Truth be told,  there is only one honest player at a time in this zany game of pretend to know your friends. Designed for kids to adults, beginning at age 12, “Truth Be Told,”  is fun and insightful as players try to bluff their counterparts in answering questions.

Walking by Buffalo Games at the International Toy Fair, I was recruited to join a game of “Truth Be Told.” I was easily convinced since I am a fan of Buffalo Games, having used “The Last Word” with lots of children to build their vocabulary and categorization skills. Back home, I brought it out for some adult fun, gathering family who thought they knew each other. The appointed Host for the round chose a card and read the phrase to be completed such as “I procrastinate when it comes to_______.” The Host secretly wrote the true answer on her card, while other players wrote their bluffs and passed the cards in to be read by the Host. Some of our entries were, “everything”, “homework” and “vacuuming.” The giggles began as players enjoyed their entries, some with a shred of truth and some completely silly. After the Host read the answers, players voted for the true answer on their paddles. Flipping their paddles over, everyone revealed their guess. The Host read the truth and players received points for guessing the truth or fluffing their friends. Our rounds were the funniest when the question closely matched the Host, such as Lauren, a saver,  getting “I own five of______” as we’ve all participated in trying to get her to throw anything away.

We  agreed that writing on erasable paddles and cards made us feel like we were game show contestants! The best  endorsement is that when we finally had a winner with 15 points, another player said, “Are we done? I’m not done. I wanna play more.”

Lots of language is embedded in this game of bluff. Using the game with older children, they have to complete a sentence and give an answer that is credible and related to the player. When playing with children who are building their social language skills, you might read the question and then discuss the Host and their likes and dislikes so the other players can more easily come up with an answer. Or, relate the question to themselves such as “I think I would get the award for “The World’s Best________.” Using the cards informally and modifying the game can be helpful to kids who need more help brainstorming answers to these kinds of questions.

Sherry Artemenko, MA-CCC, is a speech-language pathologist with more than 35 years experience and founder of The opinions expressed in this review are solely those of the author. “Truth Be Told” was provided for review by Buffalo Games.