Board games BOARD GAMES

Guess Who

Possibly one of the freakiest games of the 80s, MB's Guess Who brought together the kind of faces you never want to bump into on a dark night. There was Richard and his impossibly long face; Max, an even bushier Tom Selleck wannabe; pouty Peter and David, who's face looked exactly the same upside down as it did the right way up. Not the best-looking bunch, that's for sure. But of course, it was these very idosycrasies that made Guess Who possible.

A game for two players, Guess Who comprised two flip boards filled with a gallery of 24 cards printed with different characters on them. Each player would take it in turn to choose card with a character on for the other player to guess who it was by asking a series of questions in a process of elimination. These would be along the lines of: "Is it a man?", "Does he wear a hat?", Does he have a moustache?" and so on, flipping down the cards of those it couldn't possibly be until you were left with one. The opposing player could only answer yes or no. And once the game had been won, both players would just hand the whole board upside down to flip the cards back up ready for round two to begin.

The rather eccentric facial features and accessories meant even younger kids could practise their powers of observation. Later versions of the game have, unsurprisingly, been modified to include more ethnic minorities in the mix to represent the typical British town rather than a far-off, self-contained village in the Northern Hebrides, dare we say.

It was always thrilling to discover a new killer question you could put to your opponent that would in one fell swoop eliminate half the board. For example, while a question like: "Does she have red hair?" might eliminate five cards, something like:"Does her name begin with a vowel?" would be much more effective. It was all to do with tactics, Guess Who.

The game was originally released in the UK in 1979 and introduced in the US a few years later. Those Americans went all out with an advertising campaign that would be remembered for decades to come - but for all the wrong reasons. They decided to bring each of the Guess Who characters to life in the ads, but later agreed this could be misleading, so put a disclaimer on reading "game cards do not actually talk". We bet you're pretty glad they don't if those faces are anything to go by...


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Message boards

Guess Who Last post by Teejay
21 August 2009
Guess Who Last post by Richard1978
10 May 2009

Do You Remember Guess Who?

Do You Remember Guess Who?

  • Anonymous user
    on
    My cousin Claire always used to complain that the game Claire looked a total drip!
  • Anonymous user
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    my favourite question 'is yours bald' if it is its probably 'quarantine herman'
  • Anonymous user
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    Does anyone know where u can get this as an app for iphone?
  • Anonymous user
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    I loved this game. Saw the new one in Tesco the other day and it looks awful. Bring back the original! Maria was one of my favourites and Anne looked a bit like Moira Stuart. My sister and I made our own version of Guess Who in the '90s - we removed the original faces from the slots and replaced them with the faces of our favourite pop stars cut out from magazines.
  • Anonymous user
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    I got this game when I was about 7, it was one of my favourite boardgames growing up!!
  • Anonymous user
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    I remember playing this with my friends and we always used to laugh at Robert because he looked very sad.Eric was a sailor and I always thought Frans was a man
  • Anonymous user
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    This was one of my favourite board games of my childhood. I wish I still had it!
  • Anonymous user
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    the absolute best question to ask... does your character have blue eyes? only 3 or 4 out of everyone does
  • slightlyodd
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    love this, my sister used to be realy bad at it, asking questions like, do they have a nose, never good to get the womwn tho, they were so much easier to guess. One of the men looked like my dad!
  • AnythingButOrdinary7
    on
    I love this game! Haven't played it in ages though, but it was a lot of fun. Kinda annoying getting a woman instead of a man though...