Paul Thomason spends a creative, fun and competitive afternoon playing Taskmaster which brings all the silliness of the TV show to your front room.
It must have been the ultimate task for board game producers, Ginger Fox but somehow they’ve managed to transfer the daftness, randomness and enjoyable elements of the TV show, Taskmaster into a format that allows you to undertake various tasks using items found in and around the home.
It is based upon the long-running BAFTA award winning TV comedy quiz show starring Greg Davies (stand-up comedian and actor best known as the headmaster from “The Inbetweeners”) and its creator Alex Horne (band-leader of The Horne Section) currently enjoying its 10th series on Channel 4 following the successful move from Dave.
The game comes with a game board, rules sheet, pen, paper, playing pieces, Taskmaster trophy and a couple of hundred all important task cards.
Each player is given a Secret Task card to begin with and they need to surreptitiously follow the instructions throughout the game without the other players guessing their task. How could I be so blind as to not notice my wife stroking a cushion as if it were a pet for a full hour?
Players take turns performing the Davies role of Taskmaster although there is the option of one person being the sole arbiter of awarding points if they are unwilling to partake in the challenges, are feeling unsure about joining in too fully, or if they are just power hungry.
Three or more players age 8 or over are needed to play and they do not need any prior knowledge of the show to enjoy the experience. My son loved playing both a generous Taskmaster, wielding the power to award additional points, as much as he did performing the tasks. The board game takes an estimated 30 to 45 minutes to complete whereas we played two rounds on our first attempt that lasted a fun-packed hour.
The Taskmaster gets to choose the type of task the other contestants perform (Garden Task, Lab Task, Living Room Task or Kitchen Task). Limiting the game to Garden Tasks would be ideal for the current situation where people are restricted to meeting outdoors and would need to bring their improvisation and ingenuity along with their bottles.
There are plenty of opportunities to show favouritism and begin arguments with the point scoring mainly being at the discretion of the Taskmaster. The time limits on the tasks ensure the game zips along at pace as players rush around trying to find the best materials to make trophies or snazzy footwear.
For the game’s finale, there is the option to read a final task from a card or to scan a QR code to watch Horne provide a task which ties in neatly with the TV show. This is a great competitive, fun and creative way to spend an afternoon or evening, which will likely be returned to time and time again (although I’m not sure how much of a kicking my creative ego can take when faced with a 9-year-old creative genius).
The Taskmaster Board Game is suitable for 3 or more players and for ages 8+ It costs £19.99 from Smyths.