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McNeill Designs Family Game Night Review

You’ve Been Sentenced, Twisted Fish and the Wheel of Torture Game Review
 Every night our family plays a game together.
It doesn’t really matter what game so long as everyone can participate.
It’s our family’s time of enjoying each other and learning skills like number recognition, strategy, and just some plain old stuff about one another.

We were given the opportunity to review You’ve Been Sentenced (McNeill Designs, 2005 ) and out of the box, immediately my kiddos loved the shape of the box–a pentagon.

It’s the only game we have shaped like this and that contributed to the “wow” factor.

You've Been Sentenced (McNeill Designs, 2005 )

Opening the cool shaped box we discovered this game had A LOT of cards–540 of ’em and guess what?

They are shaped just like the box. 

Each card has five words on them–if you’re doing the math with me, that’s 2,700 words used in this game.

That’s a lot of vocabulary! 

Once I got past the initial overwhelmed feeling of all those cards, we sat down to play.

What a hilarious time we had.

It wasn’t complicated.

How to Play You’ve Been Sentenced:

You’ve Been Sentenced offers several options for gameplay.

We played “Civil Action”.

We shuffled all the cards into one BIG pile and then took turns drawing ten cards each.

With the score sheet at hand, we were ready for gameplay!

The object is to form grammatically correct sentences using as many of your ten cards as possible.

You can rotate your cards to get different variations of a word, though some words contain groups of words like “over the”, “off of”, “on the”.


Once someone has a sentence they knock on the table to signal they have completed the task.

From here is when it gets too funny.

Starting with the first player to “knock” each player reads their sentence.

The other players decide whether that sentence makes sense.

You may have to argue that your sentence indeed makes sense and is grammatically correct.

Then you all vote.

You get 5-points for each card used (some words score as high as 20 points depending on difficulty).

If you’re the first to finish and knock you score a ten-point bonus.

If you use all your cards you get ten points.


In You’ve Been Sentenced there are “Wild Cards” These can be used for any single word but have NO point value.

Once every player has read their sentence, defended it and been voted on, all cards are discarded and you move to the next round.

The first player to reach 200 points wins the game!

You’ve Been Sentenced also has a great selection of add on packs that help you customize the game to a sports theme, pop culture theme, gourmet theme, sci-fi theme and even a Reader’s Digest Word Power Challenge Pack!

This game appealed to me as well as to my children

.My seven-year-old thought it was a hoot and really worked diligently to create a sentence.

Her gameplay started with what card she wanted to use most.

My sixteen year old found this to be something he could play with his younger siblings and still find it challenging and entertaining for himself.


We also received Twisted Fish.

Twisted Fish

This is my six and four-year-olds’s favorite game.

I have to admit I found it captivating.

It’s just like “Go Fish” only it has another suit and instead of asking for a generic card, you must ask specifically for the card you want, “Do you have an Orange Blowfish?”

The added suit and request for a specific card made this game challenging and had my children paying attention to who was asking for and receiving what to claim the mates to the cards in their hand.


One of the features of Twisted Fish that draws the “oh, no you didn’t” from my family are the “Zinger” cards, these cards allow you to see another players hand, reject the request to hand over your card and more!


There was a lot of laughter and the game moved quickly.

Twisted Fish also has some variation plays, but we’re still playing and enjoying the standard game of play.

It’s a charming game with some humorous cartoon fish to play.

My husband and my favorite item in our Box of Fun is the “Wheel of Chore-ture”.

First of all, who isn’t already chuckling over how clever the name is?

My kiddos think it’s a hoot to spin the wheel and see what chore they’ve been assigned.

They all whisper “c’mon set the table” and cringe when they are assigned “wash the dishes”.

The Wheel of Chore-ture has changed the mundane work around our home into a fiesta of fun–begging to NOT land on the slot and trying to barter with me over “just let me do it again”.  

A portion of each retail sale of You’ve been Sentenced! goes to fight illiteracy in the USA through the not-for-profit organization Success Won’t Wait, Inc. Founded in 2002, the organization’s mission is to encourage reading, particularly by children.

For more information about Success Won’t Wait and its literacy programs, please visit

Disclosure: No monetary compensation was offered or accepted for this post.  I received the items mentioned in this post from the sponsor for review purposes. The opinions above are my own and were not in any way influenced by the sponsor. Other’s experiences may vary.
About Julee: Julee Morrison is an experienced author with 35 years of expertise in parenting and recipes. She is the author of four cookbooks: The Instant Pot College Cookbook, The How-To Cookbook for Teens, The Complete Cookbook for Teens, and The Complete College Cookbook. Julee is passionate about baking, crystals, reading, and family. Her writing has appeared in The LA Times (Bon Jovi Obsession Goes Global), Disney's Family Fun Magazine (August 2010, July 2009, September 2008), and My Family Gave Up Television (page 92, Disney Family Fun August 2010). Her great ideas have been featured in Disney's Family Fun (Page 80, September 2008) and the Write for Charity book From the Heart (May 2010). Julee's work has also been published in Weight Watchers Magazine, All You Magazine (Jan. 2011, February 2011, June 2013), Scholastic Parent and Child Magazine (Oct. 2011), Red River Family Magazine (Jan. 2011),, and more. Notably, her article "My Toddler Stood on Elvis' Grave and Scaled Over Boulders to Get to a Dinosaur" made AP News, and "The Sly Way I Cured My Child's Lying Habit" was featured on PopSugar. When she's not writing, Julee enjoys spending time with her family and exploring new baking recipes.
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