Categoria

Team Size: 1

Timeframe: 1 month

Type: Family-style team game

Gameplay: 45 minutes (for a 10-turn game)

Number of Players: Up to 4 teams (of at least 2 players per team)

Prompt: Create a game that can be anything.

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.

You will need:

  • 1 Categoria Game Board
  • 2-4 Different-Colored Team Tokens
  • 1 d6 Die
  • 50+ Category Cards
        • Blue Drawing Cards
        • Orange Audio/Noise Cards
        • Green Acting Cards
        • Yellow Room Cards
        • Red Self-Trivia Cards
  • 1 Victory Point Conversion Card
  • Coins/Tokens to serve as Coins
  • Tokens to serve as Victory Points
        • Ex: FATE Dice turned to the Plus side for this version
  • 4 Timers
        • 1 Black 30-second Timer
        • 1 White 60-second Timer
        • 1 Red 90-second Timer
        • 1 Blue 120-second Timer
  • 1 Set Sheet per Team
  • 1 Self-Question Sheet per Team
  • 1 Pad of Paper
  • 1 Pencil or Pen (at least)

The goal of the game is to collect coins by performing activities based on the color of the squares, AND ALSO BASED ON the Quadrant of which the squares are located.

Let’s explain. There are four Quadrants that make up the board: 1, 2, 3, and 4. This number designates the number of categories you must come up with as a team in order to earn that specific number of coins. The time limit also varies for each Quadrant (see below). 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. These rules hold true for all Squares, except for Red Squares, which have no time limit.

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.  You CANNOT describe things within the category, but you can do dialogue sounds.  So, for example, if you drew “Heroes”, you could say, in your best Spider-Man voice, “with great power comes great responsibility” and then sing the Superman theme, but you CANNOT say “I am a friendly neighborhood who helps people.” Your sounds must be in the “slice of life” style.

Green – Acting: Similar to Charades, you must nonverbally act out things within the category to get your teammates to guess the category.  So, for example, if you drew “Leisure Activities”, act like a person lounging on the beach, or sip a fake beer. Physical Props are not allowed.

Yellow – The Room: You must run around the room and point at things that fit within the designated category.  Cards in this section are different than the others.  If you drew “Things that are tall”, run around and point to the huge-screen TV, or the tallest person in the room, or that lampstand that you were always looking up at, until your teammate(s) guess the correct category (within the allotted time of course).

Red – Self-Trivia: Different from the other categories, these cards have no time limit.  The cards in this deck are personal-related cards, like Fears, Accomplishments, or Relationships.  If you rolled the die, you must come up with a series of questions about yourself to ask your teammate(s).  If they guess them right (i.e. you know each other well), you get coins.  However, the opposing team can also write down their answer to your self-question and if there is a push, no one gets coins, so be wary of asking absurdly easy questions.  See how well you and your teammate know each other. Do you know things about each other that the other team doesn’t?

Teams must then return to the center of the board overtime to trade coins in for Victory Points, and the team with the most points at the end of play wins (there are different types of endgames that the playing group can agree on before beginning).

My full-scale documentation can be viewed here (turn to page 32 for the final game rules):

Categoria