Catch Phrase –

It’s Fast, It’s Fun, It Will Have You Tongue Tied

By Cindy Rott

          Catch Phrase!  It’s one of the most fun and fast-moving games that we’ve discovered in a long time. It’s easily transportable, consisting of a five-inch, battery-operated disk. Turn it on, punch the button, a word pops up that your teammates need to guess. Once the team guesses the word, the disk is rapidly passed to the other team.   The word is guessed through prompts that the player holding the disk creates. 

          He’s allowed to pantomime, rhyme or do anything he’d like except use the word or any derivation of it. A timer clicks off the seconds with a jangling sound that becomes more rapid, causing the players to try to guess the word at a feverish pace.  Words as simple as “hot,” “rebel,” “Captain Kidd” and “flat tire” must be guessed in the time allowed.  When the buzzer goes off, the team holding the disk is penalized one point.  The team with the most points in the end — loses.

          The pace can be frantic, the laughing totally contagious and the fun nonstop.  It’s a game for four players to however many you can listen to at one time – our max has been 12.  It can be played by anyone who can read.  We’ve found that when a young one hits a term or name that they don’t recognize such as liberal or Wyatt Earp, they can punch the button again until they recognize the word. 

          We like playing girls versus boys and although girls are supposed to be more gifted verbally, our experience has been that winners are split fairly equally.  It can be an icebreaker, an intergenerational contest or just lots of fun for a group of friends.  Made by Hasbro, Catch Phrase is available in different versions, starting at about $15 wherever games are sold.  This is one game that you want to have on hand to get through the rest of our cold winter nights.

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