- 1 game board
- 600 cards covering 30 subjects
- 1 ten-sided die
- 1 tub of clay
- 1 timer
- Pads and pencils
- 4 play pieces
Additional Setup Notes
- Before starting the game, players will need to split up into even-numbered teams, choosing a designated color. There must be at least two players on each team because they’ll work together to score points.
- Each team will receive a pad of paper and pencil as well as a play piece which is placed at “Start” on their respective color.
- Place the four boxes of cards next to their designated spaces on the Cranium board.
- The player with the most upcoming birthday is the team that will play first.
The object of Cranium is to be the first team that navigates the board and makes it into Cranium Central, where they must prove their wits and talents to accomplish one final prompt. If the team accomplishes their final gauntlet of tasks, they win the game! Cranium is a trivia game that capitalizes on all areas of knowledge, from pop culture to ancient history, making it the perfect game for a large group.
Cranium players move around the board using the die to determine how far they travel. If you get lucky and roll purple on the Cranium die, your team can move to the closest purple Cranium space.
After selecting which team goes first, the team to their right will read out a card pulled from whichever colored square they landed on. (Ex: If your team lands on a red space, the opposing team will pull out a card from a deck of the same color.)
If a team can complete the task within the time limit, they are free to continue forward on their next turn. If they can’t complete the task, they remain in that colored space and will need to try again from the same deck on their next turn. Each turn consists of a team rolling a die, moving, and an attempt to complete a card’s task.
There are four deck types in Cranium, all of which correspond to a designated trivia discipline.
- Red (Data Head): Fun Facts, where players must select the correct true or false answer from trivia questions.
- Blue (Creative Cat): Act it out, players must give clues to their team by pantomiming, whistling, or impersonating a star or celebrity. No talking!
- Yellow (Word Worm): Linguistics, players are chosen to complete a word-oriented task, such as simple spelling challenges, unscrambling, definitions, or even spelling certain words backward.
- Green (Star Performer): Artistry, team members must give their clues by sculpting or drawing a prompt.
- Club Cranium Cards: Located within each of the four decks, Cranium Cards signal all teams to play the card at the same time. The first team to complete the task is granted an extra turn immediately.
Cranium is a fairly straightforward trivia game, but there are a few factors to remember when playing. If a team lands on a Brain Space, for example, they get to choose whatever type of challenge they’d like from the four decks. This can alter the game pretty dramatically, because those who complete a Brain Space task, can access the “Fast Track” within the game.
There are two possible paths teams can take to get to Cranium Central, the “Normal Track,” the standard path with more spaces to move, and the “Fast Track,” a path with less spaces but demands pristine performance when meeting the next Brain Space, because if you fail to complete it, you’re knocked back onto the “Normal Track.”
Both paths lead to Cranium Central, but only the brightest minds can take home the glory.
After a team reaches Cranium Central, players roll the die to decide which card deck they will start on. The team that reaches Cranium Central gets a chance to complete an activity from each of the four decks. If they fail on one of these decks, they remain on that deck until their next turn when they can try again. Once all four activities have been completed, another team will choose a final card from any of the four decks. If your team completes all four activities within Cranium Central plus the additional random task from another team, you’ve won the game of Cranium.