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Facts in Five» Forums » Variants

Subject: Playing for fun... rss

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John Cutter
United States
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We bought this game 20 years ago but I have no idea where it is any more. The rules and the play sheets were important for our first couple of games, but after that we decided to just play it "our" way. Our variation on "Facts in Five" has been played by us more times than any other game... by a factor of a hundred or so. Not sure why we love it so much, perhaps because it's non-competitive, fast, and convenient (people can sit anywhere to play and there's very little setup required).

I made a sheet on my computer with several 5x5 grids and I can print these sheets out for people whenever we need them.

The first order of business is to come up with 5 categories. Everyone tries to contribute at least one and these are written at the top of each column. We usually skip the mundane categories that came with the game (i.e. "Female Singers", "U.S. Presidents") in favor of more interesting and creative choices like:

* Things associated with Thanksgiving (we played on Thanksgiving)
* 4 syllable words
* Pick-up lines
* Words containing the same consonant at least 3 times
* Names of Games
* Made up words that sound like they could be real (subjective)

Then we quickly choose 5 letters and these are listed to the left of each row.

Someone is put in charge of watching the clock and then everyone has 5 minutes to fill in their grids. Obviously, the words for each category must start with the appropriate letter. So if the first row letter was "S" a player might go to the first column ("Things associated with Thanksgiving") and write "STUFFING".

After the time runs out we take turns listing our answers by category. (We have recently been playing with a house rule that you cannot match any other player's answer.) Correct (unique) answers are circled.

At the end of the game we add up our circled answers and someone usually says, "Okay, how many people got at least 8 right?" "9? 10? 11? ..." Hands start going down until only one person is left and they are declared the winner.

Many of the categories are subjective and we sometimes have to vote on whether an answer like "SHOW ME YOUR BOOBS!" is acceptable for the "Pick-up line" category. (Unfortunately, that was my answer from our recent Thanksgiving game -- and my daughter had a new college friend over who was playing with us. When I shouted that out the poor girl turned bright red and she didn't stop laughing for about twenty minutes.)

Like I said, we play this game more than any other and we've introduced it to friends and family who all seem to love it as well.
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Randy Cox
United States
South Carolina
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1024x768 works just fine - Don't Wide the Site!
Missing old BGG
That's how the game was played for years--as the parlor game Categories--before the boxed version came out. The new version (2007) gets rid of some of the lame categories from the old editions, but making up your own is a good way to go (a la World Boardgaming Championships tournament).
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