Twin It! – Gamewright – Review

The more I play and see the various versions of the patterns I love it more and more. Keeping the color palette simple and still coming up with 119 patterns has a beauty all its own.

Guest Writer: Jeremy Lepper Tweet

Theme and What is it?

Find a match as fast as you can!  Either against opponents or as a team.  Be careful, some patterns are deceptively similar and what you thought were twins are really just close cousins.  Add in the ability to steal with a third match, the hidden triplet, in competitive play and you have a frenetic festival of colors and patterns on your hands.

Gameplay Mechanics

This is a simple, frantic, game that doesn’t overstay its welcome.  Add in the various modes to play and you have something for almost everyone.


Competitive play has you madly trying to get a match before someone else does.  The fact you can steal a pair with a triplet keeps you wary and looking for those too.  At times you aren’t sure if you want to steal from someone to prevent them from winning or try to find more twins than they do.

 

Team mode adds another wrinkle. You can only touch one of the two cards and your teammate has to touch the twin.  If the other team sees the match they can steal it from you if your teammate isn’t quick on the uptake. This was the version that can lead to bad feelings the most due to this, depending on the group your are playing with.

Cooperative mode is everyone against the clock.  You have one minute to find as many matches as you can from the cards all spread out on the table.  You earn one point for a pair and two points for a triple. It has levels based upon the group size to see if you have mastered pattern recognition or if you may need to have your eyes checked!

Initial Impressions

Simple and a 1970’s design catalog were the first thoughts I had.  Gamewright is known for interesting family games so I was curious enough to give it shot.  I do have to say that this is one game that the phrase “don’t judge a book by its cover” applies to.

Game Build Quality

The box is similar to a cookie tin.  Which is nice, since cookie tins always have good things inside!   The cards are thin, glossy and easily picked up. However, if the game gets a little crazy and you are playing it on carpet, they do tend to bend. The hourglass timer is standard quality. The insert keeps everything organized, but if you stand the game tin on it’s side most of the top cards will spill out.  So be careful opening the game if you travel with it or store vertically.

Artistic Direction

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I have to say my first glance was wrong on this one.  The more I play and see the various versions of the patterns I love it more and more. Keeping the color palette simple and still coming up with 119 patterns has a beauty all its own. Tom Vuarchex throws in enough pop and nerd culture that had me saying “That is clever!” more often than not.

Fun Factor

I played the cooperative version with my five year old and her friend and a  group of adults and we all had a blast. The kids just love finding matches, and you can even  help them out by sharing some of yours. Playing the cooperative version with adults is deceptively tough as you grasp and grab at the cards.  Sometimes you end up flipping over a card someone needed and waste time. We were definitely in the beginner category of pattern recognition. This just encouraged us to play more, to prove the get wrong.  The one minute rounds and less than 10 second resets made this easy to do. It also has the added benefit of letting your inner child make a mess with a pile of cards.

Age Range & Weight

The game recommends 8 and up and as the rules are written I agree with this.  Though my five year old and her friend liked the game, I had to modify it to be slightly slower. You could only get a match on your turn and no stealing if a third showed up.  This worked, although I lost the frantic pace of the game, which is my favorite part of it. This is something nice love about Gamewright games in general though, you can play it  as written but easily modify things for slightly younger audiences.

Conclusions

Simple games that can be played with people of any age really are hard to find.  Twin It! Is something special in that way. It is a great game for family get togethers or a filler at game nights. The concept is simple but challenging enough that a group of adults played multiple times just to get a higher score.  We were unable to do so but enjoyed every one minute playthrough. The small size makes it portable, even ultraportable if you take things out of the tin. I thoroughly enjoyed this game and am definitely in it to Twin It!

 

[Thank you to guest writer, Jeremy Lepper, for this review!]