rotating this into play is definitely worth doing and I highly recommend other groups to add it to their collection as well. Especially if you have funny personalities in your gaming group.
Publisher: Greater Than Games
Designer: Danielle Deley
Designer: Lindsey Sherwood
Designer: Nathan Thornton
Artist: Sarah Kelly
Game Type: Shifting Teams
Game Type: Party Game
Game Type: Word Association
Initial Year of Release: 2019
Age Range: 14+
Expected Playtime: 30-45
Number of Players: 2-8
Theme and What is it?
Medium is a word association party game where players attempt to get on the same wavelength as their neighbor. Players will attempt to become a psychic capable of using the game pieces to find the answer. It is all about getting to the same place rather than there being a right answer. It is a highly amusing filler that will bring players closer together as they learn how each of them think.
Two cards will be on the table and the players need to countdown and simultaneously say the same thing to score points. If they end up with different words, they will need to try to find the middle ground between those two new words. They get up to 3 total attempts but with progressively less rewards when they succeed. It is quite amusing when someone goes a TOTALLY different way than you expected them to go.
Each time I teach Medium to new players, they start with a little apprehension and confusion on what to do. It helps to encourage them to pick general words most of the time rather than very specific ones. Occasionally there is just a perfect specific link between the chosen words and you should definitely just go for it.
The example above was one of our absolute most memorable moments in our early plays. One of the players starts by choosing the word “white”. He was thinking there are a ton of objects, places, and things that could be linked with one other word and narrowed down with white. The other player examined his hand and started smiling very widely and drops “wizard”. The first player starts giggling. I now know he was giggling because he thought it was just way too easy of a combination. And now the second player starts to doubt they are on the same page because he didn’t find the medium combination to be that funny… To be continued in FUN FACTOR!
Game Build Quality
Medium consists of sets of word cards in groupings so you can make a reasonable set of combinations and know how many cards to include for the player count without physically counting. It has scoring tokens of 3 varieties with slight randomness to the score distribution on the other side to minimize the chance of ties. The box has excellent divider cards and is quite a nice size for fitting into gaps on my shelves while being portable to take to an event.
To be honest, Medium has a minimal amount of art. The box art is the same as the card backs. The word cards are simple functional layouts without unnecessary artistic decorations. I am quite happy with the way it looks on the shelves and table but there are not going to be any extreme fans specifically for the artwork. We come to Medium for the gameplay.
Back to my story from above. Remember the words “White” and “Wizard” and the reactions of the players to seeing the combination? The obvious answer to a group of gaming geeks like us was “Gandalf”. Or maybe “Saruman” since he was the original white wizard before Gandalf had his ascension experience with the Balrog. But no, they didn’t get confused on which wizard to guess… The second player assumed by the chuckle that Tim was going to go a rather darker route with his guess. So they ended up saying “Gandalf” and “KKK”. Wow. But man was it funny and very memorable. We have had many other pairings like this that have resulted in catch phrases like “why did Joe say Octopus!?”
Age Range & Weight
The BGG rating of 14+ seems totally unnecessary. The game is exactly what you make of it. It is all about shared knowledge, interests, and reading each other. I can see 8 year olds being able to play this with other 8 year olds and having a great time. But an adult with too young of a kid they don’t know well might end up with some goofy pairings.
Difficulty to learn? Negligible. You probably basically know everything expect minutia of setup and dealing cards just from reading about the gameplay.
Medium is going to be a regular guest on my gaming table when we have that 3-6 player count (8 might be too much downtime between turns for me) and need to kill 15 minutes or so with a bit of laughter. It wont see as much play as Just One for that same kind of experience. But rotating this into play is definitely worth doing and I highly recommend other groups to add it to their collection as well. Especially if you have funny personalities in your gaming group. If everyone is a themeless cardboard cutout of a gamer, it might not hit as well. Also, you probably need better friends if that is the case ;).
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