Ah, Cranium. The classic party game and family favourite that is so often pulled off the shelf when friends are over or on game nights with the kids. You might be looking for board games like Cranium to liven up your game nights or because you love games that challenge all your skills.
Whit Alexander and Richard Tait’s Cranium is a 4-16 player party game where teams of players will score points using a range of activities. They might sculpt clues out of clay or draw with their eyes closed. They will answer trivia questions, unscramble words, and perform musical numbers and impersonations.
Billed as the game for your ‘whole brain’, the variety of challenges in Cranium make it a lively and fun-filled party game that is adored by kids and adults alike. So if you’re looking for more fun board games similar to Cranium, look no further than our list of these ten great party games.
10 Games like Cranium
If you enjoy deciphering your teammates’ visual clues in Cranium, Dixit is the next board game for you. Designed by Jean-Louis Roubira and with dreamy art by Marie Cardouat, Dixit is a storytelling card game for 3-6 players.
Each player draws six cards, each with unique and unusual images. Then one player will be the storyteller, choosing a card in their hand and saying a phrase or sentence out loud that relates to this card, without showing it to the other players.
Then each player selects a card from their hand that they feel matches the story told. The storyteller will shuffle all the chosen cards and lay them out and the other players must guess which card is the storyteller’s.
This quick and lightweight game is great for families (recommended for kids aged 8+) but will also be enjoyed by adults looking for a fun, creative game. The surreal art and imaginative nature of Dixit make it a great alternative if you are looking for fun games like Cranium.
Time’s Up! Title Recall!
If you’re looking for party games similar to Cranium, you’ll find plenty to love in Time’s Up! Title Recall!.
Combining elements of Cranium with charades, Michael Adams and Peter Sarrett’s Time’s Up! Title Recall! consists of a timer, scorepads, and cards with titles of books, movies, and TV shows.
The range of media means that everyone, from your kids to grandma, will recognise the references. The game is made up of three rounds — in the first you can use any clues you like, in the second you are limited to one word and actions, and in the final round you can only use actions.
The same sets of cards are used across each round so although your clue-giving tactics will need to become more creative, the teams will know what titles to expect.
Allowing up to 18 players, Times up! Title Recall! is a great party game to bring home to the family and pull out on game nights with your friends. And if you’d rather guess celebrities than titles, why not try out Monikers?
Imagine a game that includes all the wacky clues and challenges of Cranium but with the extra element of a supernatural mystery. If you’re looking for fun board games like Cranium, Paranormal Detectives should be top of your list.
Designed by Szymon Maliński, Adrian Orzechowski and Marcin Łączyński, Paranormal Detectives could be seen as a combination of Cranium, Clue, and the ghostly mystery classic Mysterium.
One player will take on the role of the ghost and receives a story card with full details of their death. The other players, the detectives, will ask the ghost a question on their turn and attempt to deduce the details of their death – who killed them, where did they die, what was the motive, how did it happen, and what was the murder weapon?
The detectives have intention cards, which determine how the ghost can answer the question. The ghost might guide the detective’s hand to draw on a whiteboard, act out their death, or craft a shape out of wire. This 2-6 player game is great for families and casual gamers looking for a lively but ghostly game.
Cash ‘n Guns
If you’re looking for fast-paced, silly party games like Cranium, Cash ‘n Guns is a fun-filled 4-6 player game that will have you recreating gangster movie scenes with your friends and family. Designed by Ludovic Maublanc, Cash ‘n Guns has players take on the role of mobsters splitting the loot from their latest score.
Each round, players will load their foam ‘guns’ with shots or blanks (using cards) and point their guns at other players. Each player can then decide, based on how many guns are pointed at them, if they want to chicken out or stick.
Once some players have chickened out, the others make their shot. Any players who did not chicken out and are not wounded at the end of the round will split the cash.
Cash ‘n Guns is a hilarious party game of bluffing and trying to suss out your fellow players, making it a great game for families and adult gamers alike. Plus, the foam guns add an extra fun element to the game!
Dominic Crapuchettes and Satish Pillalamarri’s Say Anything is fantastic for players looking for games like Cranium. This 3-8 player, light-hearted party game has players take turns to ask opinionated questions such as ‘what is the best band of all time?’ or ‘what website could I not live without?’.
