Cranium Game Rules and How to Play Guide

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In this article, I introduce you to the basic rules of a board game called Cranium and show you how to play. The object of the game is to be the first team to complete the activities in the center cranium central space.


Set out the board and divide it into two or more teams of at least two players each. Give each team a pad of paper and a pencil. Place each box of cards in its corresponding corner symbol. Place the timer and die in the center of the board. Each team chooses a game piece and places it on the start space. The team with the person whose birthday is coming up next goes first.

Cranium board
Cranium board


On every turn, your team gets one chance to move. The team to your right draws the next card from the deck that matches your spot on the board and reads it to you. They should read the front of the card aloud but not the back because that’s where the answer is.

If your team successfully completes the activity described on the card before the timer runs out you get to roll and move. If your team is not successful you stay where you are and try again on your next turn. Remember, your turn always ends after one card. Play then passes to the team to your left. 

Planet Cranium

On your first turn, you begin on a planet Cranium. There are four planet craniums on your way to cranium central. Planet Craniums are wilds you get to choose which deck is drawn from.

The first time you are on a planet cranium you get one opportunity to take the fast track. If you complete your first card successfully roll and move clockwise along the inside fast track to the next color you rolled. If you are unsuccessful on your first card on a planet cranium you stay put and once you are successful you roll and move on the outer track.

You must always stop on a planet cranium even if your roll would take you further. If ever you roll a purple leap ahead to the next planet cranium. When a specially marked Club cranium card is drawn all teams play at the same time and the first team to complete the activity before the timer runs out gets an immediate bonus roll.

On a planet Cranium, don’t count an unsuccessful Club cranium as your first chance to move down the fast track. If it is your turn when a club cranium is drawn you get another card after the club cranium is complete.

The Center play

When you reach the center from a role enter the cranium circle and use the die roll to indicate what starting point you take. If you roll the purple you choose whichever you like.

At the start of each turn, engage in the activity of the category you are on. Each time you successfully complete a category from the cranium circle you keep that card and move clockwise one spot. If you are unsuccessful stay put.

Once your team has collected all four cards move into cranium central. On your next turn, the other teams must agree on a deck for your final activity attempt. If you are unsuccessful you must try again on your next turn. If you are successful or win a club cranium activity you win the game.

Cranium Game on the Market

The board game Cranium is on the market in many versions. The one that I refer to in this article I link to here.

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