Twenty Questions

I’m sure everyone knows how to play twenty questions, but it’s such a great game to play on a long car ride that I want to bring it everyone’s conscious level. I also have a great variation that can be used as a party game.

One person, who is “IT” decides on some famous person or thing anywhere in the world. When she says “ready” the other players try to guess what this is by her answers to their questions, but they can only ask twenty.

Any player can ask more than one question, unless there are too many players, in which case each player only asks one question at a time. Each question must be able to be answered with “yes” or “no” or “I don’t know.” The “IT” player can’t provide any other answers until the object is correctly named.

In terms of strategy, the questions should begin with territory, element, or class of subject and then narrow down to finer details. For example: “Is it a person?” “Does it fly?” “Does it live in this country?” “Is it expensive?” etc.

The person who names the object correctly first is the winner, and becomes “IT” for the next round. If someone guesses the object before the group has asked twenty questions, the same person must think of another object and be questioned again. The person who is “IT” keeps tally of the number of questions asked.

If you’ve got a big group of players, the game can be a team competition. Each team has a captain, and the captains decide together what the person or object will be. Each then returns to the group, where the team questions her. The first team to guess the object is the winner.

There’s also a commercial version of this available on the market now. It’s a remarkable little hand-held game, and is very hard to stump.

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