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Video Game / Anticipation

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Anticipation is a party board game-style video game for the Nintendo Entertainment System. It's developed by Rare and published by Nintendo. It was the first NES game to use the Four-Score adapter.

In this game, a colored square will reveal in the center and a video pencil will draw a picture as a die counts down from six. The gamers must buzz in and answer what the picture is. If they guess two wrong letters or they waste time, they will be locked out from guessing the current puzzle; if all four players are locked out, the game will report No-One Can Answer, and players will be presented with a new puzzle from the same category and color. A player who wishes to answer must buzz in before the die reaches zero. If a player solves the puzzle, the player will move a number of spaces equal to the face showing on the die.

So yes, it's basically Pictionary, only in video game form, and surprisingly, better in quality compared to the actual NES Pictionary game.

There are 4 color puzzles (5 in level 3 and 4):

  • Yellow
  • Green
  • Blue
  • Pink
  • Grey (Only on levels 3 and 4).

The Tokens are:

  • Player One controls The Shoes
  • Player Two controls The Trumpet
  • Player Three controls The Teddy Bear
  • Player Four controls The Ice-Cream Cone

Anticipation provides examples of:

  • A.I. Roulette: To balance out the Computer's perfect ability to play, occasionally it'll buzz in, only for its 'guess' to be a string of symbols with a few letters from the correct answer. This can be a clue to human players capable of filling in the blanks.
  • Bladder of Steel: The pause function will not work during puzzles.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Since it's hard to program otherwise, the AI, if it buzzes in, will get the correct answer. (Unless it decides to throw the question.) On harder difficulties, the AI-controlled opponents tend to guess puzzles within seconds, sometimes even before the picture starts getting drawn, and without a category to go off of.
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  • Do Well, But Not Perfect: You don't necessarily want to ring in right away. Your goal is to complete a puzzle of every colour - and on higher difficulties, avoid the Drop-Out Squares on level 4 - so you'll want to ring in when the counter die reads the right number.
  • Easter Egg: The Grey Puzzle. When you land on Feature Square and prevent your token from flying around the board (by rapidly pressing A), the token will then flash instead and start a puzzle.
  • Visual Pun: The advanced Whatchamacallit category is full of visual puns that you have to decipher to guess.
  • Whammy: On level 4 (Only on Hard and Very Hard mode), there is a black square (Though more of a hole in the board) called The Drop-Out Square. If you land on any of those, you will fall back to level 3.