What It Is
Spontuneous is a board game that tests the players knowledge of music and song lyrics. Before the game begins, players think of songs they are familiar with and write down secret "trigger-words" that appear in those song lyrics. When it's a player's turn, he or she is the designated Tunesmith. The Tunesmith announces one of their trigger-words and starts the timer. The other players have 15 seconds to sing at least 5 words of a song lyric that includes that trigger-word. If no one can think of a song that includes the Tunemaster's trigger-word, the Tunemaster must then prove they know a song that contains that trigger-word by singing at least 5 words of the song's lyrics. Whoever successfully sings a snippet of a song containing the trigger-word may roll the dice and advance their piece across the board. If a player lands on a Treble Clef space, he or she must pick a card from the Treble deck. The cards may contain penalties, advances, or special singing challenges. The player who reaches the finish line first wins.
Why It’s Fun
Spontuneous is designed to encourage singing in front of a group, and most of the fun is had when the players relax enough to sing aloud without feeling self-conscious. The game's rules even caution that talent is not required. Knowledge of music and lyrics is what's important here, not singing ability.
Who It’s For
The game is for 4—10 players ages 9 and up, but we think slightly older players in their tweens and early teens may have a larger personal catalog of music and get more enjoyment out of the game.
What To Be Aware Of
Any song and any trigger-word can be used by a player in the game. This makes the play difficult if the players have a vast knowledge of many different musical genres. The game can easily become more of a showcase of songs the other players are not familiar with rather than a fun test of musical memory. Likewise, if the players are all younger children who are familiar with only a few kinds of songs, the game becomes more of a race to see who can sing the lyrics the fastest. Either of these extremes may be frustrating for players who want to play the game as it is meant to be played.
Also, if a player or Tunemaster sings a song that no one else knows, there may be some doubt on the part of the players that the song is real and not just made-up. The game's rules advise that players may "Google it" if they must, but all songs must be by actual recording artists. Players may want to keep a laptop handy to settle any disputes.