are nitpicky. I understand and accept that. These are things that bug me in party games and I get that not everyone will care.
A third problem I had was downtime. After every round you turn in your hand and all of the cards are sorted and passed out again so no one knows how anyone voted. This takes longer than necessary. Because we’re voting twice, and you can vote for the same person more than once, and then have to reset our hands it takes a long time to sort everything back to a base state. We can solve part of this problem by only voting once. Voting twice just feels like it slows the game down and causes an unnecessary amount of time to the game. Having to reset your hand every round is a huge stall to the game. It kills momentum and that isn’t good for a party game.
Part of the reason for resetting your hand is so you don’t know how people voted and that prevents fights and hurt feelings. However, this game is a fight in a box. It doesn’t matter how much work you put into preventing it, when you ask people to judge their friends it’s going to hurt feelings. I have seen arguments over the silliest things in my life but it still happens. You cannot know how someone is going to react to anything. Maybe they had a bad day, got caught off guard, or just took it wrong this is still going to start fights. I don’t like games that do that.
We didn’t have any problems when we played. However, that nagging feeling that an argument was just around the corner hung over me the whole game.
I didn’t have fun with this. However, I still maintain that if this sounds interesting to you give it a try. Check at your local store or con to see if they have a demo copy and try it out. The game is fast, for the most part. Besides, you’ll know pretty quickly if this game is for you.
It wasn’t for me. Maybe you’ll have better luck.