by Sheila, SC and
Shiela says: the Scattergories game is possibly my favorite board game because it’s fast-paced and really makes you think. You and the other player(s) have a card with three columns and a list of categories, and somebody rolls the die to see what letter your words have to start with.
Then you have a timer set for 3 minutes and everybody starts thinking about what unique word would fit in each category that begins with the letter on the die. When the timer buzzes, the players have to stop and compare.
If more than one person has the same word, they don’t score for that word. If you have a different word in the category, you score a point. Simple, yet addictive!Roman says: Scattergories by Hasbro is perhaps the best and one of the most challenging games around. The game is played with 2 or more players and frankly the more players the better.
Each player gets a pencil, a piece of paper, and the same card that contains a list of a dozen items or phrases. One player rolls the die which contains the letters of the alphabet and then starts the timer at 1, 2 or 3 minutes long.
When the letter rolled is “D”, for example, the timer is started and each player must quickly write down whatever comes to mind for each of the 12 items on the card, beginning with the letter D. When the timer runs out and the round is over everyone compares answers and only those whose answers are different than all other players will recieve a point.
Example if the letter rolled is “D” and the first category on the list states “cities”, player one could write Detroit, player two could write Denver; they would both recieve one point. However if both players write Detroit, niether would gain a point.
Older children, teens and especially adults will love Scattergories. Things to do to make the game more challenging would be to set the timer to one minute instaed of three and to purposely set the die on harder letters like “q” or “v”.
I give it five footprints!
by Amanda Nettgen
Number of players:
Adult (although some younger people could play)
The Scattergories game is similar to the game Outburst, except that you won’t shout out your answers and your list’s responses are all limited to starting with a certain letter. It’s a blast to play with either a crowd or just one other person.
READER REVIEWS! Read Sheila and Roman’s Scattergories review, or click here to submit your review to our board game reviews page!
The game and gameplay
To play Scattergories, you start by distributing the game folders and coming to an agreement on which list sheet to write from (sorry, your to-do list isn’t an option). Everyone slides the selected List # and a fresh answer page into their folder. Then whoever makes a grab for the lettered die first rolls it and announces what it reads.
The three-minute timer begins, signaling participants to initiate the race. It is now a flurry to decently fill in a response for each of the twelve categories bulleted on their attached list card – all beginning with whatever the twenty-lettered die has displayed, mind you!
The instructions provide an example using the letter P, where some categories include a boy’s name, breakfast foods and things that are cold, with the suggested answers of Phil, pancakes and popsicle respectively. Decide if you want to award extra points for two-word answers both beginning with the appropriate letter unit.
You have a lot of freedom when it comes to generating responses in Scattergories. Acceptable answers are those that do not try to pawn off articles like “a” or “the” for the letters A or T, and if you use a word once on your answer sheet, you cannot use it again to satisfy another category.You want to come up with less popular responses and/or employ your creativity when it comes do doing well in the game. Your opponents can challenge your answers, though, so don’t make them too crazy.
The reason why I advise that you go off the beaten path as much as possible with your answers is because the only way you score points is with unique replies. When the timer is up and the responses are read aloud, any answer that matches another player’s gets crossed out.
At the end of the round, you score one point for each valid, independent answer, and it is the player with the most points after three rounds who wins.
Pros and cons
The Scattergories game can definitely be categorized as fun! It’s good for your thinking muscle and inspires creativity. The game even provides the option to make it that much more competitive by going down a notch or two on the timer. Oboy! I would never recommend this! — Ed.
The only bad thing about Scattergories is that it gives you a paltry 16 lists to play with. You’ll have burnt through them all by your third time playing. Granted, the randomness of which letter you’ll be working with does give it additional replay value. Let the game inspire you to come up with your own “lists” like it has with me.
You can actually buy the 1989 expansion Scattergories Refill on Amazon — it adds tons of new lists.
Scattergories allows you to push yourself in a fun way. It’s nothing but laughter. I recommend that you get it and write to Hasbro to request an expansion pack!