Games That Require Creativity
Mike Petty
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Lapeer
Michigan
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I love games that give the players a chance to be creative. In 2003 Kory Heath and I started working on a series of similar games that involved prompts, a creative response from players, then an evaluation made by one of the players. Mostly due to Kory's efforts, we came up with a generic system that works for several "creativity games". The first three games on this list below are directly related to this system. The others simply encourage creativity. Please add similar games that you may know of, along with an explanation of what the players create.
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1. Board Game: Why Did the Chicken...? [Average Rating:6.12 Overall Rank:4553]
Mike Petty
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Lapeer
Michigan
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This riddle game is Kory's version of our initial attempts at creativity games with the system. While some of the pairings that come up as prompts can be very difficult, I've never seen this game flop. It's hilarious, but clever responses can also be rewarded. For example, one of the best riddle/answers was "What's the punchline to the old joke about the moth and the cow?" Answer: "Hole-y Cow" That was one of Kory's answers by the way.
 
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2. Board Game: Yaddy-Yadda [Average Rating:4.50 Unranked]
Mike Petty
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Lapeer
Michigan
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Yaddy-Yadda itself doesn't involve much creativity, though it is open-ended. Instead, I'm listing it here because I include the rules to Yaddy-Yadda Haiku with each copy of Yaddy-Yadda. The rules can also be found linked from the Yaddy-Yadda page here at the 'geek. What's interesting to me about this game is that humor isn't necessarily the goal. I like the idea of a game leading to art. While great art may not be created in under five minutes, some of the results to this game have been very pleasing.
 
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3. Board Game: Get Paul That Promotion [Average Rating:6.23 Unranked]
Mike Petty
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Lapeer
Michigan
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While this is my stab at a game from our creativity system, the subtitle to GPTP is "Just How Uncreative Can You Be?". It's a party game with a theme, and that makes it just geeky enough that many people won't go for it.

The basic idea is that players help Paul get a promotion by submitting lame ideas for product names and slogans. A good answer, then, is really something that's quite bad. This is really an experience game where, in the end, everyone wants to know who won (or mostly who lost), but no one feels bad when they lose. It's all about the ride.
 
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4. Board Game: Nanofictionary [Average Rating:5.85 Overall Rank:7630]
Mike Petty
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Lapeer
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I'm always on the lookout for a storytelling game that is not restrictive. Nanofictionary has given us a lot of good laughs. Ultimately I find it's too rule-heavy to catch on with most groups.
 
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5. Board Game: Once Upon a Time: The Storytelling Card Game [Average Rating:6.46 Overall Rank:1278]
Mike Petty
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I found I kept playing this game always hoping it would finally work like I wanted. It's good fun, but with every group it seemed like the goal was more to play all of one's cards rather than make a good story. Endings always resulted in groans from all the losers.
 
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6. Board Game: Spinergy [Average Rating:5.73 Overall Rank:10681]
Mike Petty
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Lapeer
Michigan
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I've never played this. I came across it a few months after Kory and I started the work on our system. It looks like players compete to make several different types of art. I'm not sure how the creations are evaluated, but it looks interesting.
 
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7. Board Game: X-Machina [Average Rating:6.01 Overall Rank:9052]
Mike Petty
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I haven't played this one either. It's strikingly similar to our basic creativity game, but players present their responses verbally. It sounds fun, as it has the open-ended nature I enjoy. Players try to come up with inventions using unexpected pieces of junk. It's even more similar to the Mad Scientist University games from Raiding Party Games. From what I understand the two games were developed independently without either designer knowing of the work of the other.
 
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8. Board Game: Carrott's Canny Captions [Average Rating:1.50 Unranked]
Mike Petty
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Michigan
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Here's an older game that I found at the 'geek. The person who wrote the description here apparently found the game to be a waste. I only include it because it sounds similar to a game Kory and I play involving cartoons and captions. Our game isn't about guessing who wrote which caption though.

There's another game very similar to this that I came across somewhere but can't remember the name now. If anyone knows about it, I'd be glad to find out more about it.
 
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9. Board Game: Octi [Average Rating:6.76 Overall Rank:3483]
 
Tyler Tinsley
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Portland
Oregon
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This game was created so a computer could not be good at it. It requires the creative mind of a human to play it well.
 
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10. Board Game: Hollywood Lives [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Joe Andrews
United States
Birmingham
Michigan
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From what I've read about this game, I believe it belongs on this list. I've thought about purchasing it (the price is definitely right. However, I'm not sure anybody I know would play it. Anyone buy this title yet?
 
