Hedbanz

Design Edge

Publisher: Spinmaster

I am not too sure about the “quick” part of the game! (Photo credits: Nate Wolff@BGG)

Hedbanz was a Christmas gift for my kid and so she was eager to give it a try. The game is older (publishing date) than I thought, though I couldn’t find a publication year. Still, I was intrigued whether the game can be an educational experience for my kid.

The game is a little like Pow-Wow in that players wear a headband with a card holder. Perhaps that’s where the similarity ends. You can see everybody’s card except your own. However, the headband really is not necessary as the information from other people really is useless and serve not purpose other than to tell you what their card is.

The game is about trying to figure out the item on your head by asking a series of questions before the timer runs out. The first to guess a number of items based on questions asked and answered wins the game. For example, if you have an “elephant”, then you can ask “Am I an animal?, “Do I have four legs?”, “Am a carnivore?”, etc. The original rules suggests that everyone asks a question and goes around the table until someone makes the guess. This can actually drag if the questions aren’t specific enough or if the answers are less than accurate.

That said, the game is pretty straightforward and I think there is some skill in figuring out the right questions to ask. But it gets old really really fast. As an adult game, I wouldn’t play it. It’s just not that fun. Luckily, the items on the card are pretty routine and standard objects that you interact with everyday. If they made the items a bit more eclectic or exotic, we would all be in a world of trouble. However the game does have some value for kids (See below).

A hard pass for me.

Initial impressions: Not for me

Kid’s Corner

6 years old: The game has some value when played with kids. We do this as an activity and not so much a competitive game. So we guess one person’s card in its entirety before moving on to the next. The timer is also not used.

Overall, this is just a good way for kids to think about the best way to ask questions about an item. The questions may look simple, but to be efficient or to get to the real answer, kids have to actually think about the questions they want to ask and also wait and think about the answer. It is not nearly as simple an exercise and some clues need to be given. Heck, even adults struggle.

Even though the game can be educational, I still find it somewhat boring. My kid still enjoys it but I am pretty sure it’s a novelty at the moment. I guess for now, the game will stick around for a little longer. I don’t anticipate ever pulling this out on game night.

January 2021: Amazingly, we finished the entire deck of cards through multiple plays. How is that even possible? Time to move on to something else? I think in hindsight, the game is perhaps way more enjoyable for her because of the free range of questions she can ask. In retrospect, the questions are much harder to formulate than you first expect. Try it.

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