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The Toy Man® News & Views
Product Reviews / Evaluation Report Summaries (ERS)

Induction Certificate Number:   74020100510-417
Induction Date:   May 10, 2010
Certificate License Status:   Active
Product:   Wits and Wagers - Family Edition
MSRP:   $19.99 USD
Company URL:  http://www.northstargames.com
Rating: 

Wits and Wagers - Family Edition

by:  Rev. James G.W. Fisher | The Toy Man® Product Guide - Editor / Product Evaluation Specialist
     
Evaluation Report Summary (ERS) Date:  05/10/2010

Wits & Wagers Family is a family-friendly version of the popular Wits & Wagers game you can win without knowing any trivia. Kid-friendly questions, easier rules, and no poker chips. Perfect game for all ages to play together! To play, every player writes down a guess to fun questions.

[ Please refer to A-2-Z Company Index for contact information.]






Product Type Release Year Primary Usage Target Age / Max. Weight Target Gender
Board Games - Family 2009 Consumer 7 years plus Female/Male


Evaluation Report Summary (ERS)
Category Rating Scores

Category rating scores are based on scale from 1 to 5. Rating score must be 3 or higher to pass in each evaluation category.


Creative Agenda Creative funQuotient™ Narrative Progression Response Level Skill Improvement Overall Visual Appeal
5 5 5 5 4 4

Final product / service rating is averaged from the sum total of ALL applicable evaluation category scores. Only scores of "3" or higher are published.

There are a total of 357 evaluation categories which are used in our evaluation process.
(NOTE: Not all categories are applicable to any one product or online service.)

Only 6 of the evaluation category rating scores for this New Inductee's evaluation are featured for public view.



Critical Evaluation Information

These icons represent important attributes with which this product / service is associated, contributes to, or encourages development of. Select any of the unique icons below to learn more about the specific attribute it represents.
                           





image of factory with ecological leaves symbol. Trade Industry Sales Types
Industry Memberships

Wholesale Retail Reseller Online 

 

 


Safety Guidelines Symbol ImageSafety / Quality Classifications
 
CE MarkedUL ApprovedJPMA Certified
(Not Applicable)(Not Applicable)
ASTM Complianteco-Friendlyeco-Conscious



CPSIATÜVEU
Independent Lab Tested  Independent Lab Name 

  Intertek
LeadSafe™ - Surface Coatings/PaintLeadSafe™ - Content / SubstratesPhthalatesSafe
  
BPASafeSoluble Heavy MetalsMechanical/Physical
Flammability - Solids/TextilesLabeling of Hazardous Art MaterialsiWatchDog™ Approved
(Complies with ICCS™ Certification Standards)



UPC Code / ISBN#Manufacturer SKUAge Grading
892884000500 NSG-150Labeled



Manufactured InSafety Hazard/Warnings
ChinaWARNING: CHOKING HAZARD - Small Parts | Designed for kids ages 8 and above.

 

Introducing Wits & Wagers Family

If you are looking for a party game that makes game play rock, "Wits & Wagers Family" delivers the fun and excitement you are looking for! "Wits & Wagers Family" is oriented in design more for family of course. The rules and scoring system are simple and families can develop competition while enlarging their knowledge base simultaneously..Just hope you are prepared for plenty of laughs!

One of the assets which make Wits & Wagers Family so special is how it brings a family together like never before. Members of all ages can be a part of the excitement with a learning curve that encompasses but a few short minutes! How is this accomplished you might ask? Read on in the product evaluation summary to discover the answer.



It's A Family Affair

As you will recall from the prior section, you are probably wondering how this game could be so simple and bring a family together and doing so while creating a plentiful level of levity. To answer that in short summary, Wits & Wagers Family can be played with 2 to 10 players with a very short learning curve. Each player reads the question on the first/top question card then writes their best guess on their answer board and places it on the table.

If a player thinks they have the guess answer that can't be beat, they can place a "Meeple" on their guess. In a sense, I guess you could say that Wits & Wagers Family is truly a family affair. (pun intended). To take this one step further and really pull the stops out, if a player thinks that another player may have a better guess answer than their own, they can place a "Meeple" on that players' card! If the answer is correct, then points are awarded. (The objective is to reach 15 points to win.)


Introducing "The Meeples"

"Wits & Wagers Family features 300+ family-friendly questions. To add a little spin on the game, it even includes some creatures called Meeples! What are Meeples? Meeples are some small human shaped wooden pieces that the players use to select which answers they think are correct.

According to Matt Mariani, one of the game gurus at North Star Games, 'Meeples have been a hallmark in European style strategy games for years, but this is the first time they have made an appearance in a party game.' The Meeples definitely create an entirely new dimension in playing Wits & Wagers Family."


