I knew I had seen the word before. Its an oddly strange word but one that has a shape and tone which felt familiar. So I decided to dig and then there it was. Almost comically prodding at my lack of recall of it. According to the online medical dictionary, the meaning of the word Anomia is thus:

A problem with word finding. Impaired recall of words with no impairment of comprehension or the capacity to repeat the words.

In the game ANOMIA, this might be the reverse. You are playing to remember words, names, objects, dates etc. Tickling those little general knowledge cells in order to beat your like minded (and memory recall challenged) opponents.


The box is playfully coloured and simplistically drawn (it need not be any other way). On opening it up, inside is two sets of cards and an rule book. The cards have two coloured backs but are the same on the reverse. Both have a word and an image on. There are also a series of wild cards to add to the excitement! The rule book is very slender, spiritedly running through the whole thing with a sense of energy and simplicity.


Begin by choosing a deck. Blue or Red. Shuffle the deck chosen and then split them into two decks. These are the draw pile. Now the game can accommodate up to 6 easily. We found it actively plays best in groups of 2 per team. The reason I mention this is that the set up (see illustration below) need not be changed for this, nor the draw decks need be altered. Players draw a card, flips it over in the middle of the table and then the next player does so. Once a matching SYMBOL is drawn, players must shout out their opponents card word (Example Animal you should call say CAT). First to do this wins the cards. We played once the draw deck had been exhausted 3 times, then the round was over (so you keep only the cards with matching symbols on, then shuffle and re draw cards.) The rules suggest two rounds to decide winner, I would say as many rounds as players plus or minus 1 to make it an odd number.


The group enjoyed the simple nature of the game. Play is fast and players are fiercely competitive in saying words. This leads to a heated but good 10 mins round and in the completion of a game, the odds are still well balanced in anyone’s favour. Simple scoring helps also, as you never quite lose that drive forward in getting a word out and when you have a freeze in vocabulary or a ANOMIA, well another chance comes along shortly. Which is both a blessing for those waiting to prove their verbal chops and a nightmare for those tied of tongue.


Younger players need to be supervised here. The difficulty of word speed and decisions, can lead to open conflict. Its not for the uber competitive, nor for those who want a relaxed game. It is a game that smoothly flows into a family playtime but might be the bringer of clangers galore.


ANOMIA deserves to be given far more credit and exposure than it will inviably get. With such simply playability, easy access and good time span (on average a game lasts about 30 minutes), you find that it suits a wide range of events. Game Clubs, families, friends and colleagues will love it. It can also suit a warm up for a bigger game or a in-between game from a mammoth game because it does what it does so well. We heartedly suggest that this summer, the game to take to the table first and foremost is ANOMIA!



About The Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.