GenCon Review: Imagine

GenCon Review: Imagine

Boxart image from BoardGameGeekImagine, published by Gamewright, is a party game in the vein of Pictionary or Concept. It is very similar indeed to Squint (2002), but with one very important difference – the cards are transparent. I have to confess that transparent plastic cards are something that I’m irrationally fond of in games, and it’s probably why I carry Gloom in my “anytime games” box. So when we were waved over by the Gamewright lady, I was instantly intrigued.

The transparent cards do allow for some more interesting clues than Squint ever did, and the addition of the rules allowing you to manipulate the cards to “animate” them during guessing adds a further layer of complexity. Included in the box are 65 cards that set your goal which total over a thousand possible clues, as well as the 61 transparent cards with which to build your masterpiece. All of this adds up to a game that should last a very long time before you start seeing any kind of repetition.

Game contents image from BoardGameGeek

On the other hand, is there really space for this game in the market? What does it do better than Codenames, for example? I’m not sure. The amount of fun you can have while playing it is going to be determined entirely by who you are playing with (I mean, obviously) and Imagine doesn’t try to mitigate that at all. In our playtest, the selection of graphic cards seemed much more limited than I expected (the host indicated that some may have gone “walkabout” throughout the day) and guessing did drag a little.

Overall, I would probably recommend Concept over Imagine in an educational setting purely because the connections from abstract to concrete are far better defined in the former. For home, though, I think it really comes down to personal preference and if you really love the genre you could probably find room for both. Don’t forget about Dixit, though. And the upcoming Codenames: Pictures!

Oh dear.

Image by EllenM on BoardGameGeek

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