Guess Who is a strategic deduction game that was created in 1979. In this game, you are racing against your opponent to see who can determine which character is the secret person. Players start with 24 characters who could be the secret person and then take turns asking questions that will allow them to systematically eliminate characters from consideration.
The game is marketed as being for 6+, and from personal experience with my daughter, I believe 5-6 is around the right age to introduce this game.
Number of Players: 2 players
Time to Play: 15-20 minutes
Game Publisher: Hasbro
The game includes the following (based on the currently available basic edition):
- 2 game boards (trays)
- 48 face cards (24 for each player)
- 24 mystery cards
- 2 scorekeepers
Starting the game requires:
- Giving each player a game board (if it’s your first time playing, you will need to place the character cards into the game board trays)
- Making sure all character face cards are flipped up
- Each player selecting a mystery character
Guess Who Rules
The youngest player goes first (or, at least that is how we have always played it).
Each turn, a player:
- Asks their opponent a yes/no question
- The opponent responds
- Based on the response, the active player flips down the character cards
- A player can guess their opponent’s mystery character card
Winning the game
The game ends on the turn a player makes an attempt to guess their opponent’s mystery character card. If that player is correct, he/she wins. If the player is incorrect, then their opponent wins the game.
List of Possible Questions You Can Ask (for classic version)
- Is your character wearing a hat?
- Does your character have facial hair?
- Does your character have a mustache?
- Does your character have a beard?
- Does your character have blonde (red, brown, black) hair?
- Does your character have blue (brown, black, green) eyes?
- Does your character wear glasses?
- Does the character have rosy cheeks?
- Does the character have thin (or thick) lips?
- The typical strategy is to attempt a binary search. In other words, ask a question that will allow you to eliminate as close to half of your characters as possible.
- Another strategy is to take bold chances and aim for a much more lopsided result. If you want to get all technical, you can read the academic paper.
Each player selects two mystery character cards instead of the normal one. This then requires you to simultaneously determine both characters; or you could do them sequentially but you give your opponent a significant advantage if they do theirs simultaneously.
Customizing Guess Who
If you want to create and print out your own Guess Who character cards, then I suggest checking out these directions over at Instructables.
List of Guess Who Versions
Unfortunately, many versions of Guess are not easily purchased (e.g., from Amazon), but here is a list of some of the more recently released versions:
Guess Who? (classic)
Guess Who?: Star Wars
Guess Who?: High School Reunion
Guess Who? Super Hero Squad
Guess Who?: Finding Dory Edition
Guess Who?: Peppa Pig
Guess Who:? Littlest Pet Shop
Guess Who:? Sponge Bob
Guess Who:? WWE
Where to Buy Guess Who