Product Type: other board games
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'The Game For Your Whole Brain'
Member Name: Ric!
Date: 09/01/02, updated on 09/01/02 (1879 review reads)
Advantages: Fun, Lots to do
Disadvantages: Need 4 players
I was given Cranium as a Christmas present recently. If, like me, you have never heard of it before, you may initially not have much enthusiasm for it. But this game is FANTASTIC, and you will only get to realise it by playing it. Hopefully, my opinion might help persuade you to give it a try, otherwise you are missing out big time!
Cranium is a bit of everything! Ever played Trivial Persuit, Pictionary, Rapidough, Charades? This game has all that plus much, much more! It is already huge in the United States. In fact, according to their web site, Crainum sold more copies in its first week on sale than Trivial Persuit did in its first year! (www.playcranium.com) This is the UK Edition and it has been appropriately modified!
The game is suitable for teenagers and adults, and it requires at least 4 players. You can have up to 4 teams, but there must be at least two players per team. Like most board games you must start at the beginning, working your way around the board until you reach the end. Then you move into the centre (CRANIUM CENTRAL), answer a few finale questions and, hey presto, you're the winner.
Each coloured position on the playing board represents a different category. You must take a card from that category and perform the task. Within each category there are several different SUB-categories, so you can't be sure what you'll get.
Blue is CREATIVE CAT. Draw a card from this category and you may have to:
1) Draw the item written on the card without talking, rather like 'Pictionary' - this is called a CLOODLE!
2) Sculpt the object written on the card, similar to 'Rapidough' - this is called a SCULPTORADE!
3) Draw the item written on the card, without talking, AND with your eyes closed - this is excellent fun, and is called a SENSOSKETCH!
Yellow is WORD WORM. Draw a card from this category and you may have to:
4) Unscramble words, called a ZELPUZ
(which is an anagram of puzzle)!
5) Spell a difficult word, called a SPELLBOUND!
6) Guess the definition of an unusual word from a choice given - this is called a LEXICON!
7) Fill in the blanks - you are given a hint and a couple of letters of word or phrase, with the missing letters represented as blanks. Then you have to guess the word or phrase, sort of a cross between a crossword puzzle and hangman. This is called a BLANKOUT!
8) Spell a moderately difficult word backwards. Sounds easy, but when you've had a few to drink, you may be able to see the word in your head, but what comes out of your mouth is not always right - believe me! These are called GNILLEPS (spelling spelt backwards)!
Red is DATA HEAD. Draw a card from this category and you may have to:
9) Answer a question to show off your knowledge of unusual things - called a FACTOID!
10) Answer a true/false question - called a POLYGRAPH!
11) Answer an extremely difficult multiple-choice question - called a SELECTAQUEST!
Green is STAR PERFORMER. Draw a card from this category and you may have to:
12) Hum or whistle a tune that is written on the card - this is called a HUMDINGER!
13) Impersonate a celebrity so that your team mates can guess who it is - this is called a COPYCAT!
14) Act out a clue that is written on the card - called a CAMEO!
So, as you can see, there are 14 fantastic tasks. You perform these under a time limit, and some of the tasks are an 'all play' so that everyone plays them all at once (rather like in Pictionary). Something I particularly like about the method of playing this game is that you only have one go at a time, then it rotates to the next team. For example, if you successfully complete a task, you roll the dice and move onto the next square, but that is where your go ends. You must then wait for your next go to do that task. This means that everyone is continually playing with
out having to wait too long for their go.
An average game will last for about an hour - which is another great design plus. Relatively quick games mean that you will always play to a finish - unlike Trivial Persuit, for example.
Included in the game, you get:
800 Cranium Cards in 4 Category Boxes
Ten Sided Cranium Die
Tub of Cranium Clay
4 Pads and 4 Pencils
4 Playing Pieces
I was very sceptical when given the game. I'd never heard of it, and I didn't think it was going to be a classic - but I was wrong! To find out more, visit their website at www.playcranium.com. You will also find a list of places that sell the game. Apparantly it is available in places such as John Lewis, Debenhams, Virgin Megastores, Harrods, Hamleys, Ottakars, Books etc, Toysrus, Starbucks Coffee(!!) and several other outlets. I have seen it online at www.toysrus.co.uk. The normal retail price is £29.99.
This great game has only been available since the end of October, so it is still in its infancy in this country, but I'm sure that it is here to stay.
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