The inability to name objects or to recognize written or spoken names of objects is a medical condition known as anomia (uh-NO-mee-uh). I generally say “my mind’s gone blank” but that wouldn’t be nearly as interesting for a name of a card game.
Anomia is a party game that has been around for over a decade. It has gone through a few facelifts and rebrands over time and it got me wondering, does it still hold up amongst today’s excellent offering of games?
Two decks are included in the box, choose one and shuffle thoroughly. Split the deck in two to form two face down draw decks, leaving a gap in between for special cards. This is something you will be able to do even if half-cut – just like the deck of cards!
Describing Anomia as shouty snap is not the worst analogy. The three to six players will take it in turns to flip a card from either of the two draw piles. The majority of cards have a word and a symbol on them. When you flip your card you need to check if the symbol matches the top card of another player’s deck. If it doesn’t, play moves to the next player. However, if the symbols match you have to look at the matching card, read the word and say something associated with it. If you are fastest, you win the oppositions card. Placing it in your scoring pile. This may reveal another match and so on. The player with the most cards in their scoring pile when both draw decks are empty wins.
The only other cards that are in the deck are Wild cards. These allow different symbols to match with each other and mixes up the game giving players something else to think about too.
What it’s like
The prompt words on the cards range from Hair Products to TV Show to Street. There really is a broad range of subjects. Living up to the name of the game, you’re brain will quite often just go blank and you won’t be able to name a pasta before your opponent can shout out a fast food restaurant. Undoubtedly some things are trickier to think of than others, however brain farts will level any playing field!
You will often find yourself noticing pairs between other players, but you can’t win anything by matching other people’s cards. You can give them a nudge if you’re feeling generous though.
The Wild Cards add an extra dimension, which is very welcome in the game. It keeps things interesting and mixed up. I would say that as multiple matches can be made it can sometimes be difficult to keep track who should restart turning a card, I don’t lose sleep over such matters, but it is something I have noticed!
While the gameplay is simple enough to include children, younger players will definitely be at a disadvantage. They may not know Male Tennis Players or a Famous Address, so younger players could become aloof. That’s why I agree it is at least a ten plus game.
There is only so much you can do with a deck of cards with words and symbols on. I know I am probably a bit biased, but I really like the retro comic book styling. Older versions are considerably uglier, so at least this refresh has tried to give it a little more visual appeal. This version of Anomia is still unlikely to win a beauty pageant though!
The rules are okay and card quality and quantity is good.
Final thoughts on Anomia
Simple to teach and learn, Anomia is a really fun party game. Its portability lends itself to popping in your bag to take with you out to the pub or round a friends house.
Its been a hit with the gamers and non-gamers I have introduced this game to. Laughter will often erupt as someone blurts out a word that is ludicrous, or at the other end of the spectrum cannot think of a chocolate bar!
I can really see Anomia hitting the table a lot and will stay on the shelves for a long time. Playing up to six people is a real bonus too.
With two decks there is plenty of replayability but there is always Anomia 2.0 if ever I feel like I know the decks too well! There aren’t many games that have a MSRP of £12.99 that will hit the table as often as this one. It is certainly worth checking out.
Number of players: 3 to 6
Board Game Review Recommended Age: 10+
Publisher’s Recommended Age: 10+
Playing Time: 25 minutes
Setting Up and Take Down Time: 1 minute
Designers: Andrew Innes
Publisher: Coiledspring Games
Anomia is my new go-to for those situations when you need a quick game to play with gamers or non-gamers that is easy to learn and teach. Six people can play easily and you will be concentrating the whole time, keeping an eye out for that matching pair! It’s also a great ice-breaker!
Artwork and Components
Value for Money
- Plays up to six players
- Fast play
- Easy to learn
- Funny answers
- Shouty snap
- Difficult to include younger players
- Have to think quickly
- Three player minimum
If you want to buy Anomia after reading our review click on one of our affiliate links below (note there has been no affiliate links until this point)
For clarity: we don’t get paid for our reviews. However, we were kindly gifted this game by Coiledspring Games. We have tried not to let this affect our review in any way.
We may however earn a tincy wincy commission if you buy a game having clicked one of our affiliate links like the one above… this hopefully gives us a bit of pocket money towards hosting costs and new games to review!
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Board Game Review is a brand ambassador for Out of Town Games.
These affiliate advertising programs are designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to their websites.