I love to read, with hundreds of books lining the shelves of my bookcases at home. Not long ago, I even volunteered in a small local library. Now I can play a board game with a couple of librarians, Gertrude Birdwhistle and Wilfred Dankworth. Gertrude and Wilfred are Really Loud Librarians! Which is surprising as you usually associate libraries with peace and quiet. But Really Loud Librarians is a word shouting game from Exploding Kittens, and they do like to do things differently.
Really Loud Librarians is a fast-thinking word shouting board game for 2 players. It can also be played as a party game with 2 teams. It is suitable for players aged 8+ and has a playing time of around 20 minutes.
In the box:
- Game Board
- 60 Category Cards
- 2 Librarians
- 20 Letter Tiles
- 14 Tokens
- 2 Score Markers
- Chain (3 plastic rings)
- Instruction Manual
This is a word shouting board game. The idea is to shout out words beginning with one of the letters that you land on. The words must be from a specific category given from the category cards. Every time that you get a word right you can move around the racetrack. You have 60 seconds to name as many things as you can (the letters will change with each move). The player that gets furthest around the track in each round wins a point. The first to 12 points wins the game.
Before you start shouting out words and waking up Gertrude and Wilfred, there is some setting up to do.
- Place the board (racetrack) in the centre of the table.
- Clip the three plastic rings together to make a chain, with one larger ring at the end. There are arrow makers on the rings to show the direction that they need to be clipped together. You will hear them click into place when successful.
- Place the assembled chain on the racetrack with the large ring on letter E (the rest of the rings should be over the letters L, S and K).
- Slot the 2 black and 2 grey U shaped pieces of cardboard together. They will look like an X when assembled. These are the scoring markers. Place these on the scoring track in the centre of the racetrack.
- The librarians, Gertrude Birdwhistle and Wilfred Dankworth, are the playing pieces. These are placed on the table next to the letter E, on or next to the racetrack.
- Shuffle the category cards and place them next to the board. Before play commences, you must pick a category number, and this is the number you play throughout the game. That number must be face down on the draw pile of cards.
- The 20 letter tiles are placed face down next to the draw pile.
- The 12 bonus tiles (6 of each colour) are also placed next to the racetrack.
- Get your drinks and snacks ready.
With the board set up, let the merciless shouting begin. The calm silence of the library will be no more.
The game of Really Loud Librarians is played over several rounds. Each round consists of each player or team taking a single turn. That isn’t a single answer. A turn lasts 60 seconds and you must shout as many answers as you can.
In this game, it is not the youngest player that starts. It is not even the oldest player or even the player with the shortest hair. In Really Loud Librarians, there is no equality and ladies go first. By ladies, that is Gertrude Birdwhistle. Whoever has Gertrude the librarian as their playing piece starts.
As Gertrude starts, she is clicked into place on the large ring on the chain, which is on the letter E. A single letter tile is turned over and placed next to the corresponding letter on the racetrack on the dot above the letter. Turn over the top card from the draw pile so everybody can see it. You will be playing with whatever number was chosen before starting. For example, category number 1 which might say ‘cat and dog breeds’. The other player/team then turns over the timer and you now have 60 seconds to shout out cat and dog breeds. Before you think that is too easy, the answers must start with one of the letters in the three rings on the board (L, S, or K).
If you or one of your team members shouts out Saint Bernard (and it is a valid answer accepted by the other team) you move your librarian and the chain to the letter S on the board. You continue to shout out names that begin with the new letters displayed, moving your librarian until time is up.
When time is up, your turn is over, and your librarian probably needs a rest. Remove your librarian from the chain and place it by the side of the board next to the letter that it was on. This marks how far you have moved around the board.
The chain is then moved back to E and Wilfred starts. Take a new category card and get Wilfred on his way.
The librarian that has move the furthest distance around the board wins the round and moves up the scoring board.
The next round starts from the position your previous round finished in. Play continues in this way until a player or team earns enough points to be declared the winner.
To win the game, a player needs to be first to score 12 points. After each round, the librarian that has moved the furthest around the board earns 1 point and moves their score marker (X) accordingly on the score tracker in the middle of the board. Players can also earn an extra point if you have landed on any of the letters that a letter token has been placed next to.
As this is a game based on vocabulary, you are relying on the other players regarding words used. If a player thinks a word is incorrect, they can shout ‘Challenge’. Once a challenge is declared, the timer is put on its side whilst the challenged word is discussed to determine if it is allowed (you could use a dictionary of required). Once a determination has been made, the timer is stood back up and play continues.
Overall, Really Loud Librarians is an excellent game. I have loved playing this awesome game (even if it can get a bit loud). As a two player game it is great. As a team game, I think it is better, especially as the teams don’t even need have equal number of players. It can be a loud game, but it is a hilarious game. Under pressure of the timer, some of the answers that are shouted are just pure comedy.
It is a very simple game to set up. The rules are easy to understand and follow, and the game play couldn’t be easier to play. The board is very well laid out and simple to move the chain and your librarian around.
A fast and furious game that is lots of fun and very entertaining. Although I doubt you can play in a library (unless you keep your voices down)! With lots of words flying around, you might even be able to improve your own vocabulary whilst playing!
Really Loud Librarians is a loud, lively, and cheerful game. It might leave you with ringing ears, a sore throat and possibly a headache from all the shouting (especially when the kids are involved).
A quick and fun loud party game. It will leave everybody happy.
Which librarian is going to win, Gertrude or Wilfred? And who is going to be the loudest player?