|Interaction||Components & Design|
How are you supposed to find one specific face out of all of those, when the one person who knows who you’re looking for can only give cryptic clues? Why, by deduction, of course!
The Pinocchio-Lookalike Contest – How to play Similo
On the table, you’ll see twelve characters from history and/or fairy tales. One of them, known only to the clue giver, is the one you’re looking for. The clue giver also has a hand of five more character cards.
They’ll use those cards to give their clues. They either play it the right way around to indicate that this character is similar to the one everyone’s looking for, or they play it sideways to show that the character is different from the wanted one.
To put it mildly, that’s not a very precise bit of information. What about this character is similar to the one you want? Is it the gender? The color of their skin? Their hair? The beard? There are so many options. That’s why all the other players now discuss what the clue giver might have meant. Then they pick one card from the twelve candidates that they’re certain is not the one they want and remove it from the game.
If they were correct and that card was not the one they needed, the clue giver refills their hand and gives another clue. Having overheard the other players’ discussion, they might be able to give a clue that is easier to decipher. After the second clue they must remove two cards from the remaining suspects, three after the third, and four after fourth. For the fifth and final clue there will only be two cards left, so they pick the one they think is right and maybe win the game.
Let’s Face It – Our Verdict
From all of Horrible Guild’s games, Similo is by far the most aimed at mass-market. I don’t mean that in a bad way, just that it’s very light and even comes packaged in a plastic case that can easily hang next to the supermarket checkout line. That’s a bit of a complaint from me, actually, I believe in not using plastic packaging where paper will do, but okay.
What about the game, though? It’s so light you can almost start playing without an explanation. Less than a minute and you’re ready to go. Nevertheless, it’s a lot of fun to play. For the clue giver to come up with clues that the guessers might understand, for the guessers to figure out what the ever-loving hell that clue means. That part is actually quite agonizing for the clue giver, in a “don’t look at the color of their earrings, I meant we’re looking for a young boy” sort of way. I admit, that’s why I love being clue giver in Similo; listening to the other players discuss the clue is like a roller coaster. And they get that little spike of adrenaline right before you tell them if they just removed the card you were looking for. Also not bad.
So what if Similo is not going to be the centerpiece of your next game night? It’s a hilarious ten minutes you can repeat as often as you feel like, and look at Naïade’s beautiful illustrations while you do it. I find absolutely nothing wrong with that.