77 Kivaa Kysymystä ja Vekkulia Vastausta, which roughly translates into 77 Nice Questions and Mischievous Answers, takes you to a nostalgia trip even if you haven’t played it before.
When I saw the game before I chose it for my review, I thought it was familiar somehow. I feel like it’s one of those common items everyone has had in their homes. A game many have played at some point, but no one actually remembers it. Not a lot is known about the game. The publisher is Tampereen Paperikonttori. The game probably originates from the middle of the 20th century but was reprinted later, likely in around 2000.
It is a game for two with one deck of question cards and one deck of answer cards. The rules provided are very simple: Two players can play. Pick either of the decks, shuffle them and then pick a card each turn. After one deck is done, switch decks, shuffle and repeat.
To be honest, it’s not a very engaging game as it is. Instead of following the rules you could transgress a little and make your own rules like we did with my partner. We took three answer cards for each question and tried finding the best fitting answer. It was better, but not much.
The fun of the game relies on the absurdity of pairing the questions and answers. But it is not really fun, for an adult at least. Most of the time the answers to the questions are nonsensical, which implies the game wasn’t designed well enough in the first place.
The card game has become outdated but can still give a glance to the past. There are questions like: When do you prefer candy over cigars? Have you been in jail? Have you had a girl pull you by your hair? And answers like: Only in the milk queue. Possibly when I am feeding the pigs. Yes, I’ve seen Tauno Palo do it like that. These themes hardly seem appropriate or relevant for children today. Then again kids are imaginative and perhaps this absurdity and these adult themes would be entertaining for them.
There are some old popular media references as well. A beloved old Finnish film star Tauno Palo (active career 1930’s – 1960’s) is mentioned in an answer and there’s a question about the character Paksukainen (Hardy) from comedy duo Laurel & Hardy (1927–1955) – Do you think Hardy is beautiful? I don’t think these are popular media references children know these days.
The answer cards often portray lifestyles before urbanization such as activities in a cowshed, a pigsty or a milk queue which do not seem like places where kids spend time nowadays in Finland. I’m an adult city dweller, so I might assume wrong.
Some questions are a bit philosophical which seems strange compared to the rest of them and some are ordinary or plain weird. Perhaps the game could be used as an ice breaker? Take a random question card and ask your partner if they like to fish crucian carp, or whether they are one of those who like to scrabble their neck through their nose.
It is interesting as a cultural artifact but not so much as a game itself.
Publisher: Tampereen Paperikonttori
Release Year: Unknown
Age recommendation: Children
Playing time: 30 minutes
Picture from publisher, Tampereen Paperikonttori: