I Am Scattergories and You Can Too: A Scattergories Retrospective

This equals a party right here.

This equals a party right here.

Please tell me that all of you have played Scattergories at some point in your life. If you have not, I will find myself extremely saddened and may not be able to be your friend anymore. Still, there is some hope, because then I will get a chance to tell you about my favorite party game. But first, as always, some history.

Scattergories is still relatively new compared to other classics like Monopoly but when played correctly can provide much more entertainment value. Milton Bradley first produced the game in 1988 through Hasbro and since then there haven’t been a whole lot of developments in the Scattergories front.

You won’t find an edition for everything and everyone. The most creative example I’ve found is a Bible-themed version of the game, though once I explain the rules, you shouldn’t find it difficult to create a version to suit anyone.

These Are The Rules As You Know Them

The game goes as follows: 2 to 6 players (or more if you’re hardcore/love parties), each take a Scattergories folder containing paper, pencil, and the categories for the round. There are 3 rounds and multiple lists of categories to pick from. Once a list has been selected someone rolls the 20-sided die and a letter is selected. The 6 letters excluded are Q, U, V, X, Y, and Z. If you want a challenge, take your best shot with those letters instead.

The Bible Edition, not the Green Edition.

The Bible Edition, not the Green Edition.

Once a letter is rolled, such as S, the timer is started and players must fill out the list with only things starting with the letter that’s been rolled. Each list has categories such as “A Boy’s Name,” or “Type of Sandwich” and players must write in something that fits the category. Things get tricky when you get abstract, such as a State Capital for the letter S could just be the letter “S.” Double points would go to someone that uses multiple words, like if the category was “Child’s Toy” you could put “Space Ship” and get two points.

Players take turns reading their lists at the end of each round. Anyone with the same answer crosses it out and no one gets the point, so if everyone has “Scott” for “A Boy’s Name,” no points for them. Basically, the game challenges your creativity and pushes you to think of something no one else would think of. You can dispute words and if the group agrees, you get the point anyway. If you can think up standard words and win the game, you are probably doing it wrong.

I Am Better At Scattergories Than You

Yes, this guy riding the turtle can ruin lives via Scattergories.

Yes, I ride a turtle and I can still ruin lives via Scattergories.

Here’s the thing about Scattergories: I could destroy you at Scattergories. Anyone that reads my articles on a regular basis is probably familiar with the fact that I’m borderline ridiculous at best. This all leads to the most epic games of Scattergories imaginable in which every word is a double, triple, and quadruple word, just because I can.

For instance, the category of “Fictitious Character” is basically an open invitation for the most powerful multiple point score ever. If you don’t at least attempt something like “Sir Simon Su Su Spumoni the Second from South Sussex,” an eight-point score, then you aren’t trying very hard at all. I mean come on, the category is “Fictitious Character.” No one can dispute the name! Instant points.

Scattergories has turned out to be one of the best icebreaker games I’ve ever encountered, but only if people are attempting to get away with every silly word rather than play the game as it was intended (the wrong way). Watch people’s faces light up and laughter circle the room eight times over, all for between $29.99 and $39.99. You can thank Sir Simon for the good evening.


About Author

Chris was the former Head Writer/Editor of Toy-TMA. He did a great job overseeing the site and getting new content published regularly. Always more than willing to respond to a comment or two, but pitiless with trolls! He has since moved on from TMA, and we wish him the best.

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