The Game of Twister!
Number of players: a game of Twister is typically played by two, three or four players, but the Twister game board can in theory take up to six players.
Recommended ages: 8 and up
Average playing time: no more than 15 minutes, but it can all be over very quickly depending on the dexterity and number of players.
In 1966, when Hasbro released Twister, criticism began immediately because the game requires very close physical contact to play. However it has remained a firm favorite with children and adults alike, partly because it's one of a very small selection of social situations where it's acceptable to get really close to people. The game of Twister definitely becomes easier if you play it with close friends or family.
How to Play
The rules of the game of Twister are simplistic enough for young children to understand, but you do need a big space with a surface that will not hurt the players when they fall. This aspect of Twister makes it a popular game to play outside or on the beach. You will also need to get all of the players to take their shoes and any jewelry off, so that no one gets hurt in the course of the game.
The Twister game board is a large white sheet of plastic with four rows of colored dots. Each row has the same color which is one of red, blue, yellow and green. The spinner is a piece of cardboard with a circle drawn onto it. The circle is split into colored segments, and the whole board is split into four quarters. Each one represents a limb, and is labeled right hand, left foot and so on.
To start a game of Twister, one person is nominated to be the spinner and they don't take part in the actual game. The rest of the players stand at the edges of the board. The spinner spins the arrow and calls out the limb and color that it lands on. For example, a call might be “right foot blue”. The players then scramble to put the right body part on the appropriate colored circles. Each circle can only have one body part in it at any time and players are not allowed to deliberately push each other out of the way.
When all players have followed in the instruction, the spinner then spins again and calls out the next instruction. Players must put the new body part down as well as following all previous instructions. The only time that they can move a body part is if it is called a second time, or they fall over. If a player falls over, they are out.
Winning the Game
Winning a round of Twister is a simple case of survival. If you are the last person in the right position without falling over, then you win.
Twister tends to favor those who are able to think ahead about how they can bend their bodies around their opponents. This usually requires some quick thinking and an awareness of where the spare colored circles are.
While deliberate pushing isn't allowed, successful players will quickly realize the tactic of leaning against other opponents for support and moving their own limbs so as to make it all but impossible for their opponents to play without falling down.
While a game of Twister should be fairly safe, it's worth noting that in longer games, when one player falls they will inevitably cause others to fall and players may land on each other. You need to explain this to the players ahead of time to prevent people getting angry with each other as it will be by accident rather than on purpose. Enjoy the game!
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Return from the game of Twister
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