It’s Tuesday again, which means you must have tons of time to waste on this week’s awesome game. This is one that we invented from scratch. Have a little back story …
One day, my family — which includes my mother, father, and two older sisters – were sitting on the NJ Transit train riding into New York City for a day trip. Actually, to say ‘one day’ isn’t really accurate, as this was a trip we made pretty often during my middle school years. The hour and a quarter long ride isn’t that daunting to a family who used to make twenty-hour drives to Florida every summer, but we find a challenge in every adventure.
Basically, we were on a train, which means we needed a train-themed game. Why? Well that is just how our mind works. When we were waiting in lines at PAX, we created a game specifically related to gaming, but that’s a time waster for another Tuesday. So here goes Train of Thought.
Basic Game Play: One player thinks of two completely unrelated nouns. Then all players attempt to connect those nouns using the shortest “trains” possible.
Winning: Ha! No such thing, at least how we play. Feel free to keep track of points and end up with a clear winner at the end of the ride, but we never feel the need to become any more competitive than we already are. The game can get combative as is!
Each connection must make logical sense. “A” must clearly lead to “B” in any situation, not just the one laid out by the chain. If not, other players can veto a train.
A connection must only relate to the words directly before and after it.
Example: If the chain goes: Irish – cream – coffee, that’s okay. Irish relates to cream. Cream relates to coffee. However, if it goes Irish – cream – alcohol, that doesn’t work. Irish relates to cream, but cream doesn’t relate to alcohol. Irish cream does, but that involves the last two connections.
It must be played on a train. You may find this to be a silly rule, and then by all means, drop it. However, we like to keep our themed games within their themes. You wouldn’t find Disney Botticelli (one of last week’s variations) anywhere but Disney World, now would you?
Express Train: Connect the two given nouns with only one logical noun in between. If you are keeping score, make sure there are bonus points for this sort of thing, as sometimes they can be very impressive.
So as you can see, it’s a very simple game, that’s easy to explain, great for all ages that can associate things with other things, and really makes you think. That’s what makes it a geeky game! You have to use your brain to get a shorter train than your competitors.
Fandom Train of Thought: Connect nouns that are prevalent in your fandom using only connections that have no relation to the fandom. Or try using connections that only make sense to the fandom.
Monorail of Thought: A specific variation of a fandom which is Disney themed (of course!). We play it only on Disney transportation during our family vacations to Disney World, and connect two Disney things using non-Disney connections.
Character Train of Thought: Think of this one like the 6 degrees from Kevin Bacon game. Use characters from a certain fandom, and then connect them through relations with other characters. Try it using characters who are unaware of one another’s existence as the anchor words.
Patterns: Set up a specific word pattern that your trains must follow. All nouns as connections could be fun. Or try alternating between adjectives and nouns. How about making a challenge for yourself by only using words in alphabetical order!
Have an idea for a variation? Let us know. Or just play with your family and tell us how it goes. We’d love to hear what you think. If you have an idea for a Time Waster Tuesday, be sure to email us at email@example.com, and you may see your game here on some future Tuesday!