Scattergories is a creative-thinking category-based party game produced by Hasbro through the Milton Bradley Company and published in 1988. The objective of the 2-to-6-player game is to score points by uniquely naming objects within a set of categories, given an initial letter, within a time limit.
The game is played in sets of 3 rounds.
- Each player takes a folder with an answering pad and 3 category cards. Each sheet in the answering pad has three columns of 12 blank lines. In addition, the category cards have 4 lists, each with 12 unique categories, for a total of 144 categories in the game. In new versions of the game, each card has 2 lists of 12 unique categories, for a total of 16 lists and 192 categories. All players must agree on the list to use.
- One player rolls a 20-sided letter die to determine the first letter used. The timer is set for up to three minutes.
- One player starts the timer. In the time allotted, each player must attempt to think of and write down, in the first column on the pad, a word or term that fits each of the 12 categories and starts with the rolled letter. Any number of words in the answer is allowed, as long as the first word starts with the correct letter. For example, with a category of "vegetable" and a letter of "C", words such as "cucumber", "carrot" and "collard greens" are acceptable, but "broccoli" is not (wrong initial letter), nor is "citrus" (wrong category). Alliteration is encouraged; chinese cabbage is worth 2 points.
- When using alliterations though, remember to follow the category. You cannot use generic adjectives to score points. For example, if the category is food and the letter is G, a good answer would be 'green grapes' because green is the specific variety of grape. Germy grapes, giant grapes, or Georgia grapes would not work, since they are generic ideas and not really names of foods. Writing a bad answer is still better than no answer though because there is always the possibility that the group playing will accept the answer.
- All players stop writing when the timer is finished. Following the list, each player, in turn, reads their answer for each category. Players score zero points for an answer that duplicates another answer in that round, and one point for an answer no other player has given. Acceptable answers using alliteration score one point for each word using the letter. (In the "Junior" version, players earn 2 points for an answer that begins with the chosen letter, and 1 point for an answer that does not begin with the chosen letter, but no points for a duplicate answer.)
If for some reason a player thinks someone's answer does not fit the category (for instance, "knuckle" for the category "types of sandwich") a player may challenge that answer. When challenged, all players vote on the validity of that answer. If the vote is a tie, the vote of the player who is being challenged is thrown out.
The die is rolled again (and re-rolled if the same letter as the previous round is duplicated), and the second round starts.
- For example, in the "C-vegetable" example, if players A, B, and C answered "cucumber", "cucumber", and "cauliflower" , respectively, players A and B would score nothing, and C would score 1 point. Adjectives may not represent the letter to be used. For instance, "crunchy carrot" would only receive one point, for carrot. Similarly, "crunchy onion" is unacceptable.
Game show version
, the board game became an ill-fated NBC
game show in 1993
hosted by Dick Clark
. It ran right after Scrabble
which was revived for a short time during this period, and featured Chuck Woolery
as a regular panelist.