You Can’t Say Umm Review

Editor's Rating


Editor's Review

You Can’t Say “Umm” is a game for 4-10 players and takes about 20 minutes to play. Players should divide into even teams, with odd players volunteering to be a referee if needed. The goal of this game is to describe random and odd pairings of words to your teammates without saying the words themselves or stalling, brain-fart words like “umm, uhh, er, ah” and so on. If your teammates guess correctly, you can move your player token one space across the board. However, if your describer messes up, the opposing team can ring the bell and move their piece across the board. Describe and guess as many pairs as you can before 45 seconds have elapsed, but don’t mess up or you’ll help the other team!

This is a lot harder than it looks, but don’t worry, it gets worse! Prior to the first round, each team secretly selects extra rule cards and gives them to the other team face down. When a team passes a yellow rule space, flip over the first rule. Whatever it says, you must abide by it now! Some of these rules are tricky, for example, adding more taboo words such as “like, not, it’s, etc” and some of them are EVIL, eliminating any words that begin with a certain letter. Evil cards. Evil! As diabolical as these cards are, they make the game even more challenging, and admittedly, entertaining and funny. Also, the closer you are to victory, the more difficult the game gets! Once you near the end, you’ve reached the Danger Zone, where no one is allowed to say umm or uuh, not even the guessers, under penalty of a ding and a space for the opposing team. Every player must stay sharp! The first team to get to the end of the board wins! 

The time limit of 45 seconds is a double edged sword. It’s not very much time at all to guess pairs, but at the same time, this prevents snowballing for the other team if you trip up and make a lot of mistakes in a row. The shorter time limit makes you more thoughtful, but also raises the pressure making you more likely to trip up. It also makes games last a bit longer, so ultimately, the pros of the time limit outweigh the cons.

You Can't Say Umm

Price Check


Should I get it?

Absolutely get this! It’s a very fun game that leads to lots of laughs when you inevitably, uh, mess up.


  • It’s a game that doesn’t overstay it’s welcome, lasting a comfy 20 minutes.
  • Up to 10 people can play.
  • It’s very challenging, but in a fun way.
  • The difficulty ramps up the closer you get to winning.
  • Every mechanic of the game seems finely tuned to create the most fair and enjoyable game flow possible, from the time limit to the gradual reveal of the rule cards. 


  • Some of these rule cars are eldritch horrors with how hard they are!

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