Board Game Review

Splash Some Tea (Spill Review)

This review is also tipsily available on Zatu here!

Party games are on the up, with more control, mechanics and additions in each. These are perfect for large gatherings and can get people talking and engaging excellently. You could even argue that they’re perfect ice breaker games! But what about if you don’t want to just break the ice? What if you want to pile-drive a brachiosaurus straight through the arctic? Metaphorically, of course. Spill by BINCA is that game. Ice will be broken, drinks will be spurted, and truths will be told. It’s a superbly simple game that will have the whole room talking! It’s also incredibly adult, so the only drinks being spilt will probably be alcoholic. But be warned, you may know more about someone than you ever anticipated!

How To Play

Spill is a party game, through and through. You’ll need to be open to discussion and be able to be honest about things others may be more coy about. To set up, you give everyone a TRUE and FALSE card, depicted as such with a thumbs up and a thumbs down. Place the statement cards somewhere everyone can grab them easily. Then, place the Split cards (red) close to the statement cards. The last thing to do is ensure everyone’s drinks are full. (It’s optional, but the game relies on drinks.)

The first player takes a statement card and reads it aloud for the group. The statements are often quite provocative or driven by the discussion of audacious events. Individuals then secretly decide whether they believe the statement to be true or false. The reader reveals whether it’s true or not, losers take drinks. This is classed as a “sip”, but is likely as time goes on to become a chug. For every player who guessed correctly the person who read takes two sips and draws Split cards for every guess. Should no one have guessed correctly, the reader has to explain to convince the party of the happenings. If they can’t, they take double sips!

The game never really ends until the party have decided the game is over, however having the most Split cards is a good gauge of how badly you have done. We found playing a full round of people worked best.

How It Feels to Play

Split is a party game, through and through. You wouldn’t whip this one out at a games night, nor would it sit in your collection of 4X’s. It’s more likely to sit in your liquor cabinet (or if you’re like us, the cupboard of white lightning and a hodgepodge of beers). It’s an interesting one, as it’s a game that sort of fizzles out and turns into something else without being unwelcome at any point. You’ll play the game, enjoy a good laugh, and at some point move on without really noticing it. But without Split, you’d not have come to that activity.

Sharing is Caring

At parties, someone will always manage to embarrass themselves or do something humiliating. It’s a part of the circle of life, an unwritten rule if you will. Spill will undoubtably aid people in this foolishness, but will also enable you to delve into the darkest part of their souls… and somehow still be light hearted!

In example; the ‘Spiller’ reads “I’m that person who keeps asking questions during a movie”. Disregarding the instant hatred towards this person, you would then need to decide whether they’re being truthful or not. The issue the Spiller will have will be trying not to give anything away. They want people to get it wrong, but also don’t want the whole of IMDB to come after them with torches and pitchforks. The Spiller reveals the truth, drinks for those who guessed correctly, and play moves to the next player to spill.

Spill will naturally get you talking and force you to engage with people you don’t know. Whether it’s through lines of enquiry, or shocked gasps, you’ll have an instant connection and a link. It will create something familiar between you that can flourish into conversation. And that’s where Spill succeeds best. But also where Spill disappears. Once the conversations begin and people become focussed on the people over the game, it’s probably time to pack it up. The ice has been broken.

Hush Hush

Now the previous example was incredibly tame for this game. Pulling out a statement like “I believe I can out drink every single person in this room” could cause trouble. Especially if you genuinely believe it – things will get messy! The other concern is the more promiscuous elements of one’s life. Skeletons in the closet and whatnot. If you want them to stay in there, you’ll definitely want to make it so players can choose out of three statements to read. Our first game had someone look at a card and immediately ask to leave the game. Their coyness is their own, yes, but the game is designed to be enjoyed. We found having a choice of three statements made for a more comfortable environment. Plus, with 700 cards you aren’t exactly short of statements!

Keeping Quiet

As I’ve mentioned a multitude of time, Spill is a party game. A party game’s party game. It will involve alcohol, and relies on it for the competitive element in its rules. What’s more is that it also requires some level of not knowing someone. Quite the reverse of several party games we’ve played – but it also lives up to its “ice-breaker” claim! First impressions count, and this game will definitely help give some impressions – particularly if you do badly but can’t hold a beverage!

On the flip side here, we have chosen to play this outside of drinking – and it still works. The premise is to guess correctly and drink accordingly… But not receiving Split cards is how you gauge your success in this game, not how intoxicated you are. We’ll always advise you drink responsibly and know this can be enjoyed without a can in your hand. But it’s a party game at heart, so it wholly depends on your context of gathering.

Can You Even Play It!?

We’d argue Spill isn’t so much a game as it is an experience. Now we know we’ve referenced it several times as a party game and that’s because that’s what it is. But when you’re engaged in it, you’re not going to be overly interested in winning or losing after a couple of statements. You’ll want to play, but your own personal success and the concept of victory become trivial. You’ll be far more interested in the people and what they have to say. It’s a game you’ll like, but an experience you’ll enjoy!

Unless the whole group has victory on their mind, you may not be as aware of the situation. After a few rounds, if you’re still determined to annihilate the competition with your unreadable poker face… Spill probably isn’t for you! It’s honestly about have a great laugh and getting to know people. Removing the tension and enhancing the atmosphere is what Spill does best!

In A Nutshell

Spill is an easy on the table, highly accessible party game/experience for adults. It’s best suited to groups who may not know, or are getting to know one another. It can be played amongst groups of good friends easily with some adaptations, but knowing your friends preferences in every aspect may not be something you want! Spill won’t ever be on the table for a whole evening and will probably be picked up and put down across the night. But while you’re playing it, it will undoubtably produce a good few laughs and you’ll learn things you can never forget!