‘Speak Out’ board game review
By Ed Appleby, Illustrator
We all like to indulge our childhood now and again. There is nothing that pushes that button like doing something funny and gross.
Speak Out (2016) is a party game published by Hasbro. In the game, players put plastic devices in their mouths that stretch their lips and keep their mouths open as they try to say phrases on cards that other players try to identify, in sort of a charades style. Players score points by guessing right.
This game is the equivalent of the kids joke of hooking the sides of your mouth with your fingers and trying to say “born on a pirate ship.” The mouth pieces are not painful, but are far from the most comfortable thing, and saliva will be getting everywhere. You may never look at your friends the same way again—apparently I look like Jack Nicholson trying to smile while playing the game.
That said, the game is fun. It becomes a testament of skill and frustrations as you attempt to pronounce ‘b’ and ‘p’ without the use of your lips. We discovered that some players had a bit of an advantage depending on how strong their lips and tongue were, and a huge advantage if they had any ventriloquism training.
The game suffers from a few pitfalls associated with a lot of skill or trivia games, in that some players may start at a distinct advantage based on their skill sets.
I would recommend Speak Out as a casual party game, especially if there has been a little drinking involved. Just make sure whoever owns the game is diligent about washing the mouthpieces.