Bookworms who enjoy intellectually challenging social games like Trivial Pursuit, Scattergories, or Balderdash will delight in the creative-thinking gameplay of Liebrary, “The Game Where the First Line Speaks Volumes”.
In Liebrary, players are given a book title and the plot summary and then asked to create the most believable first line of the book. The object of the game is to bluff other players into believing that your first line is the correct one. The more outrageous, the better!
Liebrary was co-designed by actresses and best friends Daryl Hannah and Hilary Shepard, who took inspiration for their game from an old parlor game that had the same concept as Liebrary, but required access to hundreds of actual books to play. When Hannah and Shepard decided to create a portable version of the parlor game that could be played in the absence of a library, or taken along on family vacations, Liebrary sprang into creation. (If you do have new or favourite books on hand, though, you can easily incorporate them into gameplay.) A set of book cards lists the title, author, plot, and first line of books, conveniently condensing hundreds of novels into a single, small card box. The card box is styled after a card catalogue drawer, a reference that may likely be lost on younger players, since the card catalogue has largely disappeared from libraries in the age of computers, but players over the age of thirty will appreciate the nostalgic touch. Along with the game board and other playing pieces, the card box fits inside a larger box that, appropriately enough, resembles a thick book. Liebrary’s elegant box cover recreates the look of a worn, green, leather-bound volume, and can be gorgeously displayed on a bookshelf with real books.
Fantasy fans know Hannah best as Madison the mermaid from the classic 1980s film Splash, but she’s also a dedicated environmentalist, so it’s no surprise that a sticker on the front of the package assures eco-friendly game players that Liebrary is “printed on recycled paper using soy-based inks”.
In addition to the standard, travel-size game, there’s also a deluxe Liebrary: Family Edition, which Hannah introduces in the following 2010 Toy Fair video:
You don’t need to be well-read to play Liebrary, just really convincing, and the gameplay is quite easy to learn, so even children and novice players can jump right in. Up to six players move across the simple game board using wooden, book-shaped tokens called Liebrary Book Pawns. To move ahead, you must earn points: one for every vote your first line gets from the other players, and two if you vote for the book’s real first line. Three points go to the Liebrarian if nobody picks the right line. There are 350 book cards in the card catalog box, divided into five genre categories: Fiction/Non-Fiction, Classics, Mystery/Sci-Fi/Horror, Romance, and Children’s. A Category Die is rolled each round to determine which book category the book card will be drawn from. The Liebrarian then reads aloud the title, author, and plot on the book card (but not the first line!), and sets the sand timer. Players have two minutes to write down their first line — either a creative guess or, if you’re familiar with the book, the actual opening sentence. (The less seriously you take the game, the more fun it is!) The first lines are read out and each player votes for the line that they think is best, after which the Liebrarian reveals the true first line written on the book card. Some squares on the game board also require a random Liebrary Card to be drawn. There are ten Liebrary Cards, and, depending on the messages printed on them, such as “You got a book deal! Move ahead two spaces!” or “Writer’s block! Go back one space.”, will forward or hinder your gameplay. The winner of Liebrary is the first player to make it to the final square on the game board, marked “THE END”.
Liebrary supports 3 or more players, ages 12 and up. Game length: variable.
After playing Liebrary, be sure to check out Discovery Bay Games’ Locale, a geography-themed bluffing game featuring “Exotic Destinations and Hilarious Deceptions”:
The object of Locale is to make up a story by explaining as much as you can about a given location. (Do you know where Bird-in-Hand is? How about Timbuktu?) Bluff your way around the globe!
Daryl Hannah and Hilary Shepard have two more games coming soon, as well. Famous Last Lines, “The Party Game Where You Have the Last Line”, is a movie version of Liebrary, while Call It!, “A Quick-Thinking Game Where There’s a Perfect Call for Every Match!”, is a memory challenge card game.
Liebrary and its fellow games are certain to become playtime favourites… no lie.
Or order directly through the Discovery Bay Games website.
Liebrary, Locale, Famous Last Lines, and Call It! are distributed by Discovery Bay Games.