Alright folks, it’s time for another game review. This time we’re looking to change colors, blend in, and eat flies. We’re becoming chameleons! Orange. Monday. Tail. John. Dog. When the topic is Garfield the cat, what stands out as someone who doesn’t know that? Could it be dog, or is that referring to Odie. Is it tail? Maybe that’s all that person could come up with. Cats do have tails. Well, it’s everyone’s job to either figure out who doesn’t know the topic or blend in. This is Chameleon.
Chameleon is a social deduction game. It’s another game that caught my eye, and another game I didn’t do research on before buying. The box is a green/blue color and it says Chameleon on it. Well, I was starting my board game collection, and this wasn’t an expensive game to buy. I looked at the important part of the box, and it was 3-8 players. The beginning of my board game collection I was aiming for larger play groups and party games. This one looked like it fit the bill. So into the cart it went, and home it came.
The game comes with 40 topic cards, 2 sets of eight player cards, a D6 and D8, customization topic card, and dry erase markers. Each topic card has a table a 4×4 grid of words based on the topic. For player cards, each set has 7 cards that have a 6×8 grid that corresponds to the dice and one card that only says “You are the chameleon.” Quite a bit in for this boxed party game.
Onto the rules. Pick out the chameleon card from one of the player card set. Count the number of players, subtract one (The chameleon card picked out earlier), and put in that many player cards. Player cards with the charts are all identical. Shuffle these up. Pass them out, and each player only views their own card. The dealer rolls both dice and flips over a topic card. Here’s where it gets interesting. If you have the 6×8 chart, you know the word everyone is about to talk about. Just find the yellow number on the top, and go down to the blue number. This gives you the word on the topic card to talk about. If you have the chameleon card, all you know is that you’re the chameleon. Now, don’t panic. Doing that just gives you away.
Everyone takes a turn to study their chart and the topic card. We usually passed it around the table. You’ll look at your roll, and then find the Number/Letter spot that everyone will talk about. Think of one word that you can use to describe that word. If you’re the chameleon, I suggest miming the action of following the column and row to pretend like you’re checking the chart. For chameleons, you’ll think of a word that vaguely fits the topic card.
Once the topic card goes to every player, then the fun starts. Starting with the player to the left of the dealer, everyone says one word about the topic word. After everyone has said one word, then it goes into open conversation. Once everyone has decided who they think the chameleon is, count down from 3 and point to the person who you think the chameleon is. The person with the majority of votes, reveals who they are. If the chameleon is caught, everyone else gets 1 point. If the chameleon has successfully blended in, then the chameleon gets 2 point. If the chameleon is caught and can guess the word, the chameleon gets 2 points while everyone else gets 0 points. First player to 5 points wins.
So that’s Chameleon. It’s a word game where one person is trying to bluff to fit in. What do I think? It’s one of my favorite social deduction games. We pull it out about every game night. When I taught it to my grandma, she was able to play it after a couple of mock rounds. The hardest part is looking at the dice roll and finding the word on your player card. We have a couple of rounds where we thought someone was the chameleon, but in reality they were looking at the wrong word. I wish the player limit was greater than 8, but I was able to remedy that. I went out and bought another set of dice to use with the game. Now we can have two games going at once with one box.
I highly recommend this for everyone. It’s fun listening to everyone’s responses, figuring out the chameleon. If you’re the chameleon, it’s fun trying to blend in. One of my highlights with this game was being the chameleon and starting the round with saying my word first. The topic was “Phobias.” I thought about something that was related to all the possibilities. I chose “Funny” because I figured if you didn’t have that phobia you might consider it funny. I blended in so perfectly, nobody picked me. Reason being the topic word was “Clowns.” I just lucked out. We all had a good laugh over that one.
Now, this game is only available at Target. That’s one of the downsides if you like supporting local game stores. If you regularly have a game night where 5-8 people attend, I suggest buying this game before it’s taken off the shelves. I like this game so much, I think it should be in everyone’s collection. I haven’t had anyone play this game and not like it. It’s a quick, light game that is easy to teach, and has countless possibilities due to the dice rolls and what others say to describe the topic word.