REVIEW – Wise and Otherwise

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Wise and OtherwiseName: Wise and Otherwise
Type: Party game, word game
Players: 3-6
Best with: 5 +
Length of Playtime: 45 minutes


Give It to Me Quick: Wise and Otherwise is similar to and more cerebral than Balderdash. You will finish proverbs, and try to get others to pick yours over the actual one. Great with large and medium party groups.

Large amount of cards included. We aren't close to running out after 25+ games.

Simple concept, simple setup

Gameplay Summary

Wise and Otherwise is a game somewhat in the vein of Balderdash where players try to fool others as to what the “correct” answer is with their own clever response. In this case, players will be provided the beginning phrase of a proverb or saying, and asked to complete it.

The first player will take a card from the deck and read the beginning of the first proverb. An example might be:

There is an old Egyptian proverb that states, “A man who has ten friends will…”

Each player then completes the proverb on their provided sheet of paper with their name and returns it to the reader. The reader for that round copies the complete proverb on the back of the card and mixes it in with the rest. After numbering the responses and reviewing what they are about to read to get all the laughter out of the way beforehand (good luck), the completed proverbs are read to the group.

Each player votes for which answer they feel is the actual proverb. Points are awarded to players who fooled others into picking their answer, and to the reader if players did not pick the correct answer.

After the first proverb is complete, the reader rotates to the next player. The first player to move to the end of the twenty space board wins.


How creative can you be?


How many players is it best with?

For a more entertaining game, it’s best to have at least five players. The board comes with 6 pawns, but we have often added other markers to allow more players in. We’ve played with ten before, which starts to get a little out of control because it takes so long to read but is still a blast. 5-8 players or teams is the sweet spot for us.

They aren't all Twain-level.
They aren’t all Twain-level.

Our Positives

Wise and Otherwise is a great, somewhat more cerebral version of Balderdash that allows each player to flex their inner prose/poetry ability. It’s also not so bookish that someone turned off by fancy phrasing would be left behind, because some of the actual proverbs are surprisingly simple and to the point.

With a good mix of players and perspectives, you’ll get a big range of completed proverbs, ranging from Confucius worthy to a simple phrase that fools everyone. If you can’t think of anything, you can also create something ridiculous to make it impossible for the reader to read without laughing. We’ve had a lot of fun playing this in several different family or friends groups, including several international groups. The proverbs come from cultures all over the world, and are often interesting and spark further conversation.

Of all of our party games, we have probably played Wise and Otherwise the most. It’s always a fun game to play through. We still have a collection of all the completed proverbs through 35 or so games. It’s fun to remember some of the ridiculous things that people have come up with.


Part of our stack. You'll remember each of these games when you look at them again.

Part of our stack. You’ll remember each of these games when you look at them again!


Our Negatives

The game can sometimes lend itself to players taking long turns while trying to think of something witty, slowing gameplay down.

There’s always that one linguist who demands “There is no way that is a proverb!?”








35_party for a Party Yes, though you can’t shut your brain off for this.
casual Casual Yes, they’ll be drawn in by the simple creative concept.
35_competitive Competitive Yes, guaranteed that you’ll want to come up with the “best proverb” every round.
35_strategy Strategic Somewhat, there is a meta game to this in reading between the lines, analyzing other players tendencies, voting for yourself, etc…


Final Thoughts on Wise and Otherwise

This isn’t something you’ll play every night, but it stays fresh every time you come back to it. We’ve played 35-45 games so far and aren’t close to going through all the cards. However, if you’re good at creating proverbs, be prepared for spans of waiting for others to finish up with theirs. If you’re the one who is slow, you may get frustrated and start writing stuff down just to complete the round. The game has a simple dedicated theme, but is great especially in creative groups.


Check out more reviews!

Wise and Otherwise











          • - Simple and fresh every time
          • - Great for creative groups


          • - Doesn't appeal to everyone

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