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[Review] Purse and Pockets Plus

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Joined: 03/23/2011

It seems viable to take a parlor game and package it up as a commercial game. This was done very successfully with both Time’s Up and Balderdash, making those two games more popular and accessible to people everywhere. Besides, there’s something about having a nicely made card in your hand instead of a scrap of paper or a dilapidated dictionary. So as soon as I read the rules for Purse & Pockets Plus (Weber Games, 2003 - Candace Weber), I knew it was one of these type games. I had played the activity this game described in many youth groups and other outings.

The “game”, although I really consider it an activity, was one that I never thought needed to be made into an official board game; but I wasn’t opposed to the idea either. I always found the activity fun, albeit a twice-a-year type of fun. I felt the same way after playing the game. It was nice to not have to do any work to set the game up, but it’s basically an activity that I will play with my youth group once a semester or so. If you’re looking for a good activity, this is an inexpensive option; and it does produce a lot of fun.

Seven decks of cards are provided with the game, which can be combined or used separately. A large playing area is needed to play the game, which needs a decent amount of players (my recommendation is at least ten). These players are split into two or three different teams, each who go to a different section of the room. The moderator of the game takes the cards decided to be used in that game and goes to a spot accessible by all players equally. The leader reads the rules to all the players, and the game begins.

The moderator reads the top card to the players, and the teams must produce the object mentioned, bringing it to the moderator as quickly as they can. All items must be inanimate (we changed this rule - for some funny results), and the same item cannot be used twice in a game (a good rule). No pushing or shoving allowed, with two points given to the first team to produce the object, and one point to the second team. The leader is the final judge on objects as to whether or not objects may be submitted or not.

There are seven decks of cards - each with a different theme.
- Purse: Things that are often found in a purse.
- Pockets: Things that are often found in pockets.
- Office: Office supplies, paper, etc.
- Something that...: Objects must match the description, like something that is purple, or is in the shape of a cone, or squeaks.
- Kids: Things that kids would have an easier time finding.
- Home and Garden: Things that can be found around the house, like a vase or a pillowcase.
- Wild & Crazy: Things that are often found at bachelor’s parties, etc.

A few comments on the game...

1.) Components: One might wonder why components are needed at all. Why not just make a list of items? Well, this is certainly possible, but the packaged game has two advantages. For one, you don’t have to go to the trouble of thinking up a list. Also, the cards can easily be randomized so that even the moderator doesn’t know what’s coming next. As to the quality of the components, they are very small cards in seven different colors of fairly low quality. Each is stored in a separate little plastic bag, which are then all stored in a little box that is shaped as small carrying bag. Several score sheets are also included with the game, and the box is small enough to carry around quite easily. Low-quality components, but they do match the price of the game.

2.) Rules: The rules are on two sides of a sheet of paper and are pretty thorough; even though I ended up ignoring some of them, since it made the game run smoother with the group I had at that time. For example, the rule that all items must be inanimate we ignored. When we drew the card “Something that is sweet”, and a nice guy threw himself on the counter; everyone shrieked with laughter when the female judge picked him. I also allowed any item in the room to be used, which resulted in chairs being brought up, etc. Still, the game rules are simple and easy to understand, as many people have played this type of game before.

3.) Card sets: The rules come with a chart, showing which sets of cards work best in what situations: baby showers, bachelor parties, children’s parties, church activities, etc. I preferred to just pick through all the cards and make a custom deck for the situation I was in. The Wild & Crazy deck had some fairly risqué cards in it, so one should probably be careful in what situations you use it, but the rest of the decks mixed well with the exception of Home & Garden. Most people don’t carry around pillows, lamps, and picture frames, so the rules say that people can find them in the house. This is not happening in my home!

4.) Fun Factor: The game is a lot of fun when played as an activity. I found that it makes a tremendous youth group activity, as well as an icebreaker at parties. Some of the objects that people bring to the judge are cause for great hilarity, and some of the objects the cards ask for are just hilarious to begin with.

As this isn’t technically a board game, I would only recommend this game to someone who is looking for an activity to use with large groups. The quality isn’t the highest, but the price may satisfy those who want help preparing a game such as this. I found that it does make a useful activity, and in that respect go ahead and pick it up. For gamers seeking another party game for their group, this wouldn’t fit that category. As an activity, it’s a fun one. As a game, most folk will probably pass.

Tom Vasel
"Real men play board games."

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