By Patricia Hall, Fairfax Family Fun
There are games of strategy, games of chance, games specific to a character a movie… and then there are games that are just plain fun. If you’re looking for a great gift this holiday season or just a fun activity for when family and friends gather, take a look at the Hedbanz™ Electronic game. This is the fast-paced, team-based electronic version of the quick-question game of “what am I?”
You may already be familiar with the traditional Hedbanz™ game: each player wears a headband (hence the name) with a slot in it to place a card, then tries to figure out what is on the card selected. The image on the card is visible only to other players who then provide you with hints to help you figure out, within a set time, what you are.
Hedbanz™ Electronic, from the same manufacturer (SpinMaster) makes it easier to play the game with a device that tracks the time and the score, so you don’t have to. Setting up the game and playing it are very easy: players put on a headband and grab a picture card. Then, with the picture card in his or her headband, the player quickly asks questions to figure out what is on it, then asking more follow up questions, for example: “Am I food?” “Am I a vegetable?” “Am I ketchup?”
There are three ways to play: Ask It, when the person wearing the headband asks “yes or no” questions to figure out what’s on the card: Describe It, when your teammates provide clues without actually stating what you are; and Do It, when your teammates act out what you are. The game unit’s “Electronic Host” determines which game mode you play in a particular round: Ask It, Do It, or Describe It. The Host also directs the game, tracks time, and keeps score, so all you have to do is play and enjoy the game.
I received a Hedbanz™Electronic game to test out, and I thought Thanksgiving would be a great time to do so, since we were having friends over. One of our guests is a young girl who loves to play these types of guessing games, so I figured she would love it, and I was right! What I had not anticipated was watching how much fun other guests, even the ones who were not playing, would have watching the descriptions and actions we came up with (it makes for a neat gift).
The game is for ages seven and up and requires just two players, but with more persons playing, it gave us a chance to play in teams, which made it more fun. The game, in fact, has two modes: Team Party, where you try to guess what’s on your card with the help of teammates, and Classic Hedbanz™ , where the first player with the most correctly guessed cards after three rounds of play wins.
We went with the Team Party mode, with adults and kids in each group. The kids originally wanted to make it children versus adults, but soon realized that the grown-ups had an advantage: with a greater vocabulary and life experience, it was easier and faster for us to be able to describe things, for example. The kids then decided that a mixed group of young and old worked best, and I agree, so this is a fun way to involve the whole family. The game’s electronic host randomly chooses the mode of play (Ask It, Describe It, or Do It) so the unpredictability makes it more fun, especially when you have to act out the word (like charades) with very limited time. This is the part where the game is not just fun, but funny. Hedbanz™ Electronic consists of two adjustable plastic headbands, 80 cards, and the storage case.
The fast-paced action means that you can go through the deck of cards quickly, especially if you have a larger group, so it doesn’t take too long to play (on the down side, you may not want to repeat use of the cards right away with the same people, since you’ll already have an idea of what the cards have). The pictures on the cards themselves fall into three categories: jobs, animals, and things. All are basic enough (hammer, flower, glasses, gorilla, clown, dentist, and chicken, for example) that young kids won’t have to struggle to describe them.
A nice plus about this game is that not only does it make for a fun time, but it’s good practice for kids on how to be descriptive or to look at things in a new light — and even to see how they picture the world themselves. Finding ways to say something without really saying it was a fun challenge at times. Even seeing people get “stuck” on things that seem easy to figure out provided for some humorous moments.
The storage unit that has the electronic host not only keeps all the game pieces in one compact place but becomes a handy carrying case. When you have all the cards inside, you put the headbands around the unit before closing it, and then headbands at the top become a handle. Ready to play? See our game tips below!
Hedbanz™ Electronic playing and usage tips:
- Make sure you have batteries! The game uses 3 AAA batteries, and while many games these days come with temporary batteries already installed, they are not included in Hedbanz™.
- If playing in Team Party mode, have your teams ready before hitting the start button: once the game starts, it moves quickly!
- Because there are only two headbands, if your team has adults and kids and you’ll be sharing the headband, you will need to adjust it in a way that suits both well; it’s best to do this before the game starts.
- Remember to always put the card with the picture facing out so others can see it!
- It may take a little experimenting to figure out the best setting on the headbands so that they fit snugly around the case and it still closes. Once you determine this, mark the tab with a permanent marker so you can put the headbands away more quickly next time.
- The case locks tightly, which is great so you don’t lose the cards, but it may be a bit tough for small hands to open. Look closely in the front of the item (on both sides) or the tiny tabs just below where the top and bottom pieces touch: pushing those in will help the top part pop up. We also found that when the headbands are on the case, you also can tug on them gently and that helps loosen up the case.
- Hedbanz™Electronic retails for around $20 or less and you can buy it on Amazon.
- This is a great game not just to play but to bring to family gatherings for the holidays!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.