Captain Clueless – navigate your way to fun

Gather enough people so you can have 2 teams – at least 4, maybe 8. Kids, parents, friends, whoever feels like playing something that’s a little like a team version of Pin the Tail on the Donkey, and maybe a little more like a team version of the Major FUN-award-winning Par Out Golf.

Let Team Two start for a change. They select one player. That player picks a Port Card, looks for where that port is on the board – a humorously drawn of a navigator’s map of the Caribbean – checks one last time where it is relative to his team’s home port, and then puts his blindfold on. Somebody from her team puts a marker in her hand, puts the point of the marker on the home port, while somebody else from the other team starts the 45 second timer, announcing the beginning of the turn with the proverbial “bon voyage.” Her team can give her only one-word clues, how many clues depending on the destination number. The first port of call can get up to 5 clues, each subsequent port, one clue less, and the final voyage back to the home port has to be made with only 2 clues. According to the rules, if you are “able to draw a clear route and land your marker in the anchor icon of your chosen port of call, remove your blindfold and marvel at your achievement.”

Designed by Ted Cheatham and published by Gamewright Games, Captain Clueless turns out to be Major FUN – for kids (as young as 8), for families (younger kids can do the drawing while the rest of the family helps with the directions), with anybody in a playful, party-like mood. You can easily change some of the rules to keep everyone in play – increasing the number of clue words per turn, opting to play without the timer, allowing only nautical-like clues (hard a-port!). Though it’s possible to play the game with just two players, the teamplay aspect of the experience is what really distinguishes this game from anything you’ve ever played before. It’s not Pin the Tail on the Donkey. You’re not trying to succeed all by yourself. The other players aren’t trying to confuse you or make things harder for you. You’re being supported by your team. You’re the Captain, and though you might be “clueless” you are most definitely not “crewless.”

The board is large and fun to look at. It is finished so that it is very easy to erase. The markers are full-size, and, since you’re not allowed to have any part of your body touch the board while you’re sailing, help to keep the right distance from the board. The sailing fantasy reinforces the “adventure” feel of the game, conveying the tone as well as concept, adding humor, clarity, and an invitation to practice, or make up your own sailing jargon. It’s very easy to learn, the rules are very clearly written (on one, thoughtfully laminated page), and it most definitely makes people laugh.

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