Dear publishers: I will happily play any of your small box, 15-minute gaming experiences because the world can never have enough games like this. Plus, they are perfect for starting or ending any of my review crew gaming experiences between plays.
With that as a primer, let’s talk about Linkto, a 15-minute trivia game that comes in two different flavors: Linkto Travel, and Linkto Food. (I believe these games were available in other countries a few years ago, but they are making their way to US shores for the first time now.)
There are 50 different picture cards in each box, along with 49 question cards with five different prompts on each question card, which represent the game’s difficulty levels. That leaves just one leftover picture card; after sorting through all of the picture cards and matching each one with a prompt/question card, that leftover card is matched up with an answer key to determine if you’ve solved that game’s level or not.
Limited, In Almost Every Way
Each Linkto game is the same in a few ways, which will either make it shine for you or not.
Each of the games has a very handsome price point, about $10 USD at most major tabletop online retailers. Each game’s prompt cards have five levels of questions, ranging from “this is so easy a child could probably do it” to “this is absolute insanity.” That also means that each game has five finite ways to end play, so after five plays, you will probably bestow Linkto as a gift to friends or family.
Each Linkto product also has an interesting problem: you may never know for sure if you correctly matched each picture card to the right prompt card, because all that matters is that you end up with the single card that matches the answer key for that game’s level. For example, if you are left with, say, the Wine card in Linkto Food, that is the answer if the answer key says so. But how you ended up with the Wine card? Another story. And you won’t know for sure if you got the other 48 cards right; you may have just gotten lucky, and been left with the Wine card, and feel like a winner.
Linkto is fun, but I didn’t think it lit the world on fire in terms of the trivia questions. I’m also surprised to say that I don’t think being a food lover/connoisseur is necessarily helpful in a game of Linkto Food. The same goes for Linkto Travel; being a writer at Conde Nast Traveler isn’t a guaranteed slam dunk when it comes to the questions being any easier.
The game scales marvelously well, though; levels one and two in each Linkto product are very straightforward and can be used as a quick learning game. Level three? I found that half of the questions in each game’s third level to cover a wider range of difficulties, from some easy prompts to others that left all of the players at the table confused. Levels four and five are for sadists, with level five sometimes being a game of pure frustration.
The picture cards are vibrant and the questions are a mix of wild, interesting, hilarious, and a little weird. All told, there’s an hour’s worth of fun in the box. In its individual plays, Linkto feels like the kind of game that will work well with a group at a table waiting to get dinner.
I’m not sure there is enough here to recommend as a game that serves to be anything more than a party starter or light filler before a game night kickoff…which is all I ask for with these 15-minute games. If you are in need of light gaming content, give these products a look!