While I could go into detail about many other facets of the game, I won't be doing so. There's plenty of info on the web site for North Star Games. What I will point out is that Wits & Wagers Family is one of the limited few products that are submitted each month which has made to the final phase of our evaluation process. It has been found to have what it takes to be approved to be entitled to use The Toy Man® Seal of Approval under our recently updated 2010 evaluation guidelines.

For those of you who were expecting more, don't despair, there is plenty more information to follow from our independent evaluators and the response from our spontaneous consumer hands on evaluation!



Independent Evaluator Reports


Obtaining An Independent Perspective...

In this section we will cover the game "Wits & Wagers Family" from the perspectives of qualified individuals in the specific field associated with the product being evaluated. To accomplish that task we have called upon the assistance of two top level industry professionals who know their stuff and have the credentials to prove it.

Our professional and independent evaluators have formed their own opinions from extensive analysis and produced detailed, in-depth reports connected with their study and evaluation of Wits & Wagers Family. The information to follow is comprised of excerpts from those same reports which have been paraphrased in order to encapsulate the primary points being conveyed in each report. This approach provides completely independent perspectives in the evaluation of Wits & Wagers Family.



PLEASE NOTE: The names of our independent evaluators are not disclosed to protect the privacy of these individuals upon their request. Their labors are provided at no charge to assist us in providing a well-balanced and qualified product evaluation summary. Their title is provided to clarify for our readers the specific type of specialist from which the information provided has been included in each product evaluation summary. All opinions and or statements from the independent evaluator(s) featured here do not represent the opinions or statements of The Toy Man® Product Guide, our staff, any other division of GreyWolf Corp, or GreyWolf Corp itself.



Educational Media Analyst


PRODUCT: Wits & Wagers Family

MEDIA PLATFORM: Family Oriented Board Game


"Wits & Wagers Family is an excellent tabletop game which capitalizes upon stirring emotions in its game play and pushes the players into developing greater creative strategies to improve and win. With tabletop games gaining rapid advancement in popularity today, taking command of the emotions of the players can literally make or break the potential success and popularity of a tabletop game".

"The game is designed much like another award winning product I evaluated some time back. The creative agenda of Wits & Wagers Family hosts a narrative which demonstrates recognition of the significance of experience, active thought processing, social interactions, and executive cognitive functioning in learning and entertainment combined. Having the the primary game components simplified and minimal in number rather than strewn across the tabletop, makes the game more centralized and focused."

"The players have a small footprint of an area of focus on the tabletop with the "game-in-the-box" design, which creates a domino effect of one process of cognitive functioning triggering another and that function into yet another. This once again ties back into the outstanding creative agenda and narrative progression"

"With this game, a multitude of skill development stimulation triggers are struck. This emboldens a strengthening in their comprehension of their game play making use of new and more diverse thinking processes, strategic planning and decision making processes."

"As is required to deliver a game design which draws the players back repeatedly for further competitive play, the creative agenda for a player with this game represents a clear cut exploration pattern of each and every facet of the game. The player's main enjoyment comes from the quality of the narrative produced as a result of the variety of task options, independent choice selection, and completions of tasks in the game play process.
"



Professor of Psychology BA, MA, & Ph.D. - Educational Theory Specialist

"The narrative progression for players with Wits & Wagers Family is quite simple, well established and encourages a steady level of growth in regard to cognitive development. The game employs the use of prompting features and criteria for completion of a goal through which assured progression and completion is achieved.

An image of the Wits & Wagers Family game score card.

"A very strong level of progressive strategy development occurs with short learning curve and time period for each game. Strong and varied stimulation of developmental skills is a primary part of the game. This is brought about through writing, grasping small objects, (Meeples), logical thought processing, social interaction with the other players, and sensory perception. As the skill development improves, this enable the player to have a smoother transition into the development of more difficult levels of strategies and planning in their narrative development."

"Wits & Wagers Family has a creative agenda of progression objectives which prompts the player to develop their own narrative in their exploration of the game. They will implement the use of the narrative to succeed in the goals they have set to fulfill which in their hopes will conclude the game with a win."




Consumer Hands-On Evaluation


Nothing is more powerful than hands-on experience by a consumer with a product when it is being evaluated. Based upon that fact we put every single product we evaluate at the mercy of consumers in a hands-on evaluation where anything goes. Shall we see how "Wits & Wagers Family" was seen with consumers?

