Test your knowledge of geek culture with this fun board game.
When I first read about the geeky equivalent of Trivial Pursuit I just had to go out and buy a copy – and with Christmas on the horizon I decided to put it aside for a fun family occasion.
Geek Battle: The Game of Extreme Geekdom
The game is designed for 3 to 8 players; as there are only four game pieces it’s best to work in teams. In our game of four players, some took on other roles; with one on each team choosing to read most of the questions – including the Geek Battles themselves which I’ll cover later – and others rolling the dice and answering questions. I think having an odd number of participants would work best if one were only to read out the questions – which reduces their competitiveness but is great if you just want to pick up some serious geek knowledge.
The aim of the game is to move your character around the gorgeously-designed spacey spiral on the board, rolling the D6 and landing on a coloured space, at which time you’ll be asked a question from one of the four coloured categories in the huge deck of question cards:
- Sci-Fi & Fantasy
- Comics & Video Games
- Science & Technology
- Geek Life
The rules state that once a question is correctly answered, you should roll the D12 to determine your reward. However, the game board isn’t exactly massive so a few lucky rolls could see you get all the way to the centre within just a few rolls! We decided to roll both dice simultaneously to determine the next question category and the reward for answering correctly, but I’m sure that determining your own House Rules about which dice to use should work.
While I personally found the Science & Technology questions to be the trickiest, any practicing geek will get a kick out of the questions – I just happened to be wearing my Browncoats t-shirt while playing, and was able to give the opposing team a clue to an answer just by looking down at the logo on my chest! The questions themselves are varied enough, drawing from lots of different fields from the worlds of sci-fi, horror, fantasy and a great Geek Life category, but I found the Science category to have an unusual amount of questions about the inventor Nikola Tesla – so my advice would be to read up on him before playing!
One thing to look out for is the Wormholes on the board which are represented by each side of a D6. If you land on one then you must roll to find out where you’ll emerge on the other side – this is great if you’ve landed on the one when it comes time to roll; at worst you’ll stay where you are, but not so much if you’re on the five or six.
The GB spaces on the board were also fun to play; at this time the Geek Battle commences! The question-master will ask the team who landed which team they wish to face; we got around this by having one of the opposing team read out the question so that it was 2-on-1. A GB card is drawn from the deck which contains a set number of answers a la Family Fortunes. Starting with the team who landed on the square, you must take it in turns to answer – the first incorrect or repeated answer loses. If all answers are read out then it’s a draw – but an interesting feature also gives any disputed answers 90 seconds to verify using phones, PCs or tablets! These are some extremely tough questions which, in the case of “science fiction films starring Arnold Schwarzenegger” we found very controversial too! (Hint: those two films which are about scientific impossibilities come true in real life? Which co-star Danny DeVito? They’re in there!)
How To Win
The object of the game is to reach the final Geek Battle at the centre of the galaxy – when the team must win a Geek Battle to win the game. We had a tough time with this – the deciding game of the evening needed four Geek Battles before a winner was crowned! We also made it a House Rule that, if Playing To Win and losing the battle, the losing piece must start again from the edge of the spiral.
In conclusion, Geek Battle is a very fun game for anyone who loves to test their knowledge of Geekdom against friends and family. It’s not an advanced game by any means; it’s not an original concept and the more discerning gamer might find it a little basic but in terms of the quiz itself, it’s a lot of fun. I highly recommend getting together with friends for a game of Geek Battle – it was an especially fun way to spend a festive evening with family!