Monday, December 7, 2009


Publisher: FoxMind Games
Game Concept: Matthieu d’Epenoux, Odet L´Homer & Roberto Fraga

Players: 2+

Age Recommended: 13+

Contrario Rules:

I need to start off by saying that Contrario is not a young kid’s game. The knowledge of idioms and popular culture make this a older game. My 8 year old daughter played along and was helpful in a brainstorming-kind of way, but never in a fully successful-kind of way.

So why is a blog about family activities reviewing a “grown-up” game?

Because sometimes parents need to remember that they are grown-ups. As much as you and your children might not want to admit it, you are allowed to experience leisure that does not involve diapers, princesses, building blocks, or high-pitched animated characters (unless you are into that sort of thing).
Contrario is a group game that requires logic and thinking. I mention this only as a warning not to play in a crowded restaurant during Sunday brunch (we tried and it was much too distracting).

Your goal: turn a two-part non-sense expression into a popular saying, movie, song, etc.

Contrario is a game of synonyms and antonyms. Part of the challenge is that you never know which one they are going for.

The best way to explain the game is to give you a couple examples:

The clue – “cold coils”

You need to come up with a saying, movie, song, etc that involves synonyms and/or antonyms of “cold coils”.

“Cold” could mean chilly, freezing, frigid, etc OR warm, hot, burning, etc.

“Coils” could mean wraps, springs, etc.

Don’t worry, there are clues.

Clue 1 – “place”

Clue 2 – “geyser”

Did you get it?

The answer – “hot springs”

Here is another example without my ramblings:

The clue – “Life of a Clerk”

Clue 1
– “literature”

Clue 2 – “Arthur Miller”

The answer – “Death of a Salesman”

My significant other and I liked this game a lot. Sometimes we will abandon the scoring portion of the rules and just take turns reading the clues to one another. After hearing the answer to a clue you give up on, sometimes you'll say “of course!” Sometimes you'll admit “I was never going to get that!”

OZG Grown-up score: 8 points

One Zillion Games was provided with a review copy of Contrario from FoxMind Games. The fact that a sample copy was provided, in no way influences our opinions of the game.

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