My daughter got this board game for Christmas about 3 years ago and it is one that has come to the caravan with us every single time since, where we seem to do most of our 'board gaming'.
Cranium is designed for players aged 8 to Adult and to play you must have 4 or more players (you play in two teams of two or more). Inside the box you get four different coloured boxes each containing a hundred cards. The aim of the game like most board games is to reach the end of the board, but unlike most board games you roll the dice at the end of your turn and only if your team successfully complete an activity first. Basically you follow a path around the board and the path is made up of coloured spaces, a colour to match each of the boxes of cards plus some purple squares. You start on a purple square and the game starts when the first team chose an colour card to start off with, each pack of coloured cards has a different name and represents a different kind of activity as listed below;
Red - Data head - Contains multiple choice questions, true or false statements and things to memorise etc.
Yellow - Word worm - Contains anagrams and other word games etc.
Green - Star performer - contains charades type activities, name that tune type humming games etc.
Blue - Creative Cat - Contains, activities involving sculpting or drawing with a twist etc.
If your team fail to complete their activity successfully they don't get to roll the dice so remain on the first purple square, if they pass then they get to roll the dice and head off round the board, the colour they land on determines which colour activity they will have to take part in on their next turn to decide whether they get to roll the dice and if they land on purple they get to chose again.
Also in the box you will find a tub of cranium clay, 4 flipper frogs, 6 cranium cubes with letters on, a pad and a pencil which are needed to complete some of the challenges and also a dice and an egg timer as all challenges have a set time limit.
This really is a great game for all the family to play together or even to add a bit of fun to a night in with friends, it seems quite similar to pictionary but with many more activities making it much more interesting, we always end up having fun when we play this and never fail to all end up laughing at ourselves as well as each other. There is something so funny about watching a team run round in a state of giddy panic, when the instructions have told them to find three objects, as listed on the card, in a set time limit, looking for something twisted or something green and missing lots of perfect examples in their excitement.
There is a lower age limit of eight on this game and a lot of the tasks would be too difficult for somebody any younger than that age, but we always manage to include the younger ones by splitting them between the teams and letting them take part in the easier challenges or with older players as part of a group task, although this does only really work well if there are a few in each team, we played once with two adults, an 8 year old and a 5 year old and lets just say it was a disaster, although I was with the 5 year old the challenges which required 2 players were just too difficult and the other team had a definite unfair advantage.
This game has cheered us up after many a rainy day in Anglesey and can even stop the arguments between my two eldest daughters who are just 'at that age where they would argue over a banana skin!!!' and definitely encourages them to work as a team, I've found its also a good confidence boost or good to break the ice between friends who haven't met before or don't know each other very well, once you've raced to flip plastic frogs into a bowl made out of clay together any shyness of awkwardness just melts away. Each game takes around 45 minutes to play right through which is long enough to have a decent game which satisfies the kids or great for refreshing the drinks and starting again.
All in all this definitely one I would recommend to cheer up a rainy day, to play with family or with friends over a few drinks, simply an all round fun experience.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
I have just searched for this game on the internet and it is available from Amazon for £14.98, you can also buy Cranium booster boxes containing 800 card with brand new activities and questions on and these are available for around £9.98 on Amazon new and less for used and also appear frequently on e-bay.
Cranium Family Fun is a fast paced board game which is suitable for kids aged 8+ to adults and features a hilarious mix of activities such as sculpting with clay, flipping a flipper frog, performing silly stunts, acting, sketching and general knowledge..
The aim of the game is simple, to get to the end of the 37 spaces of the board before the opposing team by completing tasks from all of the categories, you need at least four players as you play in two teams. The box contains the board, 400 cranium cards, cranium clay, 6 cranium cubes, 4 flipper frogs, a dice, a timer, pad and pencil, 2 mover pieces and a rule sheet.
It is simple to set up the game, just put the board on the table and place the boxes of cards on their spaces. The team with the player with the next birthday goes first by choosing one of the categories to play. If they get the question correct, they can then throw the dice and move forward the correct number of spaces. There are several squares with stars on them, if you hit one of these then you can move double the number of spaces that you roll. At one point the board splits, allowing you to go down the blue and red or green and yellow path for a few spaces depending on which questions you prefer.
The tasks fall into four categories. I have given examples of the types of tasks in each category below.
Data Head (red box).
The Polygraph where you answer true or false questions. A sample question is crocodiles swallow stones to help them grind food and stay underwater (the answer is true in case you were wondering!)
Memorise: you have 10 seconds to memorise a pattern of cranium cubes. Once they are memorised, you have until the timer runs out to roll the cubes until you get the correct colours to match the pattern
Tip Top where you need to name 3 of things in a given category such as animals in the Chinese Zodiac.
Creative Cat (blue box)
Sculptorades, one member of the team sculpts a given object such as a wig or Saturn out of cranium clay while the other team member guesses what it is.
Zooma is where you identify objects by looking at close up pictures of parts of the object
Sensosketch: one member of the team draws an object like a saxophone with their eyes closed and the other team members try to guess the object.
Star Performer (green box)
Humdinger; hum or whistle a tune while the others guess it, an example being You Are My Sunshine
Fast Find; Work together as a team to gather objects before the timer runs out in a variety of categories such as something you can hang on a doorknob, something the same shape when you turn it upside down and something with a hole in it.
Cameo; act out a scene with no sounds such as a pillow fight while the others guess what it is.
Stunt; choose a team mate to stand on one foot and balance 3 cranium cubes on the other foot for 10 seconds.
Word Worm (yellow box)
Team Gnilleps: Work together as a team to spell a given word (such as pepperoni) backwards taking each letter in turn.
Letter Line Up; Roll all 6 cranium cubes and write one word in each category starting with one of the letters you have rolled on the cube, using every letter. The categories of the random card I chose were song title, drink, famous person, city, flower and dog breed.
Finders Keepers; simple word searches.
This game has become a firm favourite in my family and is enjoyed by the adults as well as the kids. I get bored with a lot of kids games but this one is great even if I do feel foolish acting or humming! Each game probably takes around an hour and there are enough cards with the game that you don't keep repeating the same ones and becoming bored with it. It is not a quiet game, there is a lot of activity and laughter during the game. Some of the questions are fairly tricky for an eight year old but we normally play in teams with an adult and child so was not too much of a problem.
The game retails at £24.99, but I believe it is worth the price as it has been played so many times. The new Cranium Wow which is much more expensive seems to be almost identical to the Family Fun Edition. I like the fact that the game has such a huge variety of tasks and also that it promotes learning while having fun.
Exciting and fun. Test your skills and your luck! This edition includes over 16 team based activities from sculpting to performing tasks. For 4 or more players or teams. Age: 8+