Quelf Unleashed

At Christmas of 2009, we gave Max and Mitchell a board game called Quelf thinking it was right up their alley. It’s billed as a zany party game for those 12 or older. And they act zany all the time. As far as I know, they never played it….until now.

Max claimed they tried it when they first got it and it was stupid, but everything in the box looked a bit too pristine for me to believe it. I kept seeing it over the last two years on the shelves and kept thinking we should get it out. The last time I was in Target it had it’s own dedicated sales area and I decided, “That’s it. We are bringing it to Jim and Nicole’s for game night”, which was the next day. I went home and found it in Max’s closet, one of maybe 2-3 games that is not kept with the rest of our board games.

The next day, while the rest of the adults were cleaning up dinner at Jim’s house, I broke out Quelf and started reading the instructions. The more I read, the less I wanted to play. I just couldn’t see our hosts (nor my wife) doing the things described on the card. I’ll get more into that in a bit. But needless to stay, Quelf went back in the bag and we played Sequence instead.

On Sunday we decided to try and give Quelf a shot with the family. Nothing brings a family together like a bag of M&M’s, so with the enticement of candy, we got everyone to play. As it turns out, the game was a bit of a hit. It got started off wrong when Julie refused to do what was on her card and took the penalty instead. I can’t remember what it was, but it was along the lines of one of my cards which told me I had to put on a thick coat of lipstick or take the penalty. I took the penalty, but that was the only time. I even humiliated myself trying to dance like a ballerina. Some other shennigans included Roman having to sit under the table for an entire turn and Mitchell hiding until one of us could find him. No one ever found him, which was why the game went on past 10pm. Roman and Grace were beat the next day.

There are plenty of flaws in the game. For instance, one of the things we had to do was to make some silly statement when someone rolled a 1. The last person to say it had to take a penalty. Of course, no one would ever claim to be the last person, no matter how much I insisted he/she was last. And several cards would have you act out something, such as the ballerina, but the rest of the group had no idea if they were supposed to guess what you were doing or just sit there. Also, I will say that though the game says it’s for those 12 and older, we didn’t come upon anything that wasn’t objectionable or too difficult for Grace or Roman.

I am pretty sure we will play it again as we were never able to finish the game. Roman became angry one one turn and knocked all our playing pieces off the board. The next day he claimed the card told him to do it. We know that’s not true.


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