A board game
Catch Phrase is a word guessing party game commercially available from Hasbro.
Initially, the game consisted of a timer and a plastic disc that displayed one word at a time. Later, stand-alone electronic devices with built-in random lists of word phrases were made available.
The game is played in two teams. The goal for each player is to get their team to say the word or word phrase displayed in the disc. One member of a team starts the timer and tries to get his or her team to guess the displayed word or phrase. A clue-giver can make any physical gesture and give almost any verbal clue, but may not say a word that rhymes with any of the words, give the first letter of a word, say the number of syllables, or say part of any word in the clue (e.g., "worry" for "worry wart"). When the team guesses correctly, the other team takes its turn. Play continues until the timer runs out. The team not holding the disc when time runs out scores a point. They also have one chance to guess the word or phrase, with team members allowed to confer; a correct answer earns a bonus point. The first team to score seven points wins.
The older version of the game contains discs with 72 words on each side. The word list is advanced by pressing a button on the right side of the disc apparatus. A timer beeps at an increasing rate before randomly buzzing, signaling the end of turn. A scoring sheet is provided.
The later version, also known as Electronic Catch Phrase, is an electronic game (in a device similar in appearance to the original version) with integrated phrase list, timer and scoring. The game unit has an LCD screen to display words, and buttons to start the timer, advance play, and assign points to teams. Teams must guess the entire phrase as displayed.
A second edition of the electronic game with changed appearance has a backlit LCD screen and a visual score display rather than the auditory score system.
The electronic version's word list contains 10,000 words, which are categorized:
"Everything" – all 10,000 words in the game
"Tech/Inventions" – Anything that has been invented through the ages, from ancient history to modern times
"History Buff" – History, politics, wars, civics, and things in the present that will become history
"Entertainment" – Movies, music, books, actors, singers, authors, as well as fun activities
"Sports/Games" – Sports and games of all sorts, leisure activities
"Geography" – Places, both geographically and answers to the question "where?"; Also things that are usually found in a particular place or region
"Transportation" – Methods of transport, as well as things seen while travelling
"Around the House" – Household items
"Food/Drink" – Foods and drinks, cooking terms, ingredients, restaurants, other food items
"Plants/Animals" – Plants, animals, items made from plants or animals
"Family" – A subset of the words appropriate for children, no adult themes or terms
Advanced players and teams tend to forgo the game board. Instead, one person is assigned as the score keeper and tallies the points along the way.
The game is similar to Taboo, also from Hasbro, in which a player tries to get his or her teammates to guess words without using the word in question or five related words.