Source: Brilliant or BS?/The Pop Insider

Brilliant or BS? is all of the former and just a tinge of the latter.

The card game makes you second guess how much you trust your friends with its unique gameplay. It’s a trivia challenge at its heart, but players don’t actually have to have all the answers — they just have to be masters of deception.

Players get points depending on if they know the answers and if they know who’s lying about knowing the answers. To win, you have to be an excellent bluffer and an excellent BS-detector. For a more thorough explanation of the rules see this post. The game also comes with a set of extremely easy-to-follow instructions.

When I first heard about Brilliant or BS? I was mostly excited at the aspect of making up reasons for knowing things. Why do I know that the Spice Girls originally had five members? That’s obviously because Posh Spice is actually my grandma’s second cousin and Scary Spice is my godmother.

It’s worth pointing out that this reasoning could lead to someone understanding your lie (although I’m not saying it is one), so a less BS-Card attracting answer might just be that you grew up in the ’90s and the girl group truly spiced up your life (la la la la la la la la la).

Brilliant or BS? includes 85 total trivia cards and six sets of letters. | Source: The Pop Insider

The game is best played with 4-6 people but since we’re in the middle of a pandemic and most of my friends at this point are imaginary, I played with just one other person.

With only two people, the game becomes one person judging and one answering. Instead of handing someone the BS Card and another the Brilliant Card (each denoting someone who’s suspected of telling the truth or lying), the “judge” in our game just handed out one. So if I thought my partner was full of it, I’d give him the BS card but he’d get a point if I was wrong. The same thing applied for the Brilliant card. Basically, this led to us each lying even when we did know the answer in order to sabotage the other players points. Is that mean? Maybe, but it’s a heck of a lot of fun.

The trivia is divided into different categories, so you don’t have to worry about being a jack-of-all-trades (although, you can definitely pretend you are). It’s a great game for getting to know new people because your friends might be able to know if you’re a master of Kryptonite or the periodic table — and, really, what better way is there to break the ice than lying to strangers? There are a total of seven categories to bluff about: Entertainment, Food & Drink, Geography, Sports, History, and Science & Tech. With 85 cards, there’s something for everyone to know or pretend they know.

For those looking to host a virtual game night, the creator of Brilliant or BS? uploaded a set of rules for how to play over video chat. The person who owns the physical game will not be able to deceive anyone *but* they will hold all of the power. Watch the video above to see how it’s done and find the easy instructions here. And yes, of course, there is a drinking game option.

Whether you’re playing virtually, bending the rules a bit, or playing with the intended 4-6 people, this game brings a new twist to trivia and makes it OK to con the ones you love. No matter how you play, Brilliant or BS? is extremely full of it  — fun, I mean.

About the author

Nicole Savas

Nicole Savas

As a kid, Nicole either wanted to be a professional toy player-wither or a writer. Somehow, as social media editor for The Toy Insider, The Toy Book, and The Pop Insider, she’s found a career as both. She's grateful to work somewhere that she can fully embrace both her love of teddy bears and her admiration for the Oxford comma. When she's not playing with toys at work, she's playing with her baby girl at home.