Tabletop Review: ‘Smart 10’

‘Smart 10’ from Banagrams Inc. Photo by Elizabeth MacAndrew.

Banagrams Inc. has been expanding out their game line with new offerings that aren’t just based around the Banagrams flagship game. I have gotten the chance to review a few of these expanded offerings including The Furglars, Cheeky Butts, and now Smart 10. Smart 10 was a complimentary copy I received since I’ve reviewed other games from the company before.

What is Smart 10?

Smart 10 in a trivia-based game for 2-8 players ages 10+ and takes about 20+ minutes to play. It has a MSRP of $19.99.

Smart 10 Components

Components for ‘Smart 10.’ Photo by Elizabeth MacAndrew.

Smart 10 Contains the following:

  • 1 Smartbox
  • 10 Answer Markers
  • 100 Double Sides Question Cards
  • Rules

The question cards are made of cardboard of playing card thickness and should probably stand up to a fair amount of play. They all fit as one group into the plastic Smartbox which is sturdy enough to be passed around and has the added benefit of keeping the cards both secure and protected. It even has little counters on each corner to keep track of the scoring. The plastic Answer Markers pop in on top. They feel solid enough to do their job and hit that nice balance of being wedged in enough that they do not fall out but are loose enough that a tug can remove them. My first impression is that this is a nice and compact game (I can hold it in one hand) as compared to more traditional trivia game offerings and would be easy to take along with you.

How to Play Smart 10

Smart 10 is so fast to sort out playing that you barely need any instructions at all.

The Goal:

The goal of Smart 10 is to be the first player (or team) to reach 30 points.

Setup

A game set up with the counters set to zero. Photo by Elizabeth MacAndrew.

The compact nature of the game makes setup almost non-existent. Setting up a game only takes the following steps:

  • Assign each player (or team if you have more than four players) to one counter and set the counter to zero. The counters have different shapes to help keep track of them.
  • Put all ten Answer Markers in place if they are not already.
  • Open the side of the Smartbox, put a new Question Card on top, and then slide the Question Card stack back in the box and close it.
  • Youngest player will go first.

That’s all set up takes and as long as you aren’t randomly throwing the pieces back in the box when you’re done, half of those steps are already taken care of. The only tricky part is getting the Smartbox side back in place. We discovered your best bet is making sure it’s lined up along the sides before sliding it down. Kids might struggle with this, but the trade off is the box is pretty secure and you won’t need to worry about it popping off all the time.

Gameplay

Gameplay is pretty straightforward but has some of its own variations compared to other trivia games.

Question Categories

There are six different types of questions you might be asked and each question is made up of ten mini questions. The advantage is you can try to pick a mini question you are more likely to get correct. The categories are as follows:

  • True/False: Only choose the ones you think are correct. If you think there are only false answers left, pass.
  • Number: Guess the number or date as your answer.
  • Order: Guess the order position of your answer compared to the others.
  • Century-Decade: Pick the correct century or decade something happened in.
  • Color: Guess the correct color.
  • Open: Guess the correct word, name, etc.
A selection of Question Cards. Photo by Elizabeth MacAndrew.

Game Round

A game round is made up of the following actions:

  1. First player reads the question.
  2. Each player gets a turn to choose to ANSWER or PASS
  3. If you PASS you will not loose any Answer Markers, but you may not answer again in the round.
  4. If you ANSWER, state your response and lift out the corresponding Answer Marker. If you are correct, keep the Answer Marker. If wrong, you must set aside the Answer Marker and cannot play again in the round.
  5. The round ends when the players have all passed, are out, or all 10 Answer Markers have been removed. Each Answer Marker a player/team got to keep is worth a point. Record the points with the dials, and set the Answer Markers back in before getting a new Question Card.
  6. The player to the left of the last first player starts the next round. Repeat these steps until a player/team get 30 points.
A round in progress. Photo by Elizabeth MacAndrew.

Game End

The game ends when one player/team gets 30 points. The player/team with the highest number of points is the winner.

Why You Should Play Smart 10

If quiz type games are your sort of thing, Smart 10 is a game you should certainly check out. It’s nice and compact, the pieces are all solid, and with 100 double-sides cards there’s a lot of questions. The setup is easy, the mess is minimal, and the game will travel really well.

The question categories vary nicely and bounce between pop culture, history, and geography from what we came across. My husband and I found that the pick your question feature helped us in situations we were less knowledgeable in (sports teams for example). Overall, if you’re playing with a group of adults, there should be an area for everyone to know something. This is where I will underscore my only criticism: the game may say that players can be as young as 10, but unless your ten-year-old has the knowledge base of a high schooler at minimum, they’ll be far too frustrated at how few questions they can actually answer. The game mechanic is easy enough for a kid, but the questions we ran across really expect you to have a wider knowledge base than a typical fifth grader. Now if there was an option to buy 100 pack card expansions for the game, a question pack designed more for kids would work really well since the play mechanic itself is really easy.

For adults, this game would be great to take out for holidays or family camping trips because it travels so well and the questions themselves are tame enough in content that you’re not at risk of offending any of the in-laws or worrying about what a kid who bounces in and out of the room might overhear. If you missed quiz night at your local hangout, you can even bring this along like your own portable version.

The game has a MSRP of $19.99 which is pretty fair given that it’s made fairly decently and does such a nice job of being compact entertainment that travels well. The game has recently released at can be ordered directly from Banagrams Inc. here.

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