Guggenheim is a simple but confounding game. A commercial version is sold under the name "Scattergories." Some families might wish to simply play Scattergories when Card 114 is drawn. But for those who would make their own game using a pen, paper, and timer, read on.
The object of the game is to think of things that begin with a particular letter and fall into a particular category -- for example, an animal that begins with G might be a giraffe; a sport that begins with G might be golf; a movie star beginning with G might be Cary Grant.
Each round of Guggenheim involves five letters and five categories.
Each player should have an identical play sheet that has five categories across the top, and five letters down the side. It is traditional to use a five-letter word in the left-column, but the letters might also be randomly selected.
All players have ten minutes to try to fill in the twenty-five boxes with an example of each category that starts with the designated letter. For example, a partially filled out sheet might look like this:
After ten minutes are up, all players stop writing and compare what they wrote in the boxes. One point is scored for each entry that no other player wrote. For example, for an animal beginning with B, if one player wrote Baboon, one wrote Bonobo, and another wrote Bongo, each player would receive one point. But if two players wrote Baboon and one wrote Bongo, the two players who wrote Baboon would receive zero points, but the player who wrote Bongo would receive one point.
If there is any question as to whether an entry properly fits into a category -- for example, whether an isotope like Deuterium counts as an "element" -- the players will vote.
For an easier game, choose broader categories, such as Food instead of Fruit, and Celebrities instead of Movie Stars. Some categories may give a distinct advantage to younger players (e.g., Candy, Toys, Cartoon Characters, Video Games, Pokemon). Other categories may be quite challenging (Emperors, Statues, Philosophers, Paintings, Ocean Fish).
Below are some categories you might consider using, or invent your own:
Found in a swamp
Ice cream flavors
Parts of a car
Stars, planets & constellations
Things in the ocean
Things that are green
Things with corners
Type of dog or cat
Words with a double-letter