Namers of the world, rejoice! I bring tidings of great joy, for unto you a game is born. And the name of that game is Funny Business.
Funny Business, “The Hilarious Game of Mismatched Mergers”, challenges players to give names to companies that have merged. The funny part of Funny Business is that the mergers are of incongruous businesses. What name would you give to diner that merged with a hardware store? Or a fruit stand and a cruise line?
What It Is
Four to eight players compete to give the best name for two businesses that have come together. Two “business cards” are drawn for each round of play, each card features a type of business and a list of related words to inspire a name. For example, the business Comic Book Store includes action figure, edition, graphic, superhero, strip, villain, et al. The names each player comes up with can include those words but don’t have to.
Game Play and Voting
Each player anonymously writes down their one best name on a card and the cards are shuffled. A “Boss,” who rotates between plays, reads each name aloud and players secretly vote on their favorite one. The Boss may not vote on their own name, but other players may. After voting, the votes are tallied and points are awarded according to who gets the most votes (2 points), who voted for the winning name (1 point), and the Boss earns double of any points he or she earned in the round. The voting system is ingenious, ensuring that players are not incentivized to vote for their name, but to vote for the best name. Or, at least the name they believe will earn the most votes.
My greatest surprise with Funny Business is not that the game exists (though: hallelujah!), it’s seeing how amazing names are developed by every non-professional-namer I’ve ever played with. The last game I played was swept by my nine-year-old niece.
Funny Business is a fantastically fun game. It’s great for adults and kids – the box suggests age 12 and up, but, in my experience, younger precocious kids can hold their own. And, at less than $8 bucks discounted on Amazon, you really have no choice but to run to your local Amazon (it’s not far!) and grab a copy of Funny Business to play this holiday season.