Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Stroop (Grand Gamers Guild)

When I was in college, I pursued a degree in Psychology. During that time, I worked for a professor who was studying the Stroop Effect. The Stroop Effect in a nutshell, measures the reaction time due to interference of a task. That task is usually associated with the names of colors and the color of text in those names. For example, if the word "red" is written in red font, it is easy for your brain to recognize the word "red." However, if the word "red" is written in yellow, your brain wants to think "yellow" instead of "red." Grand Gamers Guild took this frustrating psychological test and made it into a game, appropriately named StroopStroop is a game for 2-4 players. It takes approximately 15 minutes to play and retails for $18.
Setup
1. Shuffle the 65 basic cards on your first game. (Note: If experienced, shuffle 65 basic and 45 advanced cards.)
2. Deal 15 cards face-down to each player.
3. Place one card face-up in the center of the table.
Game Play Round One - Players simultaneously draw cards (one at a time) into their hand as fast as they can. (Note: There is no hand limit.) Each player is trying to play a card on top of the center card, which is described by the center card. For example, if the center card is black in color but the word is "yellow," then a legal card to play would be any card with yellow-colored text. The round ends when one player has drawn all their cards from their deck and is unable to play any remaining cards from their hand. The player says "STOP," and all players return cards in their hand back to their draw pile for Round Two. Note: If a player makes a mistake playing a card, they may take the card back with no penalty. If a player says, "STOP," but still has legal cards to play, play continues, but the mistaken player cannot play anymore cards.
Game Play Round Two - Distribute the cards in the center pile (from Round One) evenly to all players. If unable to distribute evenly, supplement from the unused cards. Each players takes their remaining cards from Round One and the re-distributed cards and shuffles them to form their personal draw pile. (Note: All players will most likely not have the same amount of cards.) Round Two is identical in game play to Round One with one exception, a card may only be played if it describes the center card. For example, if the center card is black in color but the word is "yellow," then a legal card to play would be any card that says "black" or any card with the word "six," as the word "yellow" has six letters. When one player declares, "STOP," the game ends. Players count their remaining cards in their hand and draw pile. The player with the fewest cards is the winner.

Review
This game (even though it wasn't) seems like it was tailor-made for me to play and review. I tested scores of students on the Stroop Effect in college using a program that my professor developed. I even took the test numerous times as well, just to pass the time some days. Not to brag, but I got so good at it that I could almost beat it. Therefore, when I heard that this game was coming out, I wanted to try it, and the game did not disappoint.

For starters, it is quick to play, making it a perfect filler or game for families and new gamers. Secondly, the mechanic seems familiar to casual gamers, as it feels a bit like UNO or Skip-Bo. Third, there are two modes of game play to accommodate different levels of players. The basic version focuses mainly on color, number of letters, font size, and solid or hollow font. The advanced version adds font direction (forward or backward) to make your brain burn a little bit more when playing and adding just enough more difficulty to the the game. The last and best thing I love about this game is the scientific nature of it. The first round is like a control round. Players familiarize themselves with the game play and the basic concept of the Stroop Effect. The second round really puts your wits to the test, as you are trying to describe the card, while trying not to get tripped up due to the ease of the first round. Highly recommended for casual and experienced gamers alike!

This game was provided to me for free by Grand Gamers Guild in exchange for an honest review.