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Melissa’s Game Night: Kwizniac Trivia Countdown Game

January 15, 2013

Welcome to the second installment of “Melissa’s Game Night,” the blog post series where I fill you in on the behind-the-scenes product testing I conduct on new uncommon games. Basically, I force all of my friends to play games with me, then I write about it.

This time around, we played Kwizniac, “The Trivia Countdown Game.”

Kwizniac is the kind of game that is the perfect time-filler. As people trickled in for the game get-together (I have some punctual friends, and some not-so-punctual friends) I had the box sitting on top of my counter. I was whipping up some dinner for everyone–boiling pasta, and heating up canned pasta sauce. I know, I’m a culinary genius–and people kept grabbing cards out of the deck, reading through them, chuckling, and then reading out the clues to me and the others while I “cooked.” This informal play was just as much fun as when I got the whole group to sit down with their dinners and we actually played the game for real.

The way the game works is simple. There’s “a set of 10 clues provided in decreasing order of difficulty, where each clue is easier to decipher than the previous clue in the sequence.”

The scoring system is also easy to follow. If you guess the answer on the first clue that is read you get 10 points, and “the number of points a player receives for a correct answer decreases as he or she progresses through the sequence of clues. The player with the highest score wins the game.” To be honest, though, I have never even paid attention to the score while playing the game – what’s great about Kwizniac is that the score isn’t really necessary or isn’t even the most fun part of the game. It’s highly interactive, and seems to spiral off into fun conversational tangents every time I play. It’s the kind of thing that you can pick up and read through only one card and it still has that moment of competitive trivia fun, or play for an entire span of time. You can use it for a true game night with a bunch of friends, as a conversation starter among two friends or on a date, or as a fun moment of learning alone. (Yes I have done all 3, don’t judge.)

The variety of clues is also great. There were a bunch of clues about everyday objects and creatures that were great in the “wow, I had no idea!” kind of way (i.e. Did you know that giraffes have the highest blood pressure of any animal? Or that garlic belongs to the onion family?), and then clues that are a little harder to capture at first but become obvious as you go through. For example, for Barbie, the first clue is “She made her debut in 1959” (no idea), the 5th clue is “She has over 40 pets, including a horse named Dancer” (still fairly open), the 3rd is “Every second, two of her are sold somewhere in the world” (getting warmer), the 2nd is “Her boyfriend’s name is Ken” (got it!), and the last is “If she was a real person her measurements would be 36-18-38” (yikes).

I love this deck. We had a ball at game night, and my copy of Kwizniac now lives next to my couch, where houseguests pick it up all the time and flip through it. It’s a fun, easy piece to keep around – perfect for kids and adults alike. Kwizniac is destined to teach you something new!

Thanks for joining me for Game Night. See you next time!
Melissa

P.s. Our community moderator just told me that she should have read through and memorized all of these before she tried out for Jeopardy! recently. I agree.

*Editor’s Note: The quiz game fun doesn’t have to come to an end after the first deck. Kwizniac 2nd Edition is also available, so your friends can guess the answers to those countdown clues for many game nights to come! And, there’s a version for younger trivia fans, too: Kwizniac Kidz!

Gift Guides

A Guide to our Holiday Gift Guides

December 12, 2012


Every year UncommonGoods celebrates those who dance to the beat of their own drum by offering gifts for every kind of personality and hobbyist. This December, Cassie and I wanted to sing our praise to some of the great people on your list with some gift guides with personality if their own. Whether your list contains a toddling physicist, a Pinaholic, or a set of saccharine smoochers, you’re bound to find something for someone in our guides.

The Urban Lumberjack may reside in the city–a forest of concrete and steel–but that doesn’t stop him from embracing his manliness. He’s ruggedly handsome; sophisticated, yet street smart; and stylish in a down-to-earth fashion… see more.

Born with fervent curiosity, the Tiny Scientist is determined to figure out the workings of the world. Always asking how and why, their research never ceases… see more.

Even the most persistent pinner needs a break from taste-making during the holiday season. Help her take a load off by presenting her with one of these pinworthy products perfect for the Pinterest Addictsee more.

There’s no cure for The Runaway’s serious case of wanderlust. No matter how many roads they trek, sights they see, and adventures they embark upon, their craving to see lands unknown cannot be sated… see more.

The Earth Mama is a special lady. She’s in touch with her surroundings. She’s down with nature–whether it’s the wind, grass, and trees encapsulating her country hideaway, or the energy of the bustling city streets and other people, all sharing the planet and working with one another… see more.

When they look at each other, they still get butterflies. Here are a few gifts that the Smitten Couple is sure to love… see more.

Even the most complex cocktail is no match for The Mixologist. Armed with a bottle of booze, ice, and a splash of soda, this brave bartender helps you battle thirst, then celebrates your victory with a toast… see more.

To Gadgeteers, lovers of techie toys, the latest gizmo is one part puzzle and one part solution.Unfortunately for eager gifters, the die-hard tech-thusiast often already owns the latest and greatest big-ticket electronic item before the holiday season even starts downloading… see more.

Some call them the literati, bibliophiles, or even book worms. But, they’re not so concerned about those titles, because they’d rather be browsing the shelves for titles from their favorite authors. They are the Book Lovers, and here are some gifts that are sure to read well with them this holiday season… see more.

There hasn’t been a holiday for which she couldn’t plan the perfect party. And, showers–bridal or baby–she’s ready with cute games and an even cuter cake. She is the Eternal Hostesssee more.

Some cyclists consider themselves two-wheel commuters. They’d rather hop on a bike to get to work than worry about getting stuck in traffic or dealing with packed public transportation… see more.

