I recently sat down to think if I were to pen just one more review for my website what would it be? What would be the game that I would want to ensure future internet browsers could read a review of, and discover on my site. Then I realised the answer was in the question! I would review Just One, the co-operative party game. Then I thought, well I best not wait until I really can only write just one more review, so here I am with a review of Just One…
Distribute a board and pen to each player. Shuffle the deck of cards and count out thirteen cards, place all the others back in the box. Setup is so naturally quick Superman couldn’t do it any quicker.
Deal one of the thirteen face down cards to the starting player. They will not look at this card but display it on their rack, choosing a number from 1-5 that will dictate what they have to guess. Then, all other players will write down a word that will be a clue for the guesser’s word. When everyone has written their offering, the guesser closes their eyes and players compare their scribbles. Any duplicate words are removed. The guesser then opens their eyes and tries to answer from the remaining clues on offer. Play then moves to the next player on the guesser’s left with them becoming the guesser. Rinse and repeat until all thirteen cards have been used. I tend to keep separate piles of correctly and incorrectly guessed cards. Tally how many you got right and see how you compare to the chart on the rulebook!
What it’s like
Just One is fantastically simple, although my neighbour historically misinterpreted the rules when he taught it to us! But I honestly believe it is harder to get the rules wrong than right!
It can be taught quickly and could even be done during the first round of play. Just One is also clever in the way it makes your brain think. You naturally want to give useful clues! It is easy to presume someone else will do the ‘obvious’ answer and not wishing to duplicate you will swerve it. But if no one writes the obvious answer, the guesser can be left drowning in a sea of seemingly unrelated words. Equally you can swerve the obvious and come up with what you think is the most excellent word ever, for it to be written by someone else, or, it not be quite as useful as you thought.
When you are the guesser and the spotlight is on you, there can be a feeling of pressure, especially if the offerings are not obviously linked, even if the table around you are egging you on to the contrary. You will also often laugh as someone misinterprets or misreads the word, or goes on such a weird path of lateral thinking that you can’t help chuckle.
I’m sure if you played it every night for a week it would become repetitive, but as an after dinner game played more sporadically there is plenty of replayability.
When playing with children we do house rule that we can swerve one word on the card to make it easier to be inclusive for all at the table.
Form follows function in Just One and it may not be beautiful, but it is everything it needs to be! I like that they included different colour wipe-clean pens, instead of them just including black which would’ve been easier and probably cheaper.
The card designs won’t win a beauty pageant, if there was such a thing for cards! Equally though they are easily readable around a table at all the player counts.
The rules are clear and concise. They give excellent examples of what is and isn’t allowed. It all fits away in the box quite nicely too. Yes the box is a little on the large size but it isn’t too bloated with air inside.
What the kids thought
Max (9): It’s really fun, the best bit is when it is your turn to guess!
George (12): Just One is a fun party game that I really recommend. It’s great for when you have friends round and I always enjoy playing it!
Harrison (15): I find Just One exciting when you guess right with limited options. I like trying to work out which unique word to write down which makes it annoying when someone else does the same word as you.
Final thoughts on Just One
It feels a little wrong perhaps that a party game ranks so highly above other more strategic games. However, in terms of a family-friendly party game for up to seven players Just One is difficult to beat. That is why it is firmly high up in the Hall of Fame. It’s accessibility and inclusivity is Just One’s real appeal, being able to sit players of all abilities and almost all ages is fantastic.
I grab Just One off the shelf often and because of the multiple choices on each cards it feels like there is oodles of replayability too.
In the family party game genre, Just One is my absolute favourite and I cannot see how it could be improved upon. It has laugh out loud moments, engages all players and is lots of fun to play as a result. I have lots of great memories of playing this game.
Number of players: 3 to 7
Board Game Review Recommended Age: 8+
Publisher’s Recommended Age: 12+
Playing Time: 30 minutes
Setting Up and Take Down Time: 1 minute
Designers: Ludovic Roudy and Bruno Sautter
Publisher: Repos Productions
Just One is a fantastic family-friendly party game that I highly recommend you trying out! If you were to have just one party game in your collection, there is a really good argument for it to be Just One!
Artwork and Components
Value for Money
- Easy to learn
- Plenty of replayability
- Fun to think of what word to write
- Family friendly
- Co-operative against a score chart
- It’s a party game
- Could become repetitive with plays in quick succession
Need more games?
If you already own Just One and enjoy it, or are looking for other inspiration, you might also like these similar games:
- So Clover
- Trap Words
Buy Just One
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