For Jesse Schell’s game design class, our prompt was a free game that could be anything. I had the idea of wanting to create a party game that could be played in teams that combines elements of some of my favorite party games, namely Cranium, Scattergories, Trivial Pursuit, and Mario Party.
In Categoria, teams move around a circular board and land on different colored spaces. For each space, the team member draws category cards from that type of designated color and then needs to guess teammates to guess one to four categories. Each color corresponds to a specific action the team must undergo to win coins.
Blue – Drawing: Draw items or things within the category (i.e. draw a bunch of bees if you drew the category “Insects”) to get your teammates to guess the category.
Orange – Audio: Make a lot of sounds of items within the category. You can sing songs or do accents, animal noises, etc.
Green – Acting: Similar to Charades, you must nonverbally act out things within the category to get your teammates to guess the category.
Yellow – The Room: You must run around the room and point at things that fit within the designated category.
Red – Self-Trivia: You ask a series of questions about each other in order to win points.
The catch is that, depending on what Quadrant of the board you’re in when you land on a space determines the number of categories you must guess as a team in order to win that number of points. The time limit varies as well.
So, in Quadrant 1, you have 30 seconds to get the rest of your team to guess one category. Whereas in Quadrant 4, you would have two minutes to get the rest of your team guess four categories. If you successfully did so, you would get four coins. But you got three but missed out on the last one, you’d get no coins at all.
Players then trade coins in for Victory Points at the center of the board, and the team with the most points at the end of play wins.
My full-scale documentation can be viewed here (turn to page 32 for the final game rules):