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Cranium Board Game

Updated on September 3, 2013

Cranium Board Game Holiday Gift Guide!

If you always end up arguing over which family board game to play at Christmas, then you need the Cranium board game - it's a little bit of everything rolled into one!

I just LOVE this game. I have never been all that into games where you have to do a lot of activities and actions, but this completely changed my mind! It has all the best bits of games and activities all combined into one fun game, from drawing and making things with clay, to word puzzles and trivia. Basically, it's a whole workout for, well, your cranium!

It's such a popular game that it has spawned a whole range of expansion and spin-off games, so if you want to know your Cadoo from your Whoonu, read on to find out all about the original Cranium and a bit about the other games, too, in this essential introduction to the wonderful world of Cranium!

What is Cranium?

Cranium was invented in 1998 by two former Microsoft workers, who recognised the need for a new game with a variety of skills and activities in, They created Cranium, "the game for your whole brain" and it was manufactured by Hasbro.

Based on Ludo, this party board game borrows aspects of game play from the likes of Pictionary, Trivial Pursuit, Charades, Claymania, Huggermugger and Celebrities to name but a few.

The game consists of four main sections which are:

* Creative Cat: Players must clue a word to their teammates by drawing it, sculpting it in clay, or drawing it with their eyes closed

* Data Head: Players must answer a variety of trivia questions

* Word Worm: Players have to unscramble words, spell difficult words, guess definitions, identify words with letters left out, or spell words backwards

* Star Performer: Players must whistle a song, impersonate a celebrity, or act out a clue

Have you played Cranium before?

Ever played Cranium?

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Why Buy Cranium?

The original version of Cranium is, in my opinion, still the best! It's great fun and guaranteed to have everyone laughing out loud!

With board games, players are often at a disadvantage if they are not particularly skilled in the specific theme of the game - e.g. drawing, trivia, movie questions and so on. But with Cranium, there is such a diverse range of fun things to do, that there is bound to be something that everyone is good at!

I get rather competitive when playing this game, especially when it comes to the bits I am best at - namely, the sculpting, the drawing and the word puzzles! It is just SO much fun both carrying out the activities and trying to guess what your team partner is trying to tell you. It is also equally fun watching the other teams in action too! Many of the games are a race against the other teams, so room for lots of friendly family competitiveness!


* Cranium is the smash-hit, multi-activity game

* Teams work together to race around the board by completing a mix of 14 hilarious activities,

* Now with all new components, including 600 all-new cards and flexible length of play

* Whether you are an aspiring actor, artist, data hound or wordsmith, Cranium gives you and your team a moment to shine

* Includes performing wacky stunts, sculpting with Cranium Clay, sketching, acting, and more


Cranium Booster Expansion Packs - Breathe new life into your Cranium Game with New Card Packs!

If, like me, your family plays Cranium over and over, then you might reach a point where you need some new activities to refresh the game, Luckily, there are booster packs for this very purpose!

Family Cranium Game - Fun for all the family with the Cranium Family Edition

Similar to the original Cranium game, this family edition is slightly different to allow children to join in as well!

Hasbro Cranium Family Edition
Hasbro Cranium Family Edition

* Cranium Family Fun features a variety of hilarious activities that will have everyone laughing, high-fiving, and working and playing together!

* Players compete by building, flipping, sketching, sculpting, and guessing

* Object of the game: Be the first team to reach the finish line at the end of the twisting and turning path.

* With colorful Cranium Cubes and fun Flipper Frogs, The Family Fun Game delivers the ultimate game night!

* Perfect for Family Game Night

* Can Mom flip a frog through a hoop you've sculpted out of clay? Can you pass the Cranium Cubes to Dad without using your hands?

* To advance around the board, your team must harness its collective talents to answer questions and complete activities from the 4 card decks


Cranium Rules and How to Play Cranium

  • The Object of Cranium

    The object of the game is to be the first team to move clockwise around the board and into Cranium Central, where your team will attempt its final activity for the win!

    On your first turn, and every time you're on a purple Planet Cranium, you get to choose which box your card will be drawn from.

    In Cranium you roll at the END of your turn, after you have successfully completed an activity.

  • Setting up Cranium

    Divide into teams of two or more. Each team chooses a game piece and places it on the purple Planet Cranium "START".

    Give each team a pad and pencil, and set out the four character card boxes, die, timer, and tub of clay

  • Playing Cranium

    As you move around the board, you will have to complete tasks from the different categories - you may end up drawing with your eyes closed, sculpting something from clay or having to spell a word backwards! You play in teams of two and each time it is your go, you take it in turns to be the one either doing the activity and the one guessing what the other team member is doing, or answering the question/completing the puzzle.

    For a complete set of Cranium rules, click HERE

Which is your favourite Cranium activity? - Or which are you best at?

If you've played Cranium before, pick your favourite activity within the game! If not, pick which one you think you'd like most or be best at!

Best bit of Cranium?

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Junior Cranium - Cranium Cadoo!

Cadoo is another version of Cranium that, while suitable for all the family to play, is aimed more at kids.

It contains all the elements of Cranium, with lots of fun activities including the clay, drawing and acting tasks.

From balancing things on their elbows to fun puzzles to decode with their secret decoder mask, Cadoo will have kids laughing out loud in no time!

Buy Cranium Cadoo

Cranium Cadoo
Cranium Cadoo

* Cranium Cadoo is packed with fun eight activity types and 300 questions guaranteed to get kids thinking, creating, giggling, and grinning

* Kids get a kick out of the cool Cranium Clay, colorful tokens, vibrant design

* Named the 2002 Game of the Year by the Toy Industry Association.

