Nounsense hits that sweet spot for family word games: intuitive rules, rapid pace, and multiple chances at redemption.


Split into 2 teams. Deal out a deck of 60 nouns from the 480 provided. These 60 cards will be used for three rounds of play. One player gives clues to his or her team so that they guess the noun on the card. Clues can be any gestures and any number of words (but no “Sounds like…” clues).  A team has 60 seconds. Cards they get right in 90 seconds they keep. The second team now plays with the remaining cards. 90 seconds, keep what you guess. Round One ends when all the cards have been correctly guessed. Each team receives one point for each card they got right.

For Round Two, the 60 cards are reshuffled and play starts over. Each team rotates through 90 second turns but this time, the clue-master may give only three words. Yup. Three. Gestures are still allowed. Collect correct cards and score them to end the round.

Round Three allows gestures and ONE MEASELY WORD.


90 seconds is not much time. It keeps things lively and yet you generally feel like you have accomplished something at the end of your turn. Although only one person can be a clue-master, it takes several turns to get through the 60 cards and everyone gets a chance. And gestures can save the day, especially in later rounds.


There are lots of interesting skills at play here. There is acting and vocabulary and wit. But there is also memory and pattern recognition. Being a good clue-master is important in the first round, but having a good memory is important for rounds two and three. There are lots of ways to shine in Nounsense.

Major Fun loves giving players lots of ways to succeed.

Of course, there are times when it just all breaks down, especially in the three-word round. That’s fun too. And Major Fun loves laughing at the train-wreck clues and wild gestures that pile up as the sand timer inexorably succumbs to the gentle urging of gravity.

For 2 teams, ages 8+

Nounsense  designed by Mark Fuchs. © 2012 by Maranda Games.

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