The other players then write an answer down that they think the asking player will agree with. Once revealed, the asking player secretly chooses one answer whilst the other players place bets on what will be chosen. Points are scored for writing the winning answer and correctly betting on it.
Say Anything is recommended for players aged 13+, but this is certainly a game younger kids can enjoy too. And adults will love pulling Say Anything out on game nights too!
Pictomania is a fast-paced party game that is great for anyone who loves the artistic challenges in Cranium. Vlaada Chvátil’s 3-6 player game has players drawing one of a set of words as quickly as possible and at the same time.
In a short amount of time, you must quickly draw your clue and guess what the other players are drawing. Points are scored for correctly guessing other players’ words and when others guess yours.
This speedy drawing game is great for families – though parents with very young kids may find guessing their drawings an impossible task!
Love guessing games? Check out our list of more games like Guess Who!
The classic party game Codenames is a popular alternative for gamers looking for games similar to Cranium. This light, 3-8 player game, also designed by Vlaada Chvátil, has been a top-ranked board game since its release in 2015.
Players are divided into two teams, red and blue, of competing secret agents. Each team will designate a spymaster (or there is one spymaster in a 3 player game). The ‘board’ is made up of 25 cards, each of which has the codename name of a spy that the teams need to locate.
The spymasters are given a secret key card that highlights which codenames belong to their spies and must give out a single word clue and the number of cards that can be associated with that clue for their players to decipher.
Teams must be careful, however, as there is an assassin amongst the cards as well and if found the other team automatically wins.
Already know this game? Check out our list of games like Codenames!
All the budding artists and sculptors looking for games similar to Cranium will enjoy Jay Cormier and Sen-Foong Lim’s Junk Art. In this 2-6 player game, players are given various bits of junk – blocks of wood and plastic – and will create unique sculptures from these pieces.
In each round, the player-artists are visiting a different city and their objectives will change. One city might require building the tallest sculpture whilst another has players racing to place as many pieces as possible. The variety of cities included offers great replayability. Junk Art is a great game for families as kids will love creating their artistic sculptures and the rules for each city are simple.
Regular gamers who enjoy physical games will love the components and admiring each other’s strange creations.
If you are searching for games similar to Cranium that are light, fun, and perfect for parties, you’ll find plenty to love in Medium. This 2-8 player card game, designed by Danielle Deley, Lindsey Sherwood, and Nathan Thornton, will test your telepathic abilities.
Players are dealt six cards with words on them and each player is paired with the players on either side of them. A player will place a card face-up, their partner will place another, and then they must try to guess the same word that links these two cards together – so ‘ski’ and ‘winter’ could be linked by ‘snow’, but if my partner says ‘vacation’, then we try again but with the words ‘snow’ and ‘vacation’.
Points are scored in pairs depending on how quickly, if ever, you find a matching word. Whether playing with your family or friends, Medium will create plenty of laughter and fun around the table as you try to meld your minds.
Wits & Wagers
Wits & Wagers is a board game all about betting and bluffing. If you enjoy Cranium but often get stumped on the trivia questions, Wits & Wagers could be the perfect game for you.
Playable by 4+ players (no maximum player count) and designed by Dominic Crapuchettes, Wits & Wagers has players guess answers to questions such as ‘how many feet wide is an NFL football field?’ or ‘in what year did the bikini swimsuit make its first appearance?’.
Don’t know the answer? No problem! Each player will make their guess and then will place bets on who will get the closest answer. Correct bets and winning the round when odds are against you will score lots of points. Wits & Wagers is a fun-filled betting and bluffing game that is great for families and game nights.
Love trivia games? Check out our list of more games like Trivial Pursuit!
Many are after games like Cranium because they love this varied, light-hearted party game for its array of activities and its ability to engage all players – from kids to grown adults!
Our list offers a range of fun party games that will have you drawing, sculpting, acting, guessing, and even pointing foam guns at each other. Family game nights, parties, and evenings with friends will be transformed by these board games, which all offer unique, silly, and funny gameplay for all.
Are you looking for more games like Cranium? Have any recommendations that didn’t make the list? Let us know in the comments!