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Car games are games played to pass the time on long car journeys, often started by parents to amuse restless children. They generally require little or no equipment or playing space. Some such games are designed specifically to be played while traveling (e.g. the license plate game, the Alphabet Game, or Padiddle), while others are games that can be played in a variety of settings including car journeys (e.g. twenty questions).
A common car game is car tag. Car tag is when people look out for particular models of car on the road. The game ends when the travellers reach their destination, and the person who spotted the most wins. Cars in a dealership lot are usually not counted.
House rules may make certain car models trigger other effects beyond or instead of awarding points, most famously in the game variant known as "Punch Buggy" where spotting a Volkswagen Beetle allows the spotter to punch another passenger.
The Australian game Spotto requires players to spot yellow cars of any model, to score a point.
|Volkswagen Beetle||When a person spots this car they yell "Slugbug!" or "Punch buggy!" The person who spotted the car then punches the person they're playing the game with.|
|Mini Cooper||When a person spots this car they poke or hit someone else in the car. During the poke/punch, the person who spotted the car will yell "Mini Coop!" or "Mini Punch!"|
|Chrysler PT Cruiser||When a person spots this car they pinch someone else in the car. During the pinch the person says "PT Pinch" or "Cruiser Bruiser"|
|Ford Mustang||When a person spots this car they may punch another player in the arm twice and yell "Crazy Fists"|
|Hummer||When a person spots this car they punch someone else in the car. During the punch the person says "Hummer Bummer"|
|Smart||When a person spots this car they stab their elbows into some else in the car. During this action the person yells "Smart Car"|
|Scion xB, Nissan Cube,||When a person spots any of these four vehicles they yell "Box Car"|
|Nissan GT-R||When a person spots this car they yell "Godzilla"|
|A yellow car||When a person sees a yellow car they yell "Banana!" or "Cheese on Wheels!". In the UK the game is commonly played so that seeing a yellow car enables that person to punch another person of their choice.|
|A dog||When a person sees a dog, whether on the side of the road, or in another car, they yell "Zitch Dog!"|
I Spy is a common car game, one person calling out "I spy with my little eye, something beginning with..." then naming a letter, and others attempting to guess the object that was spied.
Players may agree that any chosen object should remain visible during the journey, rather than something that will be passed and not seen again during the journey. Players may also agree to decide if the objects will be all outside or all inside the vehicle.
Sign cricket is a British game where players earn points according to the numbers of legs belonging to the people or animals in the pub's name. For example, a "Horse and Groom" pub would score 6 points: 4 for the four-legged horse, plus 2 for the two-legged groom.
- Elley, Samantha. "8 games to play on those long car trips". Northern Star. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
- "The Official site of The Yellow Car Game". www.yellowcargame.co.uk. Retrieved 2020-12-20.
- "The Milwaukee Journal - Google News Archive Search". Retrieved 10 September 2014.