* Over two million Cadoo games sold to date

* Simple set-up and easy instructions make Cadoo the perfect game for any occasion - birthday parties, after school, holidays, rainy days, any day

* Received The Lion & Lamb award for nonviolent games, and the National Parenting Center's Seal of Approval

* Received the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award, The Parents Choice Gold Award

* Super-cool secret decoder mask that reveals the hidden answers on each card


More Cadoo and Expansion Sets

Themed Cranium!

Cranium, with a Disney or Spongebob Twist!

If your child is a Disney or Spongebob fan, then great news!

Cranium is available in two themed editions featuring these characters.

All the Cranium games are included, but with a themed twist, so players can answer questions about Disney or Spongebob, sculpt their favourite characters, act out scenes and lots more!

Disney Cranium

Cranium Disney (Family Edition)
Cranium Disney (Family Edition)

Outrageous fun for the whole family! Join Mickey and friends on a fun journey through the wonderful world of Disney!

* CREATE works of art like Cinderella's glass slipper

* PERFORM hilarious feats like finding something that Ariel would use to comb her hair!

* DISCOVER fun facts like "What does Hakuna Matata mean?"

* DRAW Pinocchio with your eyes closed!

* SCULPT Phineas!

* ACT out Captain Jack Sparrow!

Enjoy this playful game that delivers fun and laughter, and stretches the imagination every time! For 2 teams / 4 or more players, ages 8 and up.

Contents Include: 16 Fun activities, 400 Disney-themed cards, 2 Mickey Mouse ears movers, game board, 1 tub of Cranium Clay, 6 letter dice, Sand timer, 1 die, pad, pencil and instructions.


Spongebob Squarepants Cranium

Cranium Spongebob Squarepants
Cranium Spongebob Squarepants

Cranium Spongebob Squarepants Edition brings to life the magic of Bikini Bottom through 8 kid-tactic activities

* Get acting, puzzling, sketching, sculpting, and code-cracking with SpongeBob-themed challenges

* Earn Bikini Bottom tokens and place four in a row to win

* Act out 'jellyfish', guess which sea creature has the most arms, sculpt 'spatula' and more

* Packed 300 SpongeBob-themed cards, SpongeBob Decoder Goggles and cool Krabby Patty Clay


More Cranium Editions: Cranium Hullabaloo, Cranium Whoonu and More!

There are literally TONS of spin-off Cranium games now. Until researching this lens, I had no idea how many, and to be honest, I still don't know, because I lost count!

Maybe you LOVE the clay aspect of Cranium, in which case you'd love Cranium Sculptorades. Or perhaps your kids would love a bouncing, twisting, Cranium Hullabaloo of a game to play at their party?

Explore the world of Cranium below - here is just a selection of the plethora of fabulous games now available!

Go Crazy with Cranium!

Which is your favourite Cranium Game?

The best edition of Cranium is...

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Cranium for the Wii - Cranium Kabookii

Cranium is now available for the Wii! Have oodles of fun with your Wii remotes!

Spray paint the solar system on a wall (you actually hear the can shaking in your hand!); use the Wii Remote as a mallet to hammer out "Auld Lang Syne" on a xylophone; solve word puzzles (what word is both a face card and car lifter?); or even trot the globe to test your knowledge of world flags, landmarks, and national anthems (frequent flier miles not included).

Cranium Kabookii brings a new dimension to Wii play through the use of the Wii Remote and special Kabookii Decoder Glasses. New questions and 15 activities get teams playing music, drawing, acting, puzzling, and even cracking codes to win.

Cranium Kabookii - Nintendo Wii
Cranium Kabookii - Nintendo Wii

Key Features:

* The family game-show for your Wii: Enter the Cranium Kabookii arena, spin the carousel, and land on one of 15 different activities to start the fun!

* Create works of art and imagination with spray paint, chalk, and disappearing ink.

* Discover fascinating new things in true-false, multiple choice, and globe-spinning trivia puzzles.

* Perform hilarious feats by acting, playing songs, and mastering the art of memorization.

* Connect with friends and family as you crack codes, decipher clues, and remix phrases.


NEW Cranium Bloom

Nurture your Child's Natural Genius!

Cranium Bloom is a new line of preschool games, books, puzzles, and toys aimed at getting children learning from play.

There is a unique development approach comprising of Create, Discover, Perform and Connect, with which Bloom aims to cultivate the full range of a child’s natural abilities through a wide variety of playful activities.

Current products include activity decks, puzzles, games and activity sets.

Will YOU Be Testing your Brain with Cranium? - Please leave a comment here!

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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Easily one of the best board games

    • Zodiacimmortal profile image


      6 years ago from Yonkers, NY

      added to my Favorite Lenses in Fun & Games section

      (will be updated with the elns by sometime wednsday)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I think I might.. this sounds like fun!!!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      We have some other games by the company that makes this, but not this one. Looks like fun!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      We have some other games by the company that makes this, but not this one. Looks like fun!

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 

      7 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      This is one game I haven't tried yet. It looks like fun.

    • RhondaAlbom profile image

      Rhonda Albom 

      7 years ago from New Zealand

      I only played Cranium once, what an awesome game. Great review. I added it to the Rocketmoms top 100 games list.

    • Jhangora LM profile image

      Jhangora LM 

      7 years ago

      Hadn't heard about this game before I visited this lens. Looks like a cool game for exercising the gray cells. Thanx a lot for comprehensive info on CRanium.


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