You’ve Been Sentenced!: Country Music Edition
A while back I reviewed “You’ve Been Sentenced!” and praised it for its educational value. To paraphrase, we all thought it was “good, educational fun.” As a thank you from McNeill Designs, I received six expansion packs that add more vocabulary and content to the base game (which we also got a kick out of).
You can find the articles I wrote covering the base game and its expansions by clicking on the following links:
Today, I had the unexpected pleasure of receiving their latest game, “You’ve Been Sentenced!: Country Music Edition.” Once again, I’d like to thank Donald McNeill, the CEO of McNeill Designs, for sending me a free copy. Since this edition plays the same way as the base game, I’ll forgo the usual review format and just hi-lite the essentials. For those of you new to the game, I recommend that you read the review of the base game first, which I linked above.
*Editor’s Note: I found this game to be perfectly playable with only two players, especially if the focus is educational. For obvious reasons, players should endeavour to remain honest when judging their opponent’s sentences.
Like the base game, there are a total of 540 cards that will test your sentence structure skills. Your goal remains the same: score as many points as you can by forming grammatically correct sentences with some or all of the ten cards that you’ll draw every round. A sand timer is available to keep things moving and your peers will be the judge of the sentences you throw together, so be ready to attack or defend a questionable sentence when appropriate.
“You’ve Been Sentenced!: Country Music Edition” addresses some complaints I had about the base game. The box insert is designed to hold the pencil better so that it doesn’t mark up the cards and the scorecard is much simpler. The scorecard in the base game was a bit convoluted, so I’m glad to see that they opted for just a name and points column approach.
The cards themselves provide a nice mix of common parts of speech and words that relate to the Country music genre. Players will see everything from limos, square dancing, and bucking broncos to John Denver, Randy Travis, and Dolly Parton. A number of variants exist to keep the game exciting and add-on decks can be included to mix up the vocabulary. You’ll find these variants in the manual, but you’re free to come up with your own.
The kids and I opted to play the casual variant, which is the standard game minus the sand timer. Since there are wide gaps in the ages involved (11, 16, and Great Pyramid of Giza ancient), not being pressured by time served to keep things light and non-competitive. Vinnie (11) and Anthony (16) seemed to have just as much fun with this version as with the base game. While none of us are Country music fans, we didn’t have to be in order to play and enjoy the experience of throwing words together into crazy, off the wall sentences that barely made sense.
The question remains, should you pick this product up?
For those of you new to the game, this edition can serve to replace the base game as it includes the same number of cards. It has enough of the common parts of speech to be viable as a stand-alone product. Choosing this over the base game will simply be a matter of preference. Do you want a broader range of vocabulary (base game) or do you want words that are focused on the Country music genre? Either way, it’s a win-win scenario.
For those of you who already own the base game and/or some of the expansion packs, it will honestly come down to how much you’re willing to spend in terms of money to include Country music terms into your play sessions. Some people can afford to drop $29.95 (as of 11/13/12) on a whim and others can’t. For those of you who can, you’ll be pleased to know that you can mix and match all of the products together to further customize your gaming experience.
The bottom line is that “You’ve Been Sentenced!: Country Music Edition” is a welcome addition to the “You’ve Been Sentenced!” family. It promotes learning both in and out of the classroom and has a knack in keeping the imagination active. Young minds will enjoy creating silly sentences and us older folk will secretly love the fact that we have very little to do in terms of refereeing. Newbies and “You’ve Been Sentenced!” vets alike will enjoy this edition, especially if Country music is the main course on your MP3 player.
Final Verdict: 8/10
You can learn more about and purchase the game by visiting the following website: