The Mystery Face Game


Drew has this old Guess Who? game that we used to pull out whenever we were home from New York and killing time at his parents’ house. They finally sent it back to our apartment with us today, in the last box of his old stuff, and so we sat down to play a game.

But it’s too easy.  I mean, the game is for 6-year-olds, and the box suggests questions like, “Does your person wear glasses?” and “Does your person have blue eyes?”  Which…I thought you’re supposed to ask second-person questions?  “Do you have a hat on?” and “Do you look like an escaped convict?”

So in the past, in order to give the game an extra twist, we’ve restricted questions about gender, and anything to do with color.  But the game still lasts all of about 4 turns each, or about 60 seconds.

So today we started a new rule: Only questions about their occupations. 

We played three games this way, and it does take longer. 
1) You have to study all the faces you have left and come up with a good occupation that would help you narrow it down: “Are you in fashion?” 
2) Then you have to interpret the other player’s response: “Um…yeah? Yeah, I guess so” is a very different response from, “OMG yes.” 
3) Then you have to apply that response to all the faces, and use your best judgment whether or not to flip that little person down.

It was actually much harder than regular Guess Who?  In fact, no one won any of the three games we played.  Every game ended something like:

“Are you Sam?”
“No!  I’m Max!”
“What??  Oh, I guess Max might be a waiter.”
This was our Guess Who? swansong, because Drew is going to donate the game to his work.  But I did like the 10 minutes of fun it provided this afternoon!


Filed under Awesome, Children, Drew, Endings

76 responses to “The Mystery Face Game

  1. That was the best game ever!!

  2. theveryhungrybookworm

    LOVED that game! Though I haven’t played it in about 15 years so it probably is not as intellectually or emotionally satisfying as it once was…

  3. This was one of my favorite games growing up! Thank you for this delighful post which as lead me to reminiscing about my childhood, and congrats on being Freshly Pressed.

  4. One on my favorite games to play at family functions.

  5. Oh, I remember that game! It always seemed more promising than it actually was!

  6. I love this game. Start a new title: Mystery Facebook….

    spread the humor.

  7. I don’t know why I’ve never heard of this game, but it sounds like a blast! I looked it up and it seems Hasbro is still selling it, but they’ve updated the faces a bit: My kids are older now, so we’d definitely have to play by your set of rules to make it more of a challenge. It’s a bit like Clue, huh? Congratulations on your FP today! 🙂

  8. Can’t say I ever played the game, but your variation sounds especially good, since the real answer is, “Guess Who? got Freshly Pressed?”

    Congrats and hang on for the ride!

  9. How clever. Old games can be so fun. And they’re pretty hard to find at thrift stores.

  10. ddLynnssundry

    I played this game for hours with my kids when they were young. So, you can likely deduce that thousands of games were literally played!! We use to try to change it up a bit to try to make it more challenging as well. The occupation idea was a good one!

  11. Good idea on how to switch it up and make the game for challenging. House Rules rule!!!

  12. Hala J.

    Hahaha! I liked this! Maybe if I can find the old Guess Who from when I was a kid, I’d totally play it that way. It’s definitely much more interesting than the conventional way. I do remember one character where we didn’t know if it was a guy or a girl…damned if I remember who it was. The confusion it caused afterward was hilarious though 😛

  13. I love this kind of reinterpretation of rules; it’s the best way to make the old-hat new again.

    Doing this in writing and art can be considered subversive, or just fun.

  14. OMG,. you just brought up some amazing memories of my boys & I with that game…I had forgotten that one. I like your spin on it though, ha, ha, ha! Thanks for sharing! Can never have too many happy memories…

  15. Dani Alexis

    I remember “Guess Who”! My cousin used to LOVE that game. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if her kids are playing with her set now, lol.

  16. myblogject

    Is the American Guess who different to the UK one? It sounds the same but the photos look a lot more cartoon-y than the UK one?
    Great adaptation to the game, I like your game playing! – any ways to mix up connect 4 next??

  17. That is an awesome way to play that game.

  18. The Compulsive Writer

    Sometimes the best games are the ones for kids. I think we all, as adults, get a bit nostalgic when it comes to kids games. We remember what it was like to be a kid and play things like Sorry or Hungry Hungry Hippo…two of which I am always happy to play when my kids ask. On Ellen last week Greg Kinear mentioned a kids game called Safetyville, it sounds kookie and odd and I must have it!

    Great post with pics!

  19. sydthewyd

    Oh I know the feeling of Guess Who being far too easy once you are past the age of 7.. My dad got bored quickly with it and we started picking 3 (or more) cards and the other person had to guess all 3! It really made you think of some good questions 🙂

  20. I have seen that game (in a school) but have never played it. I like your creatively challenging version of it.

  21. Funny I saw this post. My kids have been playing Guess Who Extra Electric Game religiously. It folds up nicely to make it very portable. They take turns carrying it. They call it their laptop. The different types of things they can be make this a lot harder than the original ie. animals, monsters, or appliances.

  22. jadecobain

    Sounds like a fun way make a simple game a little more fun

  23. transplantednorth

    thanks for creating this blog post and creating another way to play one of my kids’ favorite games.

  24. That’s such a creative idea!

  25. There is nothing like playing an old favorite game. Congrats on being pressed.

  26. Guess Who! Wow that brings me back to my youth! I used to draw on the faces and my teacher finally caught me doing it! I had to miss a recess, but it was worth it!

  27. If I have never played the game does that make me clueless?



  28. Em

    Oh you are too funny. Also what font do you use on your site? I love it! That is kind of a nerdy question.

  29. Oh, this could be my next board game if I can find it. The vintage version of course. I’m always looking for memory games. I wish I had a super memory. Yeah, what was I saying?

  30. I loved playing Guess Who when I was younger! The games are never too easy for me but I’m sure they will be once I get older

  31. At the risk of sounding racist, my friends and I play Guess Who at least once a week, but with a twist. We ask questions like, “Does your person enjoy watching The View?” or “Is your person a member of AARP?” or “Would you make it through airport security?” It’s such a blast poking fun at stereotypes, so long as no one overhears us and actually thinks we believe the things we’re saying!

  32. you should go into business… scrabble, boggle, connect four… you could reinvent all the old games!

  33. I used to play this game all the time as a kid! I like your new rules. It sounds like an interesting psychological experiment 🙂

  34. Good way to “adultify” the game!

  35. Lysandra

    omg… best idea ever… We need to make cards of friends’ faces for a custom game of Guess Who?
    “Are you in theatre?”
    “Okay, that eliminates… one…”

    • Erin and Drew and Joe and I have played a bunch of Guess Who? games, just verbally, with theatre people. (I guess that’s just 20 questions.) I’m 100% sure that at least one time the answer has been “the green visor lady.”

  36. sullivan26

    That is such an amazing idea! I love playing this game with my friends and we always run into the same problem. I like the challenge you’ve added Guess Who and cannot wait to see what professions my friends and I will come up with.

  37. oh, hello-memories just came flooding back! I miss these childhood games. Now I only play social games (part of my profession!) on Facebook and mobile devices.

  38. Oh Geez I had forgotten about this GAME! The pics looked familiar but no name popped into my head. I’m glad you tols me or it would have driven me nutts. I’m 50+ and still like to play Go Fiah! lol

    When I was looking for old cards games we played in school…I found this site many years ago, and was thrilled to find the games I was looking for. Have fun!

  39. Love that game! Very clever post. Congrats on FP.

  40. Yes!! Any time you had a female or someone with glasses, you were screwed. They should make a new version of this game with celebrities and other famous people. Could you imagine asking, “Is this person talented?” or “Is this person smart?” When former presidents, singers, and TV personalities are on the board? Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

  41. Hehehe your post made me smile :). I’ve been meaning to pick this up for my students. I teach English, and so this can be a challenging game for adults–if it’s played in a new foreign language. I love your rule change–sounds interesting and fun.

  42. I never had that game – but with little ones around – I’ll have to consider it. And the alternate question possibilities.

  43. Love that game! That plus Twister and Trouble made up my childhood.

  44. I LOVE this game!:D lol! Some of the kids I babysat played this game all the time, and eventually I wanted to join. I agree as well that is too easy. haha Thanks for sharing the ideas! I want to purchase the game and try it out. lol

    PS: I forget. Are you able to detach the pictures so you can mix them up? You can obviously tell which person is which when it is the last one standing right? lol

  45. That might be the best reinvention of a game ever. I can remember playing it in junior high for some reason, and never really thought about how easy it would be nowadays, Though trying to explain it to my 3 year-old niece was difficult last Christmas…

  46. I use this game all the time when I’m teaching.
    Check out my video:

  47. adribot8

    I used to love to play this game but I had to beg people to play with me.

  48. Pingback: Happy Birthday Mommy! (Round 1) | Letterstories

  49. I find that most games that I loved as a child are so short now it drives me insane.

  50. I had forgotten about that old game!! I used to love it! As well as all memory games- I had this one with different plants and animals and you had to match the tiles by memory…. love your modern twist on an old classic, lol!

  51. Miranda

    This is an extremely good game for starting out in a foreign language. 🙂

  52. Hahaha, that is so cool! I should try it sometime. 🙂

  53. I completely agree with you. Thanks for sharing your view. Hope we’ll have a great time.Thanks

  54. I love this game and play it with my niece and nephew all the time.
    To make it harder, we each have three cards, so the questions are always “do any of your people have….?” I will try out social stereotypes with them next!

  55. Even though nobody won it sounded like loads of fun. What a nice spin on this classic game.

  56. Tess jihye

    wow this is awesome>o<

  57. Pingback: Daily: 6th April 2011 | Recreation and Lesiure

  58. sounds fun! thanks for sharing

  59. I love your interpretation! Makes it so much more fun!

  60. I played this game for hours with my kids when they were young. So, you can likely deduce that thousands of games were literally played!! We use to try to change it up a bit to try to make it more challenging as well. The occupation idea was a good one!

  61. Yea, guess who is one of my all time favorite games to play to kill time when I was growing up.
    It was interesting to read about the little twists that you guys put on the game though. I would have never thought about using occupation.

    Nice post!

  62. Guess Who is such a classic game. I have played with my cousin recently and realized the same questions kept coming up about colour hair, eyes, gender. I love your spin on the game. I will try it some time.

  63. I love this game. Start a new title: Mystery Facebook….

    spread the humor.

  64. This was one of my favorite games growing up! Thank you for this delighful post which as lead me to reminiscing about my childhood, and congrats on being Freshly Pressed.

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