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Kolodny's Game

No. of Players: 2+
Type of Game: spoken
What you need: nothing


To guess the rule governing the answers to a series of questions.

How to play

The gamemaster thinks of a rule which will be followed in answering YES or NO questions posed by the other players. This rule is kept secret and the other players attempt to guess the rule by asking questions in turn. The first player to correctly guess the rule becomes the next gamemaster. If players get stuck, the gamemaster can give a hint. For example, the gamemaster could ask himself a revealing question, and then answer it according to the rule.

Since the gamemaster is obligated to follow his rule (instead of answering YES or NO according to whether the questions are actually true or false), an additional level of fun is had by asking potentially embarrassing questions of the gamemaster. For example, the gamemaster may have the rule that there must be at least one capitalized word in a question (besides the first word) in order to answer YES. So when a player asks "Are you a good-looking person?" the gamemaster must answer NO.


The players draw straws and Augustus is selected to be the first gamemaster. He thinks of a rule that is not too hard and not too easy to guess. They agree that rule-guessing will only be permitted just before it is a player's turn to ask a question – no shouting out guesses. But if the guess is incorrect, that player forfeits his turn to ask a question.

Baron: Is the soccer game on right now?
Augustus: No. [He says this despite the fact that they are all currently watching the soccer game on TV.]
Clay: Is it time for us to eat yet?
Augustus: No.
Diana: Do you dance like a chicken?
Augustus: Yes.
Elise: Do you dance like a drowsy sloth?
Augustus: No.
Baron: I want to guess the rule: do questions need to have 6 or fewer words?
Augustus: No, that is not the rule. Clay, your turn.
Clay: I think I know the rule: do questions need to have a word 7 letters or more?
Augustus: Yes, that's it! You're the next gamemaster.

And so on.

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