Cranium is the 4-16 player family party game from Hasbro where teams of players have to complete a number of activities in different areas in order to win the game. Players must move around the board, performing various activities, based on the colour of the space they are on, in order to reach the center "Cranium".
When at the centre "Cranium" space a team must complete a final activity selected by the opposing team in order to win.
The set-up for Cranium is pretty straight forward. The board is laid out in the centre with the four decks of cards relating to the four activities placed on the corresponding space. Players place their playing piece on the start space and all the other components (sand timer, pen, paper etc) are put within easy reach.
Players start the game of Cranium on a purple space, which allows the team to choose their activity. The team to the right of the active team will draw the card and read it out. They will also start the sand timer when the active team is ready. If the active team successfully completes the activity then they roll the dice and move that number of spaces, their turn is now over.
If they do not complete the activity they stay where they are and end their turn. Next turn they must try again and don't move from the space until they complete the activity.
The activities include:
- Creative Cat - For the creatives in the group. Players must draw or sculpt an item or clue. It could be a simple drawing or sculpting activity or item, or you could make it more difficult by having to do the activity with your eyes closed whilst the other team members try to guess.
- Word Worm - For the word and language buffs in the group. This activity generally involves spelling a difficult word (sometimes backwards), defining a word, solving anagrams or a "fill-in-the-blank" for your fellow team members to guess the word.
- Data Head - For the know-it-all in the groups. This is a straight up general knowledge trivia activity, including multiple choice and true or false questions.
- Star Performer - For the performer and dramatics. This activity is charades, impersonations or humdingers (humming a tune). Players must perform or act out the activity whilst the team mates are trying to guess.
There are also all-play cards where all the teams compete against each other in a bid to be the first team to guess the correct answer before the timer runs out. The winning team then gets to roll the dice and move.
Play continues with each team performing the relevant activity based on the space they are on and moving around the board. The first team to enter the centre "Cranium" space must complete one more activity of the opposing team's choice. If they are successful they win the game, if they are not they try again next turn.
Final Thoughts on Cranium
Cranium is a fun party game aimed at the non-gaming community that can be enjoyed by gamers also. It is light-hearted and entertaining, and generates plenty of laughter. The four categories keep things mixed up from turn to turn and there is plenty of variety in the cards. With the right group of friends and family this can be a fun game and is worth checking out.