ELECTRONIC GARDEN GNOME PACIFIER
"This pacifier is, besides being a great pacifier, also shaped as a garden gnome. This enables parents, whose toddlers have outgrown their pacifiers, to recycle the pacifiers as decorative and charming lawn ornaments. As an added bonus the ELECTRONIC GARDEN GNOME PACIFIER comes with a 50 foot cord, and can be plugged into a power outlet, effectively lighting up the lawn at night. If fitted with strong enough bulbs, the ELECTRONIC GARDEN GNOME PACIFIER has been known to lure inexperienced airplane pilots to land on owner's front lawn. All in all an amazing product."
This could be the sales speech for one of the weird inventions you might assemble in the game The BIG Idea. In this game you have to come up with products (how about a Disposable Mechanical Monkey?), attract the attention of your fellow players, and convince them to invest. At the same time you need to assess the other inventions on the table (maybe the Unsinkable Safety Robot), and make your own investments, hoping that it'll all turn out okay in the end. It's all about making money by investing in the right things, ditching the useless ones, and coming up with good arguments to promote your own oddities. You get to invest in your own products, and those of your opponents' - and there is a bonus to the most popular product. In the end you get the chance to sell your invention to make even more money.
The game is a card game, insofar as you have a number of cards in your hand. The cards - Noun cards and Adjective cards - can be combined freely to make up products like eg. Inflammable Beer or X-treme Non-stick Death Cement. What sells and what doesn't is entirely up to your marketing skills - and the sense of humour of your fellow players. Placing your investment at the right time and at the right product is very important, but in the end it's a die that will determine if you get to sell your invention and make money - or if you are stuck with it for another round, digging deep into your little heap of money chips and tokens.
I think this game is hilarious. It's best when you can get a group of at least four players, but it can be played by three. The manufacturers state no age recommendations, but, in my opinion, players need to be at least age 13 or 14. I've only ever played it together with other adults.
This is a game from "Cheapass Games"; a company with an interesting marketing strategy. They sell the rules and the basics. They do not supply tokens, money chips, dice, counters, etc, on the theory that you already have them. For example, in The Big Idea I got the 192 cards needed to make up the inventions + the rules, but I got chips, dice and so forth from other board games I had. On the front of the boxes you can see what you need in order to be able to play the game, so there should be no nasty surprises.
I recommend this game, especially if you are a board game lover. As with just about all games it can get boring if you play it too often, but because of the many, many different weird products you can invent, it stays interesting for quite long. 96 nouns and 96 adjectives make for a lot of crazy stuff - and the cards are not to be taken too literally. The rules say that if you don't like the text on the card, you are free to make up your own. The cards are there to inspire you, not limit you. All in all: good game.