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Chameleon

Blend in to stand out: Can you spot the imposter?

PLAYERS

Min:

2

Max:

8

Ideal:

6

EXPERIENCE

Game / Round Time:

30

/

10

Physical / Virtual:

Yes

/

Yes

COMPLEXITY

To Play:

Easy

To Facilitate:

Easy

To Customize:

Easy

MATRIX

Instinct:

Feel

Intent:

How

CLASS

Genre:

Party, Tabletop, Social, Mental

Mechanics:

Asymmetry, Bluffing, Chance, Cooperative, Deduction, Hidden Action, Negotiation, Observation, Turn-based, Voting, Wordplay,

Dynamics:

Adaptability, Attention, Communication, Confidence, Curiosity, Cultural Intelligence, Decision Making, Integrity, Persuasion, Risk-taking, Strategy Development,

BONDING

Materials

VIRTUAL SETUP

+ Topic cards

+ Secret word identifier cards (includes chameleon)

+ Dice (for identifying word)


You can buy the physical game here.

Physical Setup

First, players gather around the deck of topic cards (4x4 grids of words that share a similar category, columns A-D, rows 1-4).

Next, shuffle the chameleon card into a deck with the same number of identifier cards as players (i.e. 4 player game = 4 identifier cards + 1 chameleon), then deal one card to each player. Place the remaining card aside for this round.

Finally, roll the dice to identify the secret word (i.e. 2 dice indicate a letter-number coordinate on the topic grid). Give players a moment to strategize. The chameleon card does not have any information on it, meaning they do not know the secret word as the round begins.

Virtual Setup

There is a light online version. Follow the host instructions and share a game code or link: https://the-chameleon.onrender.com/lobby

Gameplay

Giving Clues: The player left of the dealer gives a 1-word clue. Their objective is to say something related enough to the secret word that other players won’t suspect them of being the chameleon. Play continues clockwise with 1-word clues until everyone has done so. 

Voting and Results: It’s time to guess the chameleon. Players may talk and theorize together. When ready, votes are cast by pointing a finger at the suspected chameleon. Whoever gets the most votes identifies their card. If they aren’t the chameleon, the chameleon has escaped and scores 2 points. Anyone who voted for them gets 1 point. If they are the chameleon, they have the opportunity to guess the secret word. By correctly identifying it, they escape and score 1 point, along with everyone who voted for the chameleon.

Next Round: Identifier cards are shuffled and redealt. A new topic card is revealed. Repeat the steps above. Play until the group wants to end.

Variations

Custom Topics: Typical game cards include things like famous monuments or rock bands. For more team-relevant fun, create your our grids based on office culture, work projects, team jokes, etc.

Different Grids and Reference Cards: If you play the game enough, some player may begin to pick up on patterns of how the secret word is chosen based on the dice roll. To maintain the game’s integrity, create a new reference card and/or change the size of the grid to spice it up.

Pulse Check

Q. Does everyone seem open to keep playing? Are the disengaged able to be more engaged?

Q. Are people having fun — smiling, laughing, in deep thought?

Q. Do you hear productive strategizing about how to improve round-to-round?

BUILDING

Feel

Position the reflection around sensory and emotional responses to certain options or ideas:


  • Were you satisfied with the level of engagement from your team members?

  • What made you feel respected and valued during the game?

  • When did the game have the most energy? The most tension?

How

Position the reflection around pathways and resources for accomplishing goals and future growth:

  • How did the team organize itself around the rules and objectives?

  • Did conflict or miscommunication affect the game? How might you address that for next time?

  • Would more time, people, or resources have shifted the team's approach? How so?

DEVELOPMENT

Please reach out to us for support around positioning this game for deeper learning programs and longer engagements. We often find that lighter game sessions can help set up team assessments and heavier reflections that lead to growth.

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