Banzai DVD game
by Amanda Nettgen
Banzai DVD game
Board game manufacturer:
Number of players:
2 or more (individuals or teams)
16+ (although younger could play)
Banzai is a kooky Japanese betting game described by the Screenlife website as being “the hottest new party game”. It consists of a DVD of wacky stunts and a few sushi bowls.
The game and gameplay
Even if you’ve never heard of the television program of Banzai, you’ll be able to catch on to the game easily.
You start by divvying up the colored sushi containers, corresponding Betting Cards, chopsticks, fake plastic sushi, and Hachimaki headbands (which are mandatory to wear if you want to feel as dumb as this game is).
The SHOGUN (or remote wielder) then hits Play Banzai on the DVD menu and a stunt to bet on will start. Everything you view will be out of the ordinary and pretty pointless. Usually there’s no skill involved in guessing which on-screen contender is going to win – the aim of the game.
After players are done watching the silly event, everyone has fifteen seconds to chopstick as much of their individual sushi pot into the Community Betting Bowl as they can.
Whoever gets the most in there when time’s up slides their lettered Betting Card under the group bowl to denote that they have the first chance at the communal pot if they answered correctly.The other players must then either match the number of sushi the “fastest fingers” winner put in, or they can choose to sit out (although I don’t know why anyone would do this because – like in poker – you don’t get your bet back). They must also slide their prediction under the communal betting bowl.
Next the SHOGUN hits play to reveal the outcome of the stunt. If the person who put in the most sushi originally got it right, they claim the whole lot of group sushi.
If they answered wrong, any remaining players who guessed accurately get to split the winnings (if there’s an uneven amount, a Samurai Face-off occurs where players race to pick up the odd piece out).
If no one got it right, the turn-old sushi(ew?) goes back to everyone.
A player wins when they have acquired enough sushi to feed many men (read: every sushi in the game), but keep it all to themselves.Pros and cons
Some of the stunts can be entertaining, and wearing the Hachimaki headbands can make for a good photo op. But I don’t like how random the outcomes are; it’s mostly all luck when it comes to guessing, which basically puts me at the conclusion that one should just watch the game’s stunts for a cheap laugh here and there rather than have it be a pointless competition.
This is also a difficult game to play if you never learned how to properly handle chopsticks, like me!
I think it would be fun to try with Swedish fish. Then at least you could eat the pot!
Banzai is an okay game for those who like simple kicks. For those who desire a game with more of an IQ, however, it won’t be fun for more than a few rounds.