Cranium (board game)

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For other uses of "Cranium", see Cranium (disambiguation).
Cranium logo.png
Players 4+
Age range 8+
Setup time approx. 2 minutes
Playing time > 35 minutes
Random chance Medium
Skill(s) required Creativity, General knowledge

Cranium is a party game created by Whit Alexander and Richard Tait in 1998, after Richard spent a weekend playing games with another family and recognized the need for a game involving a variety of skills. He left his job at Microsoft, convincing his friend and co-worker Whit Alexander to join him in the creation of Cranium. Cranium, manufactured by Hasbro subsidiary Cranium, Inc., is billed as "The Game for Your Whole Brain". Unlike many other party games, Cranium includes a wide variety of activities. Giorgio Davanzo handles packaging and branding for the game, and the artwork is done by Gary Baseman, creator of the animated television series Teacher's Pet.


The board is laid out as a circuit, consisting of different color spaces. Each color corresponds to a question card category. Purple "Planet Cranium" spaces give the team their choice of category.

Expansions and spinoffs[edit]

  • Booster Boxes: boxes of cards (and clay) sold separately from the game that contain a new deck of each type of card. As of 2007, Booster Boxes 1 and 2 are available, along with a special New York edition pack.
  • Cadoo: a children's version of the game that has some elements of tic-tac-toe.
  • Conga: a version with a slightly older target audience than Cadoo. Incorporates a musical timer and magnetic drawing pad.
  • Cranium Hoopla: a timed version of Cranium, designed for two or more players to play cooperatively.
  • Cranium Kabookii: a video game version available on the Wii platform. Activities comprise a mixture of some from the original game and new games better suited for a video game environment.
  • Cranium Scribblish: played very much like the game of telephone. Players start by drawing a caption card from the deck and must draw the caption, then pass to another player who captions what they believe the other person has drawn, then draw said caption. Winners correctly guess which drawing started as their own.
  • Cranium The Family Fun Game: a game similar to the original Cranium with some minor changes.
  • Cranium Turbo Edition: a version of Cranium designed for a faster game.
  • Cranium Wow: a similar game to the original with new cards and activities from Cranium Turbo.
  • Cranium Brain Breaks: 200 one-minute mini games.

External links[edit]