3 - 10
Family Friendly Games
Looking up and finding shapes in the clouds can be a fun thing to do on a lazy afternoon. The ancient Greeks were so beholden with this pastime activity that they wrote a play about it back in 423 BC. It’s true. Did you know the word “nephelococcygia” is the act of finding shapes in the clouds? I bet you didn’t. I also bet you didn’t know about a great game called Cloud Control that turns nephelococcygia into a fun board game.
Cloud Control is a game for 3 to 10 players and is suitable for the entire family. In Cloud Control, the active player tries to get the other players to guess their shapes before time runs out. It is similar to Pictionary, but instead of freehand drawings, Cloud Control uses 20 differently shaped cloud segments. This is both helpful (because of my lackluster artistic ability) and challenging (because you have to rely on the provided shapes). The game is a lot of fun and caused a lot of laughs around our gaming table.
Gameplay and Components
Cloud Control comes with 120 Cloud Cards, 6 of each of the 20 different shapes. This is enough common (and some not so common) shapes to allow you to create almost anything your mind can imagine. There are 180 Shape Cards and each of these has five different shapes, with varying point values. For example, “house” is worth 1 point, “pogo stick” is worth 3 points, and “farmer” is worth 5 points. You also get a three-minute sand timer and point tokens for keeping track of everyone’s score. Note that the components in the final retail version might be different than what I list due to the various stretch goals in the Indiegogo campaign.
Setup is straightforward. Sort the Cloud Cards by type (should be six of each) and arrange them in a 4×5 grid within reach of all players. Then choose a Shape Card, take a moment to read over the listed shapes, and flip the timer. You’ll then take as many Cloud Cards as you need from the center grid and try to create the shapes listed on your Shape Card before time runs out. You can orient, stack, overlap, and even animate the Cloud Cards on your turn. But you can’t talk or make any noise. Also, creating letters/numbers and things like that is also not allowed.
Once time is up, it becomes the next players turn. The game continues until everyone has had a turn to create cloud shapes, at which point the player with the most points wins. Of course, you can play multiple games in a row or prolong the game if desired. If you are playing with a large group, you might not even want to keep score because no one will want to stop playing.
There are variant rules for all against all, team play, and even a Lightning Round mode. This increases the fun factor for different sized playing groups and also adds to the replayability of the game. Having your head in the clouds has never been so much fun.
I like Cloud Control a lot better than most other party games of this type. Having to use the provided Cloud Cards to create the shapes is both challenging and rewarding. It also lends itself to a lot of laughs. You might think that going after the 1 point shape “foot” will be easy, but after your friends guess almost every related word and then jump to things that aren’t even close to being related, you’ll find yourself (and your friends) cracking up in good-humored frustration. If you are a fan of classic party games such as Pictionary, Charades, Taboo, and Catchphrase, then you’ll undoubtedly enjoy Cloud Control. Head over to the Indiegogo campaign and help make Cloud Control a reality.