Random Game Wednesdays: Anticipation (NES)

Some games are so simple in nature that I’m honestly not sure if I’d be able to make a blog post that was decently long before running out of things to say. But, it’s Wednesday, so I have to write about the game that the random number generator gives me. This week it gave me Anticipation, a 1988 board game style video game from Rare. It’s actually a game I like a lot, and one that I was kind of disappointed to see not included in Rare Replay.As I already said, Anticipation is very simple. You’re on a circular game board with colored spaces. Each color is matched up with a particular subject and when you land on a color, the computer will draw a picture that matches the subject. You have to figure out what is being drawn before your opponents. Once you’ve successfully answered the puzzles of each color, you’ll move up to the next level. And that’s kind of the whole game.


I don’t want to make it sound like Anticipation isn’t a worthwhile time, however. Despite it’s simplicity, Anticipation is a very fun game, especially in multiplayer. It’s also pretty impressive. The drawings are all done with simple line-art, but end up looking really nice. In the time I played this morning, it actually tripped me up by having “glasses” be the answer twice in the same game, but having completely different pictures.

Figuring out puzzles is pretty simple the early stages of the game. You’ll not only see the subject, but also how many letters are in the solution and kind of a “dot to dot” outline of the picture. However, as you get to the higher levels, they start taking away the help. In the final level, you only get the subject, and the subjects have gotten a lot more obscure. While the first level has subjects like “clothing” and “math” the top level has “whatchamacallit”. It does very little to help you out.


One thing I would recommend if you decide to play this game single player, is make sure to bump up the difficulty some. I played on the default, which is the easiest. In the entire game, only one of the three computer controlled characters got a single question correct. I might as well have been playing without opponents.

That’s basically all I have to say about Anticipation. It’s a lot of fun and there’s not really anything quite like it on the NES. But, as I’ve already said multiple times in this short post, it’s very simple. If it wasn’t for the computer doing the drawings for you, this doesn’t even really need to be a video game. But still, I recommend playing it with a group of friends or family.


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