20 Questions TM …For Kids…





Set up

1.      Remove the playing pieces from the bag.

2.      Place the playing pieces at START on the game board.

3.      Place the red and blue chips along the edge of the game board.

4.      Open the 20 Questions card deck and place a stack of cards in the center of the game board.


Object of the Game

To correctly identify well-known people, places, things, and years through a series of clues.  The first player to reach FINISH wins the game.


PEOPLE:  Entries in this category may be living or dead, male or female, real or fictional.  Animals with personalities, such as Arthur and cartoon characters, like Bugs Bunny, are in the PEOPLE Category.  This category includes groups of people, such as The Beatles and The St. Louis Cardinals.  Occupations, such as fireman and plumber also appear in PEOPLE.


PLACES:  Geographic locations such as oceans, countries, rivers and planets are in the PLACE category.  Man-made and natural places are also in this category.


THINGS:  Objects that are not alive, items that do not belong in the other categories, and concepts (gravity and The Equator) are THINGS.  This category also includes animals, holidays and literature.


YEARS:  The years in this category are those in which well-known events took place, like 1776; or recent years since 1990.


Rules of Play

1.      The youngest player goes first, by selecting a card and saying, “I am a ______(Person, Place, Thing or Year)” as shown at the top of the card.  This player becomes that Person, Place, Thing or Year for this round, and is known as the Reader.  Readers should not show their cards to any other player.

2.      Each card has clues numbered 1 through 20—there is one Person, Place, Thing or Year on each card.

3.      The player on the Reader’s left announces a number between 1 and 20, then covers that number on the board with a red chip.

4.      The Reader reads the clue with the same number that the player on the Reader’s left chose.

5.      After listening to the clue, the player has 10 seconds to guess the Reader’s identity.  Players may only guess on their turn, and must choose a clue before guessing.


If the player guesses correctly, the player and the Reader determine their score (see Scoring, below), and move their playing pieces.  The player on the Reader’s right becomes the new Reader.


If the player guesses incorrectly, play continues in a clockwise direction – the next player on the left chooses a number, covers it on the board with a red chip, listens to a clue, and guesses.  Continue until a player correctly guesses the Reader’s identity.  There is no penalty for incorrect guesses.


6.      At any time, players may request that the Reader read all the clues already chosen.





Each 20 Questions card has a value of 20 points.  All 20 points are divided between the Reader and the player who correctly guesses the Reader’s identity.  The Reader receives 1 point (moves forward one space) for every number that is covered with a chip.  The Guesser receives 1 point for each unused chip.


EXAMPLE:  If the Guesser correctly guesses the Reader’s identity on the third clue, the Guesser moves ahead 17 spaces, and the Reader moves ahead 3 spaces.


EXAMPLE:  If the Guesser correctly guesses the Reader’s identity after 16 clues, the Guesser moves ahead 4 spaces, and the Reader moves ahead 16 spaces.


Special Clues

1.      When the Reader reads “One free guess anytime,” the player guesses immediately, and then takes a Free Guess Chip.  Players with Free Guess Chips play them before the start of another player’s turn, and then guess.  After playing a Free Guess Chip, players return it to the edge of board.

2.      “Lose your turn” means that play passes immediately to the next player – the current player may not guess.

3.      Players move their pieces after hearing “Go ahead” and “Go back” clues, then guess.  No player may be moved back from Start.

4.      Players who receive a “Choose a player to move” clue may move any player’s piece except their own.

5.      “Guess now and pick another number” allows the player a free guess, before choosing a clue.  After the free guess, the same player chooses another number, listens to the clue, and guesses again.


Bonus Round


Any time that players end their move on a Bonus Space they may play a Bonus Round.  To play a Bonus Round, the Reader chooses a card from the deck and identifies it as a Person, Place, Thing or Year.  The Bonus Player announces 5 numbers, one at a time, which the Reader reads as they are chosen.  The Bonus Player may guess after hearing any of the 5 clues, but may only guess once during the Bonus Round.


If the Bonus Player correctly guesses the Reader’s identity after just one clue, the Bonus Player moves ahead 10 spaces.  If the Bonus Player needs more clues, scoring is as follows:

2 clues…8 spaces                          4 clues…4 spaces

3 clues…6 spaces                          5 clues…2 spaces


When players land on a Bonus Space during the middle of a turn, the Reader continues with the card in play until a player guesses correctly, then starts the Bonus Round.  The Bonus Round ends if the Bonus Player chooses the “Lose your turn” clue.  The Bonus Player moves on “Go Ahead” and “Go Back” clues, then the Bonus Round continues.  The Reader does not move during a Bonus Round.


Winning the Game

The first player to reach Finish wins the game.  Players need not land exactly on Finish to win.




Copyright ©2003 University Games