Prospect Park - Brooklyn, NY - We decided to try a more unique location this time for our first consumer evaluation location to perform spontaneous evaluations of products. When we say spontaneous we are talking spontaneous! This means no prior notice, just show up, setup, pack-up and move on to the next location. From a personal standpoint, I wish our readers could have seen the look on subway riders faces as well as the taxi driver when we were riding the subway and using a taxi with a gang load of games, toys, and baby products!

Within minutes we had a number of people gathering to inquire what we were doing and how to participate. From that point on it was not like our usual controlled environment, it was a literal riot of kids and parents inquiring if the products were being given away along with the participants having a plethora of questions about the various products and how to use them.

Amidst this frenzy of excitement and noise, Wits & Wagers Family proved its popularity. There were so many products we brought yet Wits & Wagers Family was found to be one of the favorites in the game arena. An very unique fact to bring to point is that the standard Wits & Wagers game from which this one evolved, was pooling an equal volume of attention! (The original Wits & Wagers game was due for evaluation under our new evaluation standard so we chose to bring both.)

In our compilation of the consumer evaluation sheets, we discovered that only two of the people who played Wits & Wagers Family, also played the original Wits & Wagers. In the feedback portion the consumers specified their reasoning for the selection of each product they evaluate.


It turns out that it all consumers who chose the Wits & Wagers Family game, the reasoning was based upon, "The game seemed so easy to learn and play." or "The game looked like it will really be fun for our family." For the original Wits & Wagers game, some example of the reasoning were, "Anything game along the lines of gambling style games grabs my interest." or "Trivia and a casino type theme combined? I just had to play it!"


The Final Results

The final results from not just Prospect Park, but a variety of other locations in Queens and at a shopping mall in the Bronx, were undeniable validation of Wits & Wagers Family being one of the final few products which had what it takes to make it to the final stage of our evaluation procedures. The feedback forms from all locations provided a wealth of information of what our hands-on participants gained from playing Wits & Wagers Family. There were nothing but the very best of comments conveyed in the feedback forms. Wits & Wagers Family established a solid and productive response with our spontaneous hands-on consumer evaluation participants.


A Sampling Of Category Ratings


A small sampling of the individual category titles & rating scores from the complete product review itself for this product are featured here. The categories which have been selected to be featured in this product evaluation summary for public view, specify some of the primary points of how and why that specific rating score was reached.

  • If a product is inducted, a product evaluation summary of the complete review is published for public view.
  • When a score has been assigned to a category rating, it has been through a thorough validation process to ensure accuracy and no inflection of bias.
  • If a product scores an overall category evaluation rating average of [2] Two Stars or lower from the complete review results, it fails the evaluation and is not inducted.
  • Information for products which do not pass our evaluation is confidential and is shared only with the company submitting the product.


The Featured Category Ratings Sample for this Product Evaluation Summary are listed below.




CREATIVE AGENDA: Rating Level - [5] an image of 5 gold  stars

Creative Agenda, a vital factor in the evaluation of a good quality game; Wits & Wages Family has a bountiful share of it. As a matter of fact, Wits & Wages Family was one of the top 3 games in our evaluation. As expressed by one of the independent evaluators, "The game is designed much like another award winning product I evaluated some time back. The creative agenda of Wits & Wagers Family hosts a narrative which demonstrates recognition of the significance of experience, active thought processing, social interactions, and executive cognitive functioning in learning and entertainment combined."

To understand the full value of the Creative Agenda, the following information is a brief definition of what the Creative Agenda is. The Creative Agenda of a player represents what the player hopes to achieve by way of exploration in their game experience; in this case being applicable to Wits & Wages Family game (See RPGNet Wiki).

With Wits & Wagers Family, the player's main enjoyment comes from being challenged in a sense that they may win or lose. Despite the player having a desire to win, the factor if being able to possibly lose provides the element of challenge.


FUNFACTOR™: Rating Level - [5] an image of 5 gold  stars

Wits & Wages Family posed no challenge to establish an accurate measure of the FunFactor™ with Wits & Wages Family. In reviewing all of our video tapes of Wits & Wages Family during all phases of its evaluation, it was clearly demonstrated in multiple aspects of the level of FunFactor™ and excitement being in plentiful as well as one and the same, although excitement is defined as being static and short term whereas FunFactor™ tends to be a prolonged response with a player.

The design of Wits & Wages Family allows for strategy and FunFactor™ to co-exist, still retaining their full value in the game structure. This was an important factor in the final evaluation of the game. Wits & Wages Family stems through with a perfect score of [5] Stars in this category for FunFactor™.


NARRATIVE PROGRESSION: Rating Level - [5] an image of 5 gold  stars

Wits & Wages Family unexpectedly created a major shift in our evaluation procedures. We had some new independent evaluators recently came into our group who brought some very detailed suggestions for improvement in our evaluation categories. Narrative progression is but one of many new additions to our product evaluation categories and other areas.

