Reverse Charades

Design by: Scott & Bryce Porter
Published by:  RetroPlay / Gryphon Games
6+ Players, 30 minutes
Review:  Greg J. Schloesser

Reverse Charades

Charades has been around for practically forever.  It has been played as a parlor game and inserted as an element into dozens of other games.  The rules are basically simple:  one person silently acts out a word or phrase and his teammates attempt to correctly guess the word or phrase in the allotted time.  The game usually results in considerable laughter and lots of fun.

It is a wonder no one has thought of Reverse Charades before this.  The concept is easy:  instead of one player acting and his teammates guessing, here everyone acts and only one person guesses.  It is a simple twist that truly elevates the fun.  While it is fun acting, the best part is watching a group of folks attempt to spontaneously coordinate their acting in order to get the teammate to guess the word or phrase.  This usually results in uproarious hilarity.

Reverse Charades2Designed by Scott and Bryce Porter and published by RetroPlay and Gryphon Games, Reverse Charades consists solely of a one-minute timer and a box of two-sided cards, with each card containing a word or short phrase.  Players are divided into teams, with players on a team alternating performing and guessing the words.  As in traditional Charades, players may not utter words, but they may use props.  The object is to guess as many words as possible within the one minute time frame, with one point being scored for each correctly identified word.  The first team to score a predetermined amount of points is victorious.  Alternatively, the game can be played over a set number of rounds.

Reverse Charades certainly delivers buckets-full of amusement and laughter.  There is a race to perform and identify as many words as possible within the short one-minute time frame.  Since there is no consultation or planning allowed amongst the performers, it is hilarious to see how each person chooses to pantomime the word or phrase.  It is also amazing how often people think alike and quickly act as a unified team, pantomiming Heimlich maneuvers, water skiing, pillow fights, etc.  Most words or phrases are fairly easy, which keeps the proceedings moving along at a frenzied pace.   Occasionally, however, a word is so difficult that no matter how hard a team tries, the word cannot be identified.  This can be frustrating and cause a team to fall hopelessly behind.  A reasonable house rule would be to allow a team to pass on a word after a certain amount of time – say ten seconds or so.

That little concern aside, what we have in Reverse Charades is an excellent party game suitable for just about any age.   The game works great and is terrific fun to play.  Break it out at any get-together or party and you are guaranteed to inject a major dose of fun, laughter and excitement.  It is everything a party game should be.

Thoughts of Other Opinionated Gamers:

Nathan Beeler: Reverse Charades made it onto my Ultimate Holiday Party Game Guide ( even though I’d had limited exposure to it at the time.  The game has such a solid foundation of fun, being based on charades, that it could hardly fail to please.  Plus, the reverse twist does help get people over the dreaded performance anxiety hump by allowing them to charade as part of a group.  A sure-fire crowd pleaser.


4 (Love it!):  Greg Schloesser, Nathan Beeler
3 (Like it):
2 (Neutral):
1 (Not for me):

About gschloesser

Greg Schloesser is the founder of the Westbank Gamers and co-founder of the East Tennessee Gamers. He is also a prolific reviewer of games and a regular contributor to numerous gaming publications and websites, including Counter, Knucklebones, Boardgame News, Boardgame Geek, Gamers Alliance and many others. Greg has been a gaming enthusiast his entire life, growing up in our hobby mainly on the war game side. His foray onto the internet exposed him to the wonderful world of German and European games and now nearly all of his gaming time is devoted to this area of our hobby. He travels to several gaming conventions each year and is the co-founder of Gulf Games, a regional gaming get-together held in the Southern USA. Greg was born in 1961 and lived his entire life in New Orleans before moving to East Tennessee in 2005. He is married and has one daughter (now married.)
This entry was posted in Reviews and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply