Catch Phrase Game
Note: This is for the Catch Phrase Game, the non-electronic version. I personally like this one better since they have more words to choose from. I do review the Electronic Catch Phrase game on another page for all those who are looking for that version of the game.
Let me start off by saying that this is such a great game! It's always a favorite to pull out at parties or for family game nights. Unlike many other games which have a maximum number of players, there is no such thing here. The more players you have for Catch Phrase, the more fun it is!
Ages: Manufacturer recommends 18 but this can be played by someone as young as 12 or 13.
Number of Players: As many as you like divided into two teams!
Batteries required: 2AAA (not included)
The game comes with an electric timer, a bunch of word discs (more on those in a minute), a disc reader, a game board, and two team markers.
First, the word discs. These are simple lists of words that you place inside the reader. When inside the reader, you can only see one word on the list. When the button on the reader is pressed, the word changes. Remember this, because it's going to be very important. ;)
Now the timer. Have you ever seen something so diabolically clever that you hate it, but admire whoever was twisted enough to invent such a thing? If not, you will once you play with this timer! We'll talk about this piece of devil-gadgetry more below.
Remember to buy a couple of AAA batteries as they're needed for the timer, but not included with the game.
How to Play!
First of all, you'll need to divide all the people who are playing the Catch Phrase game into two teams (much like Pictionary). It's possible to divide them into more than two teams, but it confuses the scoring and you'll need to find another team marker for the board.
Next, open up the game board and place the team markers at the start. Now, again like Pictionary, one person from each team is chosen to begin. The timer is started by pushing a button and the first person reads the word from the disc reader.
This is where the insanity begins!
The person who reads the word from the disc reader needs to get his team to guess that word. They can do anything to help make that happen except for say the word itself. Saying words that rhyme? Making silly gestures? Jumping up and down in aggravation when someone on the team "almost" gets it? That's all perfectly fine! The catch is they cannot say the word or a piece of the word otherwise they will lose automatically. So if the word is “Spiderman” they cannot say spider, man, or Spiderman. Instead, they have to come up with something original like, "A super hero that wears red and climbs on walls!" or hum the tune to the Spiderman song from the recent movies!
When someone on the team guesses correctly, the reader is passed to a person on the other team and it's their turn to act out the word for their team to guess. Sounds pretty simple, eh? Well, don't forget about the timer!
The timer turns this simple game into a manic, fun-filled time! When the timer is started, it begins to beep. The beeping increases in speed before the timer goes off. Whatever team is holding the disc reader when the timer goes off, loses that round and the other team gets a point. The problem? The timer is completely random!
This timer causes people to get nervous like you wouldn't believe! The timer is beeping faster and faster and nobody knows when it's going to go off! Normally calm people will get flustered, desperately trying to get their team to guess a word from the reader so they can throw (literally, disc readers go airborne) it to the opposing team before the timer goes off. It's like a game of hot potato with everyone screaming out guesses and having a great time!
The Catch Phrase game is by far one of my favorite games for a family game night. The ages of the team aren't really important. Though Parker Brothers recommends 18 as the age, that's ridiculous in my opinion. Anyone can have fun with this game and kids as young as 12 can really get into it. Just remember when you make the teams to separate the adults and kids evenly. Each age group has a different way of looking at things and this will ensure nobody has an unfair advantage.
Adults will love this game just as much as kids will and probably even more. The sheer mayhem of tossing the reader back and forth before the timer goes off and yelling out guesses for your team is incredible fun and addictive.
If you're looking for a more travel-friendly version of the Catch Phrase game, check out the Electronic Catch Phrase version. It's all self-contained in one frisbee-style disc and much easier to bring with you on a trip.
Give the Catch Phrase game a try. I think you'll love it just as much as I do!