Narrative progression is a vital part of the game play for a player. The narrative progression for a player with Wits & Wages Family provides and maintains the challenge of retaining the attention of the player throughout the game. A player will desire to come back for more upon completion of a game whether they win or lose.

Wits & Wages Family has unquestionably pulled the stops out and moves in smoothly with a perfect score of [5] Stars in this category for NARRATIVE PROGRESSION.


RESPONSE LEVEL: Rating Level - [5] an image of 5 gold  stars

In reviewing all segments of our evaluation process on videotapes, Wits & Wages Family did quite well when it comes to response level from the players. The game pulls a player completely into the game play and encourages social interaction. The players see Wits & Wages Family as a game which has enough challenge to draw them back for more while retaining more and more knowledge with each time they play.

With each game play of Wits & Wages Family, in our video tapes we found that every player was requite active in their response levels during each game. There was no hesitation by most and with many, there was significant growth in the level of response with each player with each game.

The strong response level of Wits & Wages Family also changes and creates a whole new experience for a player to enjoy and gain even further cognitive and critical skill development. Wits & Wages Family comes through the finish line with a perfect score of [5] Stars in this category for RESPONSE LEVEL.


SKILL IMPROVEMENT: Rating Level - [4] an image of 4 gold  stars

The level of skill improvement with a player with Wits & Wages Family well above average. When you factor in the entire content of this product evaluation summary, it is so simple to see why the level of skill improvement for Wits & Wages Family is so strong. Wits & Wages Family play a vital part in a child's' skill development which is unquestionably well above average. Wits & Wages Family crashes through the doors falling short of a perfect score by a single digit with a score of [4] Stars in this category for SKILL IMPROVEMENT.


VISUAL APPEAL: Rating Level - [4] an image of 4 gold  stars

The visual appeal for Wits & Wages Family was impressive yet just not enough to grab the brass ring. The packaging itself is well above average in visual appeal yet the contents borderline average. Wits & Wages Family still managed to knock the walls down with a score of [4] Stars which was well above average and just a single digit short of a perfect score in this evaluation category for VISUAL APPEAL.






EVALUATION RESULTS - From evaluation for induction into "The Toy Man® News & Reviews"
       
    Overall Rating:   5
     
    Seal of Approval:  
     
    Recommends Award:  
       
       
    eco-Recognition™ Seal:  
     
    Award of Excellence:  
     
    eChoice™ Award:  
       
       
    S. T. E. M. Award:   
     
    Mom Approved Award:  
     
    Award of Recognition:™  
       



THE TOY MAN® SEAL OF APPROVAL

"The first and original Seal of Approval®...
designed for product recognition and validation."


Since 1971 The Toy Man® Seal of Approval has served as an emblem of professional recognition for a 
product or service having met the strict evaluation standards of The Toy Man® Product Guide. Since 1971, "The Toy Man® Seal of Approval" has served as an emblem and standard for professional recognition of a product or online service having met the globally recognized evaluation standards of The Toy Man® Product Guide.

This emblem was first established in 1971 by the International Parenting Institute™. It is modeled after the "Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval®", an emblem of recognition for products which meet the globally recognized high standards set forth by the Good Housekeeping Institute®.





THE TOY MAN® AWARDS

"These are globally recognized awards that are received by a limited few,
yet they provide the well earned recognition well beyond the average that is truly deserved!"

"The Toy Man® Award of Excellence" is awarded to inductees that have an overall Evaluation Category Rating Average, ECRA™, of [5] Stars. That is the highest level of rating available on a 1-5 scale evaluation model. The ECRA is based upon the overall average from all applicable evaluation categories"
PLEASE NOTE: There are a total of 357 evaluation categories with a minimum of 231 being applicable to any one product or online service in our evaluation process with 6 being featured in the Evaluation Report Summary, ERS.


The Toy Man® eChoice™ Award, by Rev. James
G.W. Fisher, (Chief editor and Product Evaluation Specialist of The Toy Man® Product Guide), and staff.  
These products have demonstrated that they possess the potential as well as high probability to be top sellers.
The Toy Man ®An image of the editorsChoice logo Award serves as an emblem of recognition for products & online services that contribute substantially to positive skill growth and/or productivity.

This distinguished award is exclusive as well as unique, with the editor's signature which represents a product being selected as an An image of the editorsChoice logo
PLEASE NOTE: The eChoice™ Award images which were used from 1971-1984, 1984-2007 and 2007-April 2010 have been retrired. Although the versions of the eChoice™ Award have been retired, they still remain valid.
 


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