Loaded Questions is a question-based card game from All Things Equal publishing. The game was created by Eric Poses for 3 to 6 players. It is possible, though not recommended, to play with larger groups. I’ll discuss later why I recommend limiting the number of competitors.
In my mind, Loaded Question is one of the underrated games on the market. Not only does it provide a lot of laughs, but you actually learn something about people you might not otherwise know. For instance, when we had the question “Who was your favorite comic book character in childhood?”, most of the group gave wildly different answers than expected.
One friend of ours who will not shut up about Superman and Batman and even the Doom Patrol replied with Ghost Rider, whom he’s never mentioned. Remember, it’s about our favorite childhood superhero. My answer was similar. I’ve always been a fan of the Legion of Superheroes, Superman, and Thor, but my favorite character in childhood was Green Lantern–he could do anything. Go figure.
I’m getting a bit ahead of myself, though. Let’s get back to basics.
Loaded Questions lets you test your knowlege of other players. One player is the judge each round. Everyone else answers a question truthfully. The answer can be slightly vague or deceptive, but it should contain the truth. I have a friend whose daughters like to give nonsense or silly answers and it drives their father crazy. It’s caused several spats, and he’ll say “This isn’t Vietnam. There are rules here.” Needless to say, the game works best if people provide truthful answers, and it could be considered cheating if you don’t. The truth is surprising enough.
The rules are quite simple. In the instructions, they say it takes about 3 minutes to learn to play. In my experience, children as young as 8 can play, though they might need some prompting or explanations with questions involving certain subjects.
At the start of each round, one player is the judge. They roll the die and move their game piece that many tiles. Depending on where it lands, they ask one of four different questions (based on category). The other players answer the question truthfully by writing on a Loaded Questions answer sheet, then turn in their answers to the person on the right of the judge. This player reads off the answers in random order. The judge often jots down a bit of the answer for memory purposes (to match them later), and then matches each player with an answer.
For each correct or matching answer, the judge is able to move their game piece ahead 1 square. The player whose answer was correctly chosen also moves ahead one spot.
Reversal is played if a player lands on one of the reversal spaces on the board. In this case, the judge jots down their answer. The players jot down what they think the judge will answer. For each correct answer, the player moves ahead two spaces. The judge moves ahead 2x the number of correct answers.
Winning the Game
To win, a player must reach the “WIN!” space and then correctly match an answer to everyone at the table. If you have 3 opponents, you must correctly match all 3 during one answer phase. This is one of the reasons it’s best not to have more than 6 players, because you otherwise are unlikely to ever determine a winner. Gameplay dictates a smaller number, too.
Too Many Players
I have played Loaded Questions at family reunions which have inluded as many as 10 players. This is not recommended, because it slows down the game to a crawl. I’ve played 2 and 1/2 hours to 3 hours and no one got near the end. In that setting, the game becomes a bit oppressive, in my view. You’ll wait an hour for your turn, as each judge jots down 9 different answers and tries to match them all each round. This also makes it much less likely to match players correctly.
Loaded Questions is a fun game. What you learn about the others at the table can be insightful. Also, the unintentional humor factor is high. We still laugh at my brother-in-law’s answer to, “What would you do if you had 24 hours to live?” While everyone else talked of getting right with God or engaging in hedonism, his answer was “Drive to West Texas”, presumably to escape a nuclear holocaust. When asked what name he would have if he could rename himself, his serious answer was “Shazam”, because he thought it was cool.
That should give insight into the humor factor. Answer truthfully and those are fun moments. Let the game come to you, because the fake answers are annoying and kind of ruin the game. Loaded Questions has provided more fun at family reunions than any other game we’ve played, which is why I say this oft-overlooked game is underrated.