How to Play The Chameleon
Learn how to play The Chameleon in no time at all with our handy instructions.
Rather watch the video explanation? Watch it here.
Aim of The Chameleon
To unmask the Chameleon without giving away the secret word. If you are the Chameleon then your mission is to blend in with the other players, avoid detection and work out the secret word.
Gather 4-6 players. Shuffle the Blue Chameleon Card into the matching set of Code Cards and deal one to each player, face down. One of you is now the Chameleon. Stay cool, blend in and don’t get caught.
THE HUNT BEGINS...
The dealer turns over a Topic Card for all to see and rolls the yellow and blue dice. The two numbers on the dice lead everyone (except the Chameleon) to a secret coordinate on their Code Card. This coordinate is then used to locate the secret word on the Topic Card in front of them. Meanwhile, the Chameleon has to pretend to play along. Since they have no Code Card, it’s impossible for them to work out what the secret word is… yet.
The Topic Card is Food. The dealer rolled 3 on the yellow die and 6 on the blue die. On your Code Card this roll points to A4.
A4 on the Topic Card points to the secret word for the round – Chicken. Starting with the dealer, each player (including the Chameleon) takes it in turns to say one word related to Chicken. Take a few moments to think of your word. When ready, each player says their word without hesitation or interruption, moving clockwise around the table.
If another player says the word you were going to say, you can repeat it. Choose wisely! If your word is too obvious, the Chameleon might catch on and figure out the secret word. If it’s too cryptic, people might start to think that you’re the Chameleon.
Here’s an example of how it might play out. Remember, the secret word is chicken.
Unmasking The Chameleon
Once everyone has said their word, begin debating the Chameleon’s identity. This is where you get to channel your inner attorney and pick holes in each other’s arguments. After a few minutes, everyone votes by pointing at the person they think is the Chameleon.
The player with the most votes* must now turn over their card. If it’s a Code Card, you’ve accused the wrong player and the Chameleon has escaped. Idiots! If it’s a Chameleon Card, then you’ve successfully cornered the Chameleon… but it’s not over yet. The Chameleon can still take a guess at the secret word. If they get it right, they escape.
The Chameleon for that round is now the dealer for the next. First switch decks, mix the Green Chameleon Card and matching set of Code Cards up and deal them out. It’s time to track down that elusive Chameleon once again.
Feel like mixing it up? Grab the super-size Topic Card and dry-wipe pen to create your own topics.
*If two players receive an equal number of votes, the dealer for that round gets the deciding vote.
If you want to prove once and for all who’s the best player around, you’ll need to keep score. Here’s a simple scoring guide: If the Chameleon escapes undetected: The Chameleon scores 2 points. Everyone else scores 0 points. If the Chameleon is caught (but guesses the secret word): The Chameleon scores 1 point.
Everyone else scores 0 points. If the Chameleon is caught (and doesn’t guess the secret word): The Chameleon scores 0 points. Everyone else scores 2 points. The first player to 5 points wins.
More of fewer players?
An easy rule change is that the Chameleon, if caught, gets two guesses at the secret word.
7 OR 8 PLAYERS
Another simple change. Once everyone has said their word, have the dealer turn the Topic Card face-down to make it harder for the Chameleon to work out the secret word.