I must admit, when I heard that the groundbreaking game designer, Matt Leacock (yes, that Matt Leacock- the man behind Pandemic and Forbidden Island) was coming out with a new game, I got excited. Okay, very excited. And then when I heard that the game was based around the theme of knitting, I thought- eeeeeeh? But, not being one to prejudge a game based on it’s theme (okay, maybe just a little bit, I am human, after all) I decided to try it out, so I present to you, dear readers, Knit Wit, a word game for 2-8 players.
The way Knit Wit is played really couldn’t be any simpler. There are three scant phases to this game: Knit, Answer, and Score. At the beginning of Knit, each player will be given a number of spools and accompanying clips of string (the amount they are given depends on the number of players.) On their turn, a player will loop their loop around a spool that is already on the table, clip a word into the clip attached to their spool, and then add their own spool inside any empty, spool-less loop. If the place they select is actually in multiple loops (like the intersection of some sort of string-based Venn diagram) then that is fine- so long as it is the only spool in that space. Once all players are out of spools and loops, bingo, the Knit section is done.
You may have noticed that each spool has a number- these become important during the Answer phase. Each player has a score sheet with these numbers in a list form. Individually and at the same time, players will have to come up with an answer for each spool. For instance, if spool #1 is in the middle of three loops, each with a word attached to it, the answer must be all of those three things. In this instance, if spool #1 has the words blue, sharp, and slow, your answer for #1 on your list must be something that is blue, sharp, and slow. You can take your time answering, but there is a reward for finishing before your competitors. In the middle of the table is a stack of up to four large buttons (again, depending on the number of players), each with a certain number of holes (1-4). These buttons are stacked in ascending order. When a player finishes their list, they get to snatch up the button on the top of the stack. Once the last button is taken, anyone not done must leave their remaining numbers blank and the Answer phase is complete
Last, but not least is the Score phase. As a group, you will go through your answers for each number on your list, keeping in mind three things. First, any players who have the same answer for a number receive no points for their answer. That’s right, originality counts! Second, if a player doesn’t like the sound of someone’s answer (ie, they are distinctly full of it) they get to announce “Knit Wit!” After ten seconds of explanation by the player in question, the table then takes a vote as to whether the answer will be accepted (with ties going to the defending player.) Lastly, each numbered spool is worth an amount of points equal to the amount of words attached to it. So the more difficult a number is to answer, the more points it will be worth- if you can pull it off without sounding like a “Knit Wit”. Total up these points (along with bonus points equal to the number of holes in that button you grabbed) and whomever has the most points wins! Simple as that!
I will gladly confess that I was pleasantly surprised by Knit Wit. Playing this game with creative people is a blast- you’ll soon be laughing over the ridiculous answers you give- and most importantly, as soon as it’s done, you’ll immediately want to play it again. And since games are rather short, you’ll end up playing several in the evening, marveling at the strange places your brain will go when trying to think of something that is sticky, floats, long, flammable, and opaque (for instance.) And then if you can convince your fellow players that your ridiculous answer is acceptable you will cheer with glee. If I had a piece of advice, it would be this: when trying to bring this game to the table, don’t start with “so, it’s a game about knitting…” because 1) you’ll turn off some player immediately, and 2) this game is only very loosely based on a theme of knitting. But even so, it’s a unique concept for a party game and once again, and most importantly: you’ll immediately want to play it again. (Yes, it’s so important, I said it twice.) And honestly, is there any better testimonial for a game than that? So with a table in front of us piled with string, spools and buttons, A Space Ahead heartily recommends Knit Wit. Definitely get your hands on this game, dear readers- it is a fantastic example of a party game to add to your collection.