COMMENTARY: A Country Game for the Whole Family

One of the things I love most about country music is that the lyrics can get really, well, for lack of a better term, “honky tonk.”  That’s why I jumped at the chance to try out You’ve Been Sentenced! Country Music Edition by McNeill Designs for Brighter Minds when it came into our office.

Ali.March14I’ll be the first one to admit that country music can have some lyrics that are “real country,” bordering on slightly ridiculous at times. But that’s what is great about this game. Based on the original You’ve Been Sentenced! word game, players are each dealt a hand of 10 word cards, which they use to try to build a sentence. The country music twist on this game is that these cards contain the names of country music artists, song titles, lyrics, and words and phrases such as calf roping, tractor pull, deep-fried Oreos, and sippin’ on sweet tea.

The game leads to pretty hilarious country music lyrics, as players then read aloud the sentences they’ve built. Like the original game, this game helps teach sentence structures and grammar skills to kids ages 8 and up, even if the subject matter is all about Zac Brown Band and pickup trucks. Games that are challenging puzzles mixed in with a little learning allow kids to building reading and writing skills during family game night, but also provide a great party game for adults who have already mastered the art of sentence construction. Games like this make for a great addition to any country-music lovin’ family’s game closet.

For more commentary from Ali, check back each Thursday afternoon. Views expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Toy Book as a whole. We hope that you will share your comments and feedback below. Until next time!

You’ve been Sentenced! Country Music Edition Launches at Celebrity Charity Tournament

Game manufacturer McNeill Designs for Brighter Minds, in partnership with Nashville Music Guide, has launched the Country Music Edition of the literacy game You’ve been Sentenced! The game was launched this month at the annual YBS! Celebrity Tournament, held in Nashville.

Upon the tournament’s conclusion, LoCash Cowboys’ own Preston Brust reigned as champion; Brust’s winning sentence will be featured on the game’s initial print run. The winning sentence read, “Crop duster, Mark Wills, freaked out and kicked sweet Band Perry’s nervous rear end backstage!”

The You’ve been Sentenced!Country Music Edition is expected in stores this October. McNeill Designs has plans underway to align in mutually beneficial promotional relationships with artists, additional non-profit foundations, and Music City organizations.

This post was originally written by Sierra McCleary-Harris and published by For more news, visit, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.