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Cranium Rules: How do you Play Cranium?


The purpose of the game is to be the first to move around the entire board and into the Cranium Central.  Then, to win, you must successfully complete one final activity.


You will need a pawn or place marker for each team.  You will also need the game board, die, timer and Cranium clay.  Additionally, you will need the four card boxes.  These are labeled “Creative Cat,” “Word Worm,” “Star Performer,” and “Data Head.”  Lastly you will need paper and a pen or pencil for each team.

Setting up the board

Cranium rules have the option of adjusting the board for longer or shorter play time.  For a quick game fold the board so only four sections are showing.  For a game lasting approximately one hour fold the board in a rectangle allowing eight sections to show.  For a full length game, lasting approximately an hour and a half, display the board in a “T” shape allowing all twelve sections to be in play.  


To begin playing place one token for each team on the board.  The team with the player who has the next birthday goes first.

On Your Turn

You begin your turn by completing an activity.  The color of the space matches the four card boxes.  On your first turn, and each time you are on a purple space you be able to choose from any of the four card boxes. 

The team to the right will draw the card from the appropriate box and read it to you.  They will also set the timer for you when you are ready.  You must complete the activity before the time runs out. 

If you successfully complete the activity you get to the roll the die and move that many spaces.  Your turn is now over.

If you do not successfully complete the activity, your turn is over.   You will stay on the same square and try again on your next turn.

Note:  If you are playing either the Cranium rules mid-length or full length version of the game you must stop on all purple spaces. 

All Play Cards

When an all-play card is drawn all the teams complete together.  The first team to shout out the correct answer, before the timer runs out, gets to roll the dice and move.  Once the winning team has moved, play resumes where it left off.

Fast Track

When you play the full length Cranium rules version, you have the opportunity to take the fast track.  For the full length version of the game you must stop at every purple square.  If you team is able to successfully complete the activity on this square on your first turn at the square, you may move to the inner fast track.  If you were unsuccessful the first time, you must stay on the outer track and take the scenic route. 


To win you must enter “Cranium Central.”  Once you have entered “Cranium Central” the other teams will get to choose the card box activity you must complete.  In order to win you must successfully complete your final activity.  If you are unsuccessful, you can try again on your next turn, and each subsequent turn until you are successful.  The first team to successfully complete the final activity in “Cranium Central” is the winner.  

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