Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Get back to your childhood with ‘Mad Libs’ spinoff ‘Synopsis’

While still feeling like ‘Mad Libs’ at its core, allows players extra creativity
Montana Leggett

“Synopsis” has the potential to create some long-lasting, great moments with friends and family, but has moments where it feels too familiar and loses its novelty.

The game feels like a unique twist on the childhood classic “Mad Libs” at times, which lends itself to some fun, nostalgic moments, but can leave players wishing for more.

The game allows players to complete a series of sentences with players folding over the answer they write as they pass it to the next player. This adds some adventure as players’ answers can vary and result in a unique story at the end when all the answers are revealed.


The variety of storylines is more than welcome as players can choose to complete one about an alien invasion, an emergency room visit or a job interview, among a few others.

Choppy seas, rough launch won’t delay success of ‘Sea of Thieves’

These storylines may not apply to every person, as a 5-year-old cousin will probably not be looking for a job, but the lack of a specific audience for “Synopsis” helps make it an incredibly versatile game.

College students can pick this game up and have an incredible time laughing at inside jokes and maybe even create some new ones along the way. It can even be easily taken home to play with younger and old family members — especially since popular games like “Cards Against Humanity” are not always friendly to first-graders or elderly grandmothers.

When I had the opportunity to test “Synopsis” with my friends, I had a great time. We were able to laugh at some old memories we shared and use our creativity to write some hilarious stories. We even made some current-event jokes —  an example of how the game compares to “Mad Libs” since it has the majority of the story already written for players.

‘Far Cry 5’ visually compelling, details lacking wholesome experience

“Synopsis” does struggle with the common board game problem of being a physical game as opposed to a mobile application or website. Finding a time for friend groups to meet can be a pain and, with “Synopsis” being such a short, simple game, it can be easy to blow off the group to play another round of “Fortnite” or take some time to study for a midterm.

“Synopsis” co-founder Patrick Marini said in an email to The Badger Herald there is an app in development for Android and Apple devices.

This jump may seriously help the game, since players would not have to worry about having physical paper or factor the time constraints of other players. “Synopsis” fans would be able to simply pull up the app on their phone, do their thing and go about their day until it is their turn again.

Madison’s own ‘The Primary’ offers fun, drama-free take on politics for game night

This seems like a neat way to keep in touch with a cousin who lives a few states away or even grandma living in another country.

An app would allow quick and easy updates to content since the five beginning stories can become repetitive over time. Players can only write about an alien invasion so many times before the jokes wear thin and they turn to another game. This, however, is only part of the issue that comes with “Synopsis.”

The game seems to have more creative flexibility with players completing the line, “Aliens from the planet…” in the alien-invasion scenario compared to something seen in “Mad Libs,” but digging deeper it can feel the same, more often than not. Players do have the ability to finish that sentence with something crazy like, “Hot Box, located between Too Hot To Handle and Cold As Ice in the Funky Town Galaxy,” yet this is still something they could potentially do in “Mad Libs.”

It may be sort of a stretch to say players would do this drawn-out writing in “Mad Libs” and not in “Synopsis,” but the concept is taking place in a game already, which defeats the novelty of “Synopsis” at times.

Madison finally gets coveted Dave & Buster’s location on west side

The game can be criticized in many ways, but it is young, and with time, it looks like it will only get better as the founders seem to have a solid plan moving forward.

“Synopsis” has a decent road to travel before it becomes a household name, which it has the potential to be. Launching on Kickstarter April 10,  future updates to the game itself as well as an app to play with friends can significantly help the game succeed.

“Synopsis” gets a three out of five rating because it shows potential, but can fall flat at times. Having the freedom to write and get seriously creative is a bonus from “Mad Libs,” but it still has the “Mad Libs” feel at times. Having the app will change the game in many positive ways to overcome that problem and become its own unique entity.

Rating: 3/5

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Badger Herald

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Wisconsin-Madison. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Badger Herald

Comments (0)

All The Badger Herald Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *