Friday, August 3, 2012

The Gaming Corner: Cranium

"A foot. No, a finger. Confetti?  Wait, a megaphone!"

If you have ever been present for the aforementioned conversation you have probably played Cranium. This ingenious board game of random trivial knowledge, conveniently sprinkled with drawing and crafting skills make this game quite fun.

Recently, we were able to play the game following the proper rules when friends came over for a visit. It was good fun.

Before I get into how to play the game, let's go over the most important part of the game: the cards. Here they are and what is on them:

Data Head
These cards check your known knowledge or your guessing aptitude.

Factoid: These cards are a trivia question. If you know the answer, you win. If not, you get to guess and most likely your guess will make others laugh.

Odd Couple: These cards give you a hint and then a list of 5 words or phrases. You then need to pick the 2 items from the list that don't belong.

Polygraph: These cards have you decide if a statement written on the card is true or false.

Selectaquest: These cards have a multiple choice question on them.

Word Worm
These cards are about your knowledge of words.

Blankout: Ever play hangman? These cards come with a hint and then the answer. The only problem is that the answer has about 80% of the letters missing. For example, hint: You are reading it right now. Answer _ H _     G _ _ I _ _     C _ R _ _ R  (look in the title of this blog before the colon for the answer).

Lexicon: On this card, you are given a word and four choices for a definition. You then pick which of the four choices are the real definition.

Mindmeld: This card is an odd one. Each person on your team has to write down 3 words that come to mind about a topic that is given on the card. If any of the words written down match what another player wrote down, then your team wins the round.

Team Gnilleps: These cards make you spell a word. The part that makes this card fun is that you need to do it backward and your whole team needs to do it. One letter per person around your team until you are done.

Zelpuz: On these cards, you are given a hint and then a puzzle. The puzzle has all the letters of the answer in it, and you just need to rearrange them and then you will say to yourself, why didn't I see that sooner? I'm just going to use a card provided in the game as coming up with a real puzzle is way out of my ability right now. Hint: Penniless Picasso, Puzzle: It Starts Raving (Answer can be found on this page. Double points if you don't need to cheat).

Creative Cat
These cards involve drawing or sculpting the Cranium clay to get a teammate to say the word in question.

Cloodle: It's a complete ripoff of Pictionary. For those of you who haven't played Pictionary, a player is given a word and then only with pictures drawn, they need to try and get their team to guess the answer.

Sculptorades: Its like the previous card but instead of drawing pictures, the 'artist' needs to sculpt the Cranium clay (read: play dough) into something that will get his team to shout out the right word.

Sensosketch: This card is pure evil. It is a cloodle card with one twist: the artist needs to keep his/her eyes closed the whole time (I open them when I need to get a new piece of paper, but I'm not drawing then so it shouldn't count).

Star Performer
These cards involve acting, singing, or pretending one of your team members is a mannequin.

Cameo: Charades rip off (wow, this game is like a rip off of half a dozen other games all rolled into one). Get your team to guess a word by acting it out while using no words.

Copycat: This card requires the player to try and get his/her team to guess what famous person he or she is pretending to be. Words and actions are allowed but the mentioning of people or places are not.

Humdinger: You get to hum or whistle a song. Your team needs to guess what it is. Not as easy as it sounds, but it is that easy to try.

Sideshow: Using a teammate as a mannequin, you need to get your team to guess a word or phrase. This one is a lot of fun, though my explanation leaves something to be desired. Trust me, you will like this card.

The next unique thing about this game is the board. I have taken a picture of it so you can see.
Puppa Bear liked a game that was very long.
Mumma Bear liked a game that was too short.
But Baby Bear liked a game that was just right.
With just the one board that comes with the game, you and Goldilocks can choose the length of game you would like to play. Cool, isn't it?

Game play is simple. On your turn, the other team draws a card matching the color of the space you are on. If you are on a purple space, you get to pick. If you get your question correct or win the challenge on the card, you get to roll the die and move to the next space on the track that matches the color you rolled (think Candy Land with questions).

Once your piece makes it to the center of the board, the giant brain space, the other teams get to decide which color card to pull for you but if you get it right/succeed at the challenge, then you win the game.

Oh so simple and yet oh so fun.

-Gamer Jason

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