Playing time: About an hour, though it
depends on the number/skill of the players
Iíll admit that I was a bit
skeptical about Cranium at first. Iíve never been much of an artist, so Iíve always been
intimidated by Pictionary. And Iíve never been much of an exhibitionist, so Iíve always
avoided charades like the plague. But take the two of them and throw in a few things Iím
pretty good at (like word games and pointless trivia), and youíve got yourself a game
thatís right up my alley. In fact, I think I can safely say that itís right up just
about anyoneís alley.
The object of Cranium is to make your way around
the board, completing activities as you go. Depending on your position on the game
board, that could mean answering a trivia question, drawing with your eyes closed,
humming, acting, molding something out of clay, or even spelling words backwards. If
your team is the first to make it around the board and into the center and complete one
of each of the four activities (and one other activity, as chosen by your opponents), you
I think the most appealing thing about Cranium is that it gives
each player his or her opportunity to shine. For instance, my husband is an incredible
artistóso when we had to do a drawing activity, he did the drawing. But when the
activity involved spelling, it was up to me. So I could do the things that Iím good at,
and he could do the things that heís good at. And together, we made a pretty good team.
When we first played Cranium, our only complaint was with the Fast Track.
There are four special spots on the board, and if, while youíre on that spot, you
correctly complete the activity on your first try, you can take a shortcut. If you
donít, you have to take the long way. While itís a great reward for answering questions
correctly, it also can mean that one lucky team speeds around the board, while another
team, who got a few tough questions, is stuck far behind. To even things out a bit, I
might try playing without the Fast Track in the future.
however, Cranium is an excellent party game. Because Cranium isnít just a word game.
And itís not just a trivia game. Itís not just a drawing game, either. Itís all of the
above. Itís great for everyoneóthe word whiz, the trivia master, the artist, the actor,
the exhibitionist, and even the wallflower. In fact, itís my new favorite game. Pick up
a copy, and Iím sure youíll find that itís your new favorite game,
Ed. Note: Once youíve played so many games that youíve
used all of your cards, donít fret! You can order more! And if you want to make things
a little more personal, you can customize and print your own cards. Check out Cranium.com for detailsóor to try out some sample