What it is: A guessing game my kids and I created, similar to but more challenging than twenty questions

Best for: Two people or a small group, probably ages 8 and up

What you need: Nothing but your brains!

How to play: The basic gameplay is simple: one player thinks of an object and the other players try to guess what it is. For this game, it’s best if there’s a pre-determined category, like food, people, animals, etc. The category that has worked the best for us is people.

But let’s play with food and say Julie thinks of banana bread.

She’s playing with Laura, who, unlike in twenty questions, makes guesses by naming a specific food. For example:

Laura: Is it an orange?

To give Laura a clue, Julie gives a statement starting “No, because…” Like this:

Julie: No, because it doesn’t grow on trees.

Laura guesses another specific food, and then another.

Laura: Is it lemonade?

Julie: No, because you don’t drink it.

Laura: Is it pizza?

Julie: No, because it’s sweeter.

Laura: Is it a strawberry?

Julie: No, because it’s manmade.

Laura: Is it a cookie?

At this point, when Laura’s guess is pretty close to Julie’s item, Laura can give a clue in the form of “No, but…”

Julie: No, but it is a baked good.

Laura keeps guessing until she gets it.

Laura: Is it…oh, I don’t know, banana bread?

Julie: Yes! Wow, good guess!

It can actually be a challenging game. It can be hard to come up with specific guesses when you know so little about the object in question. It can also be difficult to come up with clues that aren’t too easy and aren’t too hard. And it actually hasn’t worked too well with my young children. Carson, my six year old, often looses interest in guessing because it’s too hard or, when it’s his turn to give the clues, gives ones like these:

Me: Is it an eraser?

Carson: No, because it doesn’t erase things.

Me: Is it a stapler?

Carson: No, because it doesn’t staple things.

See my problem? So I would say this game is better suited for older children to adults who want a more challenging version of twenty questions with more thought involved.

Variations: This game, in addition to being like twenty questions, is also pretty similar to the game breakfast combo. (It actually started out as me trying to come up with a version of breakfast combo that my young children could play, because my husband and I play it together but it’s too difficult for them.) If you want another twenty questions variation that’s great for young kids, try poodle, which just might also get you laughing!

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