There’s a certain breed of music lover who, when given the choice, always takes the slightly gritty sound of vinyl on a turntable over a digitally remastered CD or a quick-and-clean download. For the record, one of these gifts for Vinylphiles might just be the chart-topper they’re looking for… see more.

It’s more than an oversized sock tacked to the mantle. It’s a welcome sign for Santa, a reminder to be nice (it’s very hard to get coal stains out of those toes, you know), and a boot-shaped goody bag on Christmas morning. Stocking Stuffers are special, too… see more.

Gift Guides

Uncommon Gifts for the Gadgeteer

December 7, 2012

To lovers of techie toys, the latest gizmo is one part puzzle and one part solution. The thought of figuring out its new features and functions fills them with happiness, and the notion that mastering its mysteries might lead to an easier existence keeps them on the hunt for the next incredible invention. Sure, some folks don’t understand their obsession with digital devices; but when called a geek, these collectors of computerized contraptions just smile proudly and say “thank you.” Unfortunately for eager gifters, the die-hard tech-thusiast often already owns the latest and greatest big-ticket electronic item before the holiday season even starts downloading. But never fear, our uncommon gift guide features iThing accessories, new takes on old favorites, and unexpected innovations sure to get your gadgeteer powered up.


Nerd Herder Gadget Wallet / New Decider Watch / Computer iPhone Art Case / USB Typewriter / Silver USB Cufflinks / Portable Magnetic Speaker / Stop Motion Camera / ReFleece iPad Sleeve

Gift Guides

Uncommon Gifts for The Runaway

December 5, 2012

There’s no cure for The Runaway’s serious case of wanderlust. No matter how many roads they trek, sights they see, and adventures they embark upon, their craving to see lands unknown cannot be sated. With a longing to observe the places, meet the people, and delight in the nuances of the world, this curious voyager is happiest when discovering a new destination. Given the joy they take from the journey, we can’t guarantee they’ll be home for the holidays; but we do have a good feeling they’ll love these travel-inspired gifts.

Single Wine Tote–Regions / QR Code Luggage Tag / Buildings–Denise Fiedler–Eiffel Tower / Places in America–Oliver Jeffers / Crumpled City Map / San Francisco Neighborhood Map Wooden Routing / Portable iPhone Charger / Scratch Travel Journal

Gift Guides

Uncommon Gifts for The Mixologist

December 3, 2012

Even the most complex cocktail is no match for The Mixologist. Armed with a bottle of booze, ice, and a splash of soda, this brave bartender helps you battle thirst, then celebrate your victory with a toast. With a penchant for the perfect pour and a reputation for really shaking things up, a true mix master may have enough swizzle sticks and tiny umbrellas to get through last call, but they’re always in the mood for new drink-worthy designs. These giftable goods are perfect companions to their well-crafted concoctions, so why not give one a shot?


The 7 Deadly Sins Glasses / Bar10der / Wood Bow Tie / Lemon Press Squeezer / Splash Martini Glasses / Himalayan Salt Tequila Glasses / Molecular Mixology Kit–Mojito / Cocktail Dice with Shaker

Gift Guides

Uncommon Gifts for the Eternal Hostess

November 30, 2012

Her home is always immaculate; her fridge, fully stocked. She’s prepared for out-of-town guests, visiting neighbors, and no-notice pop-ins. There hasn’t been a holiday for which she couldn’t plan the perfect party. And, showers–bridal or baby–she’s ready with cute games and an even cuter cake. She is the Eternal Hostess. She may not need much, but she’s always looking for that extra special something to add just the right touch to any get-together. This holiday season, show her that you appreciate her hospitality with one of these handsome housewares that she’ll be proud to display at her next shindig.

Wine Pairing Towel Set / Aerating Wine Glasses / Recycled Windowpane Candle Holders / Place Card Stamp / Teardrop Serving Boards / Holiday Wine Box / Bird Project Soap / Upcycled Music Score Ornaments

Gift Guides

Uncommon Gifts for the Pinterest Addict

November 28, 2012

She knows her way around the craft store and will try any slow cooker recipe at least once. She’s quick to reuse scraps of fabric, empty mason jars, and even old cardboard boxes. She’s got a new quote daily, which is perfect, because those canvases and sticky letters aren’t going going to put themselves together to create inspirational wall art. She’s the queen of the color palette. The creator of copious cupcakes. The steward of style. Now, thanks to Pinterest, all her DIY dreams are just a click away. But, even the most persistent pinner needs a break during the holiday season. Help her take a load off by presenting her with one of these pinworthy products perfect for the Pinterest Addict.

Instrumental Lighting–Trumpet / Upcycled Sweater Moose Head / Hattie Apron / State Table / Instabook / Felt Animal Kits / Upcycled Sari Clutch / Cake Pops Stand / Flavor Infuser Water Bottle


And while you’re pining for pin-ables, don’t forget to stop by our Pin the Halls Holiday Pinterest Contest for a chance to win a $250 UncommonGoods shopping spree.

Gift Guides

Uncommon Gifts for the Tiny Scientist

November 26, 2012

Born with fervent curiosity, the Tiny Scientist is determined to figure out the workings of the world. Always asking how and why, their research never ceases. They take things apart and put them back together. They never pass up the opportunity to give their imagination a workout. And even at a young age, they know the answers are out there, it’s just a matter of looking in the right places. Maybe baby genius is still too small for that first chemistry set or microscope, or maybe his or her trusty tools have already aided in excellent experimentation. Whether their learning journey is just beginning, or they’re well on their way to making a major scientific discovery, we hypothesize that one of these gifts for little lab lovers will be a periodically enjoyed element in their personal collection.


Kids Galileo T-Shirt / Periodic Table Building Blocks / Plush Organs / Geek Belt Buckle / Acute Angle Bib / Charles Darwin Decorative Iconic Caricature Pillow / Lab Test Game / Elements Puzzle

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