Different Games of Charades

By Allie Gore
Charades can be a good icebreaker game.

Charades is an exciting party game that can be played in many different ways. The basics of the game involve one person acting out a word or phrase, while a group of people or a partner tries to guess what is being mimed. Charades is easily modified to accommodate any number of players and any difficulty level and is an excellent way to let loose and have fun with friends.

Telephone Charades

Telephone charades is a variation on the classic charades game that works well in large groups. Begin by having six or seven players line up shoulder-to-shoulder. Everyone should face the same direction except the first person, who should face the other way. Have one of the spectators show the first person a piece of paper with the clue to be acted out, also showing it to the rest of the audience. The first person taps the next person in line on the shoulder and acts out the clue. The second person then taps the next person on the shoulder and acts out their interpretation of the clue. This continues until the clue has reached the last person in line, who must guess what the original clue was.

Theme Charades

This is a popular way of playing charades that makes the game a little easier. The teams playing agree upon a category or theme under which all clues must fall. For instance, if the pre-agreed upon theme is "movies," the teams select clues that fall under that category such as "Titanic" or "Godzilla." This method is great for beginners.

Free-For-All

This version of the game is great for non-competitive groups, as it doesn't require teams to be formed. To play, one person from the group pantomimes her own word or phrase for everyone to guess. To make sure the actor doesn't change or forget the original word or phrase, you might have her write it down on a piece of paper before acting it out. This version of charades can be very fun, since everyone in the group gets to guess at the same time.

Partner Charades

Although charades is most often played in teams, a fun variation on the game is to play it with partners. The easiest and fairest way to come up with words is to have each person write down about ten words or phrase suggestions to be put in a hat. The person whose turn it is then draws from the hat and acts out the word or phrase on the piece of paper to her partner. Playing with partners works well for couples' nights and can get very competitive and very fun.

About the Author

Allie Gore is a Toronto-based writer and editor with over five years experience in the field. She has served as a submissions editor for Existere and a health and wellness writer for HealthAware.ca. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from York University and currently works in advertising.