Anomia — Not Just Another Word Game



Anomia is defined roughly as a neurological condition that impairs one’s ability to name persons and objects.  The game Anomia, on the other hand, is defined as a fast-paced card game in which players race to give specific examples of the person, place, or thing suggested on a card.

As Anomia game inventor Andrew Innes says, “Regardless of age or education level, we’re all united in knowing that our brains will betray us under pressure.”  Anomia is an easy game to learn, but definitely not so easy to win.  When we played the game, I found that the suspense created by the game mechanics made it way more difficult than I had expected to blurt out a correct answer — and all too easy to mess up! (I lost, by the way.  So much for my vocabulary skills.)

The game contains two decks of 92 unique playing cards, each with a symbol (there are 8 different symbols in all, and they’re important.  Read on) and a word or phrase.  Players turn up cards, one at a time, onto their individual play piles.  If the symbol on the card matches that on the top of any other player’s play pile, a face-off ensues, with each player racing to name an example of the thing suggested by his opponent’s card.  Wild cards, cascading face-offs, and other rule variations add up to a great social game playable in — at most — a 30-minute time span.  Our games took an average of 15 minutes start to finish.

There’s a rule variation for as few as three players that involves removing some cards — two of the eight “suits”, say — from the deck, so that play will move more quickly.  With six players, the symbol matches come fast and furious!  Anomia is suggested for ages 10 and up, largely because of the vocabulary level, I expect — phrases such as “fairy tale character”, “magician”, and “shampoo brand” — so children as young as eight with strong reading skills would probably do just fine.  Your mileage may vary, as they say.  In stock now.  Anomia CAD$19.99


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