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Our friend group has been playing Just One a lot but it gets a bit boring quickly as 95% of the time the person can guess their word, even if we follow all the rules strictly (only dictionary words, no punctuation, no capitalization, singular form only). Is there a way to make the game more competitive and challenging?

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  • How many people are you typically playing with?
    – Pat Ludwig
    Nov 22 '21 at 22:12
  • @PatLudwig 5 to 8 people Nov 23 '21 at 0:15
  • With prior agreements, this game is trivial. Something like "A will always give the total number of characters of the word", "B will always give a synonym", "C will always give a word that begins with the same character as the word", etc. It's why I quickly lost interest in it. Would suggest playing something else.
    – Allure
    Nov 24 '21 at 3:25
  • @Allure um, we’re playing it as a group of friends, not in an online tournament. No one is going to do prior agreements. Nov 24 '21 at 3:52
  • @JonathanReez it doesn't have to be prior agreements though. In my case, I started giving the total number of characters every word. At first it didn't make sense to the others what I was doing, but once I explained it, it was quickly apparent that I was "breaking" the game by making it too easy. The only options remaining then were to intentionally play worse than possible, or to leave the game. That was when I lost interest.
    – Allure
    Nov 24 '21 at 3:59
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One simple idea has been posted here. In short:

  • Each turn, select two words to be guessed. If using the provided cards, this can be done by selecting two numbers, as described in the linked post. However, if you have played a lot, you might start to remember some combinations of words found on the same card; in that case, it may be better to take two cards and select one word from each.
  • Each player other than the guesser still writes a single clue.

To further adjust the difficulty, you can choose whether or not to allow players to indicate which word or words their clue is intended for.

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Here is one idea I had.

  • Each turn, two players will be guessers (instead of one).
  • As usual, the other players each write a clue.
  • After removing duplicates, divide the remaining clues between the two guessers. (This decision could be made by the other players together, or if it proves impractical to do that without leaking information, a single player could be designated to do the division.)
  • Each guesser writes down a guess, seeing only the clues assigned to them. (If playing in person, have the guessers positioned opposite each other, to make it easier to show clues to only one of them.)
  • Score a point only if both guesses are correct. (This avoids having it be optimal in some situations to assign all the clues to one guesser, unless that is unavoidable because less than two clues remain.)
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Add a traitor?

Find a deck of cards, take (n-1) hearts and 1 spade, and everybody draws a card. The one who draws the card is the traitor, and his job is to sabotage your attempts without being identified.

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  • Too easy to identify the traitor as they would have dissenting clues. Nov 23 '21 at 16:09

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