Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Cranium Game 2nd Edition - Review

Cranium Game 2nd Edition
"New second edition of the successful Cranium game. Includes 600 all new questions across 16 activities including sketching, sculpting, acting and humming that you loved last time. Guaranteed to entertain the whole family!"

Our family is already familiar with (and a fan of) Cranium, having in our games cupboard: the original Cranium, a Booster box and an old set of Cranium 2nd Edition.

The great thing about Cranium is the variety of tasks that need to be performed to progress round the board (and ultimately win) giving everybody a chance to find something they can excel at (or be embarrassingly bad at - Ivy, you know who I'm talking about!)

The only thing I haven't been too keen on is the board design which has a slightly confusing 'fast track' element and does make the game go on for rather a long time. This is something that has now been improved.

The new Cranium 2nd Edition has a three way playing board that allows you to choose the approximate length of play. It has the original design of board which it estimates should take 90 minutes to complete and 2 simplified versions giving approximately 60 and 30 minutes of play. In the spirit of not taking itself too seriously, Cranium states that these times are only a guess - "Actual game times may vary depending on luck, adequate and/or distracting snacks and the overall brilliance of the players."

The game is played in teams who take it in turns to draw cards from one of four different card boxes - Creative Cat, Word Worm, Star Performer and Data Head. The categories are the same as to the old version of 2nd edition but the questions are all new keeping it very current. There are also some new variations within the categories.

The Creative Cat category involves drawing clues or modelling out of Cranium Clay whilst your team members guess the answer on the card. Word Worm cards are (as the name suggests) wordy puzzles such as spelling, anagrams, definitions etc. Star Performer involves humming a tune or acting and Data Head is more of a general knowledge category. Some questions are directed specifically at individual teams and others are for everyone to try at once. It can all get a bit crazy in the second scenario!

The following video gives a taste of the sort of questions one can expect.

The game is recommended for ages 12+, but throwing the 10 sided dice, turning the timer over and poking the Cranium clay kept the 2 year old involved for a while. Baby Boy was happy to just chew on a sheet from one of the Doodle pads provided and observe!

This is definitely a game I would recommend. Our family has enjoyed playing Cranium on many occasions over the years and with the modification to the board of the new 2nd Edition, which allows for the less time consuming versions, I can imagine we will be likely to play even more often.

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