Stupor Market: The Phonetic Food Game

Here's a fun game for groups at a restaurant, especially if the players have been imbibing a little bit before the game starts.

Stuff You Need
3 or more players at a restaurant or bar.

A pen and two pieces of paper for each player. Leave the first sheet of paper blank. On your second sheet, write each other player's name.

A 30sec timer.

How to Play
All players do these steps together at the same time.

1. On the blank piece of paper, write the name of a food served at this restaurant. Write the food as cryptically and phonetically as you can, in all capitals. This can be a basic ingredient, like fruits and vegetables; or more complex foods, like appetizers, entrees, or side dishes. For example, "lettuce" could be "LAYDUS." "Sweet potato" could be "SWOT PERDERDER." "Chicken noodle soup" could be "CHALKING OODLE SAP."

2. When everyone is done writing, hold your paper up so everyone can see it. You should probably hold it up with your non-writing hand, you'll need your writing hand in a sec.

3. Start the timer.

4. Look at the other players' misspelled foods and try to decipher what they actually are. Write down your guesses on the second sheet of paper as fast as you can, next to the name of the player holding that word.

5. When the timer runs out, put your pen down.

How to Win
One at a time, each player says the actual name of their chosen food.

You score one point for every food you guessed correctly.

Double those points if some of the players guessed your food correctly. Not all the players, not none of the players, just some of the players.

After three rounds of play, the player with the most points wins.

Stupor Market for Couples
For couples at a restaurant, the rules are a little different and much more casual.

1. Each player writes a list of five misspelled foods served at the restaurant.

2. Each player hands the paper to his or her opponent.

3. Try to decipher as many of those foods as possible. Write your guess next to each item.

4. When the waiter speaks to either player, that round is over and each player scores points.

You score one point for every food you guess correctly. Double that if your opponent guessed some of yours correctly. Play as many rounds as you like, or until the waiter kicks you out.

Design Notes
At first, I was thinking about making this a commercial game, with a deck of food cards, a timer, and so forth. I might still do that, but for now I just wanted to get the game out there in a playable form.
» Here's the initial inspiration
» Here was the first playtest
» Here's how I made the title graphic


  1. When you say "write the name of the food served at this restaurant," do you mean "write the name of a food served at this restaurant?"


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