Ever fancied being a towering ex-school teacher turned comic sat in a big gold chair hosting a celebrity panel game show? Well, now is your chance, as there is a Taskmaster party game! Unless you don’t have a gold chair in the house, because sadly, this game does not come with a throne.
However, it does come with the opportunity to say “Oh look, it’s little Alex Horne!”
For those that can’t make sense of anything above, I should probably slow down and explain that Taskmaster is based on Taskmaster. Okay, that may need to be elaborated further. Taskmaster is a celebrity television panel game show hosted by Greg Davies and his assistant (and show creator), Alex Horne. In the show, five regular contestants compete doing ludicrous tasks for points. All very silly and also very funny. It is probably the only show on the tellybox that guarantees me to actually laugh out loud at least once per episode. That is often a full on belly laugh, or tears rolling down the face laugh. Needless to say I am a fan of the show, so I was keen to try out the game.
The game is intended for three to five players. You could also play in teams if you want to play with more.
The rules clearly state that adapting how you play is okay. The basic idea is that you carry out ludicrous tasks around the house and the person with the most points at the end of the game wins. In essence that is it.
The rules suggest a different player being the Taskmaster each turn. The game plays as long as you want. Ensuring everyone has a turn at being Taskmaster is best, so in a four player game you would have four or eight challenges. To echo the show you can have a prize round where players bring an agreed prize to the table for the winner to take home. The rules offer the best pair of socks as an example of a prize.
The first thing players will need to do is draw themselves an avatar for the leader board. You have a minute to do this before it is placed in the frame provided.
You are also allocated a secret task. This is yours, and yours alone to complete on the sly during the game, but don’t get caught! Players have the opportunity to guess what other player’s secret tasks were. If undetected the player gets three points, if someone guesses the challenge however, they gain the three points instead.
The challenge cards are divided by room with appropriate tasks in each. These cards are laid out in piles on the board which resembles a plan of the Taskmaster house in the show.
Once a challenge is completed the current Taskmaster casts their judgment on the winner. They have the right to be arbitrary. Generally points are awarded equal to the player count, so in a five player game, first place gets five points, second place gets four and so on.
Then there is a Final Task, where all players get involved and Alex Horne makes an appearance!
What it’s like
Like all good party games, Taskmaster is easy to learn and easy to play. The tasks are brilliantly bonkers, but if you’ve watched the TV show you would be disappointed if they weren’t. Things can get a bit messy and occasionally wasteful, but as long as you are prepared for it you will be having too much fun to care.
The box says it is suitable for ages eight and over, younger players will need more help, but they will have rip-roaring fun along the way. When we play as a family our youngest, Max, generally teams up with me or my wife. I have even been the Taskmaster for an entire game, which I really enjoyed. This gave me the opportunity to help all the children, at the detriment of my wife’s score, and make sure all challenges were appropriate.
The game is a brilliant reiteration of the onscreen version, and if you are willing to be a bit silly and embrace the ludicrous challenges, you will be laughing out loud while playing this game. I really like creating my own avatar too.
I also want to give kudos to the final challenge cards. The majority of these display a QR code which brings little Alex Horne to life to deliver your final challenge on your screen. This is brilliant as it hammers home the theme and means you are properly unprepared. There are some non-qr cards too in case you are playing it somewhere with no phone signal or wi-fi, if such a place exists nowadays?
This game also works over video call, when writing this during the COVID-19 pandemic, traits like this seem really important.
Taskmaster is styled brilliantly. The rules unfurl like a challenge on the show. The board looks like a bird’s eye view of the house off the telly and the cards are good quality. The cards are also plentiful and it will be an age before you see cards that you have done before. When you do, it might be time to buy the expansion!
Like I said, the QR code integration is very welcome. All the components help to make you feel like you are playing the game.
However, I am going to say that I am a little disappointed by the golden head of Greg Davies. Having seen the glorious gold ‘Big Cheese’ component in Rats to Riches, this falls short. If it was a plastic mini that would be good too. However, this is just a cardboard standee and I just felt it could be better. You could argue that the standee recreates the disappointment that celebrities must feel on the show when they win. They compete for weeks and if after several shows they have the most points, they get a very cheap looking portrait bust of Greg Davies.
Final thoughts on Taskmaster The Board Game
The Taskmaster board game does an incredible job of recreating the television show in your home. This is certainly the best game I have played based on a television show. That said, they do tend to be a bit naff and so that may not be the greatest accolade I could offer. So to this I will add, that Taskmaster is a great party game and holds up to others even without the tv tie-in.
My kids have had an absolute blast playing Taskmaster and are always really excited to play it. I do have to be in the mood for it though. The end of game scoring is akin to games like Cards Against Humanity and Scrawl, whereby one person dictates the scores. This can sometimes not reward the effort someone has put in but if the Taskmaster listens to the majority then it isn’t as bad.
It also could be a bit weird having friends in your house, rummage through your fridge or drawers trying to complete a task. I was okay with it, but imagine some may be self-conscious around that. The players whose house it is do have a bit of an advantage as they will know where some things are, or what might be available.
Taskmaster is a surprisingly fun game that has taught me not to be too snobby about TV show board games and with the right group of players, friends or family, you will having a good laugh. There is also an expansion available with more cards if you need!
Number of players: 3 to 5
Board Game Review Recommended Age: 8+
Publisher’s Recommended Age: 8+
Playing Time: 40 minutes
Setting Up and Take Down Time: 2 minutes
Designers: uncredited, possibly Alex Horne!
Publisher: Ginger Fox Games
Taskmaster The Board Game is a blast of silly fun. It recreates and captures most of the magic of the show in your own home. With the right crowd (and possibly a tipple) this could create hilarious memorable moments that last a lifetime.
Artwork and Components
Value for Money
- A brilliant recreation of the TV show in a board game
- Funny party game
- Great final tasks
- Family friendly
- Expansion available
- Can be a bit wasteful and messy
- Home advantage and you might feel weird about people looking for things in your house
- Player judge mechanic
- The trophy head
Need more games?
If you already own Taskmaster and enjoy it, or are looking for other inspiration, you might also like these similar games:
- Obama Llama 2
- Get a Hint
- Don’t Get Got
Buy Taskmaster the Board Game
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