Saturday, September 24, 2011

Ever Played "Shenanigans" ?!

I probably should have researched that name to see if it is trademarked, or if there is a board game of the same name out there in the big ol' world.  But it won't change the fact that that is the name of the game we have been playing lately when our "game group" gets together.

Karen wants to "market" the game, but it wasn't our idea to begin with.  We have modified it in several ways since the first time it was taught to us (in a "game group" with totally different people than our current group), but the premise is basically the same so I cannot take credit.  In truth, I wish I could remember the names of the couple who taught it to us so I could give them a shout out here and a huge thank you bouquet of whatever-they-like because it is a GREAT game for large crowds of people!

First, let me just clarify that our "game group" is a non-exclusive group of couples and families that get together periodically (it is pretty random but around once every 1-3 months) to hang out and play games.  We've had lots of different families in it (many that have sadly moved away) but we were not in the original group that got together many years ago.  The group has kinda just evolved to include other couples and families.  The best way to be included is to host everyone at your house (which is how we have become "regulars" in our current group).  Last night we had about 8 different families (or part of the families since some folks had prior commitments) and a total of about 40 - 50 people (mostly kids who played downstairs while the adults played Shenanigans).  It was awesome!

No, this is NOT the way to play Shenanigans the Game!  :)

Now then, Shenanigans is a perfectly simple game ...
once you learn how to play it.

The setup only requires:
 - two containers (any shape or size will do)
 - pens or pencils (only to start with)
 - slips of paper (cut several regular pieces of paper into about 8-10 strips each)
 - and your guests' memories.
Each guest will write down on individual strips of paper one of the following:
 - a movie quote, or a song title, or a book title, or a movie title, or a commercial tagline, or a famous phrase in history (etc. etc. etc.)
The key is that each "clue" should not be too short (less than 3 words) or too long (more than 10 words) and should be something everyone would know.  Each player should come up with 1, 2, or 3 "clues" (the goal is to have enough total "clues" that each person will have multiple times to give clues and guess clues).  Place all of the clues in one of the containers.
Lastly you need to agree on a way to separate your group into two teams.  Guys versus girls usually works well, but you can do it Family Feud style or by age ... whatever makes sense and is easy-to-remember!

The game play works like this.  There are three rounds (with two options for a 4th round in the event of a tie at the end of 3 rounds ... which happens surprisingly often).
In Round One the clue giver is allowed to say anything except the phrase itself to get you to guess the clue they have drawn (think "Password" and you'll have the idea).  After the clue is successfully guessed, the bucket moves to the next person on that team and they draw a clue and play continues in the same manner.  After ONE MINUTE, collect the correctly answered clues and put them in the "other" container and then it is the other team's turn.  Score the total correct answers after each round.  This round is over when all clues have been guessed.  Now the real fun begins ...
In Round Two you will use the same clues and each person will again take turns getting their team to guess the clue they draw.  In this round, you follow standard "Charades" rules.  Again this round is over when all clues have been guessed, with each team still having just one minute at a time to get as many clues as they can.
In Round Three it gets even more challenging!  The timing, scoring, and end of this round are exactly the same as in prior rounds but the twist is this ... each clue giver is only allowed to say ONE WORD as the clue to their team.  If you accidentally say "Um" or "Crap" or "Hmmmm" ... that's your clue !!!  Stop talking and pray your team gets it (or just "pass" and put your clue back in the container for the next player to draw from).

Breaking ties can be done with one of the following optional Bonus Rounds:
Option One: Using the same clues, follow the "All Play" Pictionary rules.  Alternate artists between your teams for each new clue.  Most correctly guessed clues at the end wins the game.
Option Two: Using the same clues, repeat Round Three (one word clues, one person at a time, but with NO time limit) as an "All Play" version (first person to guess correctly gets the point for their team regardless of which team gave the clue).  The container of clues is simply passed around the circle/table (it does not matter if clues are given by several of the same team in a row because the score is given based on who correctly guesses the clue).

It may not seem "simple" at all, but you can't knock it until you've tried it!  This group works great for as small of a group as 8 people and we've played with as many as 22 people, which worked just as well.
So get a "game group" together (call us and we'll be happy to come play and teach this game to your whole party!) and play some Shenanigans!  You'll thank me later!  :)


1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a really fun game!! I think you and Karen should market this!! As for the name, I don't think there is a game out called "Shenanigans" but if there is you could always change/alternate the spelling...