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11. Board Game: Hollywood Movie Makers [Average Rating:7.50 Unranked]
Joe Andrews
United States
Birmingham
Michigan
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We love this game. Players are trying to come up with creative titles, plots, names of actors, movie posters. Much like Balderdash, people are hoping that theirs is confused with the real one. It's much easier to play and much easier to pretend your is the real answer than you'd suspect...most of the real answers sound like something a player created.
 
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12. Board Game: Burp [Average Rating:5.50 Overall Rank:12342]
Jae
United States
Bryan
TX
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The picture describes it better than I can.
Basically you collect "wood planks" and stones for counterbalances to hold a "fisherman" token at the end of a "pier" to go fishing. The further your pier goes into the lake, the more successful you are at fishing.

I really like this game a lot because it inspires engineering creativity. Unfortunately I cannot get anyone to play as they find the bits and theme too childish.
 
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13. Board Game: Tales of the Arabian Nights [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:1637]
Clinton Smith
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Port Arthur
Texas
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There are many storytelling games that require the players to exercise their creativity and imagination. Tales of the Arabian Nights is certainly one of the most popular.
 
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14. Board Game: 5 Card Nancy [Average Rating:6.85 Unranked]
Tim M-L
United States
Chicago
Illinois
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In Five Card Nancy, players create a comic strip by adding a frame from thier hand. Each card has one frme of the comic on it and aq card only stays if aproved by the majority of players.
 
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15. Board Game: Wise and Otherwise [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:2143]
Tiny Epic Trickster
United States
Colorado Springs
Colorado
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Down along the creek, I remember something
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This is fun with creative folks who like things quiet and s-l-o-w.
 
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16. Board Game: Dark Cults [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:5487]
Tom Grant
United States
Washington
DC
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Another story-telling game...But, in my opinion, the best.
 
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17. Board Game: Genoa [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:497]
Nate Sandall
United States
Portland
Oregon
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Traders of Genoa is a decent game when you stick with simple deals of "I'll give you five to go to the Coachhouse. No I'll give you ten!" But when you start doing the really creative deal making the game really starts to shine - so much in fact that I wrote a strategy article on why creative deals are actually a winning strategy in the game!
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18. Board Game: Balderdash [Average Rating:6.41 Overall Rank:1491]
Brett Barton
United States
Columbia
Missouri
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Balderdash, which is based upon the original game of Dictionary, is a wonderful way to be clever and creative as you attempt to sway your opponents into believing that your defintion is the actual definition for strange words that nobody has ever heard of before. I think I have laughed more in this game than any other that I can think. I realize that this isn't the type of game that is normally popular at this site, but it certainly fosters creativity.
 
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19. Board Game: 1000 Blank White Cards [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:2834]
Thomas Mauer
United States
Willow Grove
Pennsylvania
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This games is nothing with out creativity. You create the cards, and thus the scoring, and more often than not the rules.

 
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20. Board Game: The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:2454]
Stephen Tavener
United Kingdom
London
England
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The next step on from Once Upon A Time.
Very few rules, mostly story. You need the right people and a good bottle of vintage port for optimum effect.

James has been promising a detective version called "Youdunnit!", for years...
 
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21. Board Game: Einfalls-Pinsel [Average Rating:6.89 Unranked]
Peer Sylvester
Germany
Berlin
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In this game you try to explain why youre picture is best suited for a slogan. Hilarious game, but awful box graphics
 
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22. Board Game: Hear Me Out [Average Rating:5.02 Overall Rank:14394]
J Jacy
United States
Waltham
Massachusetts
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One the the cards has you tell a story, and then the other players rate you between 1-3 on how well it fits the theme.
 
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23. Board Game: The Big Idea [Average Rating:6.33 Overall Rank:2901]
Bob Smith
United States
tacoma
Washington
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Man, if you have never played the big idea, you have no clue what creativity can do to a game. I mean who ever heard of mentholated sushi or cyber butlers? This game can keel you over laughing if you play it with a couple of people who have any sense of humor/creativity.
 
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24. Board Game: Nonsense [Average Rating:6.09 Overall Rank:8780]
M. Bader
Germany
duesseldorf
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Storytelling game, cards tell you which topics and words to use. Nice artwork. Small publisher, long time out of print.
 
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25. Board Game: Barbarossa [Average Rating:6.39 Overall Rank:2217]
M. Bader
Germany
duesseldorf
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Klaus Teuber quote:

"...I was looking for a way to make riddles, to experiment with shapes and to let the players express their own creativity with clay."
 
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