Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Half-Right: a new social game

A few weeks ago, in the brave land of maskless tabletop gaming, Fire Opal ran an eight-person playtest of a fun new card game. Everyone playing was meeting between one and six people for the first time, so as we ate pre-game tacos in my game-garage, introductions sparked in various pieces of the table while esoteric conversations built in others. I noticed that one particular conversation wasn't making sense to anyone else. I can't remember whether the participants were surprised that they were being obscure, or not, but I know I suddenly had the idea for a game we could play as we ate. 

Half-Right: Each player tries to come up with a question that they think half the people in the room will know the answer to, while the other half will have no idea or get it wrong. 

Normally you're counting yourself as one of the people who knows the answer, certainly that's how the two successful halvings played out in our game. I suppose that if you were hardcore you might be able to come up with a question that you don't know the answer to but that you suspect that half the room will know! 

Yes, it works better with an even number of players. I guess with an odd number you score a small win if half-rounded-down players know the answer and a big win with half-rounded-up. Better suggestions?

As the number of players grows, I suspect that getting close to half is worth some glory. In some groups, I imagine it's possible that no one will succeed, meaning getting close will be doing well. Obviously the game changes drastically the more people understand each other. It's not simple.

Our first game of Half-Right featured two successful interpretations of the group, a few near-misses, and a couple hilarious whiffs which no one but the questioner knew the answer to.

Follow-up: Now that I've typed it up, I'm aware that others must have invented/played this game before. It feels like something that could have been part of my social inheritance, but wasn't. Let me know if you have played the game before or if you find peoples who did. 

Also let me know which name you prefer, Half-Right or Half of Us. I've gone back and forth. 


  1. I think Half Right is a better name from a marketing perspective. To solve the odd/even problem, if the group # is even, the questioner counts as a "yes." If the group # is odd, the questioner doesn't count. That saves everyone from doing math.

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