My friend has a great game that we like to play together, whose name essentially translates to Wise Guy. It is so much fun to play (and it doesn't hurt that I'm terrific at the game), but the game is in our local language and my grasp of the local language is the best in the family, and I want to be able to play with my children as well. Additionally, I felt like the game was too short, and had too little variety, so I wanted to adapt the game, keeping the same rules, but making it better.
The way the game works is that there are cards with categories as well as cards with letters. Each round a category is read and then a letter is shown, and the first person to blurt out a word that starts with that letter and fits that category gets that category card to keep.
This is a fast paced game that stretches your brain, which is why I understand why its name is the local language equivalent of wise guy, literally translated as "sharp head".
I made these cards in English, and added many, many, many more categories than the original had. I first looked online to see if I could find an English version of this game, but the closest I could find was the game Scattergories, but with Scattergories you don't need to do things starting with a specific letter, and it is a written list of who can get more, whereas this is a blurt it out game.Trying to come up with a name for this in English was difficult, because there were so many ideas that my kids and I thought of and we couldn't all agree on one. Ideas that we came up with were:
And one of my kids insists on calling this game Weisenheimer but no one else agrees to that.
But either way, the objective is the same. Win as many cards as possible.
How to Make the Game
To make the game I went to a store with office supplies and craft supplies. They had regular lined index cards, but when I asked for unlined ones I was shown packages of these plastic cards, the size of playing cards, which seemed perfect for the game. Each package of 50 cards was $1.40. I used about 5 or 6 packages (I don't remember exactly), making it about $8 to make this game. I used permanent markers, and if you don't have those you'd need to buy them as well, but those can be purchased in expensively as well. If you don't have cards you can use small index cards for these, but the plastic cards probably will hold up much better.
The store had a lot of packages of white cards, but only one each of a few different colors of cards, so I decided to make the letter cards colorful, and the category cards white.
I wrote the letters of the alphabet on the colorful cards, going through the alphabet a bunch of times until the letters were used up. I decided to leave out the letters Q, X, and Z to make the game more reasonable, because not everyone can think of words for each category using those letters.
Then on the white cards I wrote a bunch of different categories. For these categories, it had to be ones with multiple possible answers with many different letters, with short answers, since these have to be things you can blurt out quickly, and blurting out full sentences or phrases just doesn't work. To get ideas I looked at lists of categories used for Scategories games (you can find a lot of lists for that online) as well as making my own.
These were some of the ones I included:
Feel free to use any of these things, or add your own, or get more specific than these. Because I'll be playing with my children I didn't want to get too specific that they'd have a hard time coming up with answers.
When creating this game I was a little dismayed that you could see through the back of the cards so people could tell in advance what card was on the top of the pile even when it is turned over. I experimented with making different designs or using different colors but no matter what you could see through the card with the permanent markers. I tried putting stickers on the cards but I couldn't find any stickers big enough, so I just decided to adapt how we play this game to take into account the non opaque cards.
How to Play Wise Guy
1. Make two separate piles of cards, one of the categories and one of the letters. Mix thoroughly.
2. Flip over the category card and read it aloud so that everyone can hear it and there isn't an issue if someone can't see it properly or is a slower reader.
3. Take a letter card from the bottom of the pile (so that no one can see the letter before it is played) and flip it over, announcing the letter to everyone.
3. People now try to come up with a word that starts with that letter and fits into that category. For example, for the category Summer Things and the letter C you can say Canoe. Or terms of endearment and M can be M'lady. Or Hero with a W can be Wonder Woman.
4. Whoever calls out the answer first gets the category card (the letter cards get recycled).
5. Keep going until you get tired or all the cards get used up.
This game can be adapted however you want. Like if you're playing parents against kids, you can decide that parents have to give a 3 or 5 second head start to the kids before the parents start guessing. The point is to have fun, and that's all that matters here.
Does this look like a game that you'd enjoy? Have you ever played a game like this before? Do you think you'll make this game?
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