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In FAMILY ALIAS you say things in other words! Explain words using synonyms, opposites and other clues and help your partner guess as many words as possible before time runs out.

Both the explainer and guesser get to move forward on the board as many steps as they got words right.


  • 300 "family" cards
  • 180 "adult" cards
  • 20 "WILD" cards
  • 1 sand timer
  • 8 player pawns
  • Gameboard with spinner base and arrow
  • Instructions

Object of the Game

The first player to reach the victory space wins the game!


Place the game board on the table. Separate the cards into piles according to type, shuffle and place them on the table.

Attach the spinner arrow to the spinner base, and place the spinner in the center of the board.

Each player takes a pawn and places it in the start space.

Game Play

The youngest player starts and the turns pass clockwise. The player in turn is always the explainer.

Use the spinner to find your partner!

In the beginning of your every turn, spin the spinner to see who your guessing partner will be. Don't worry about the sectors of the spinner; just check who the arrow points to. If the arrow points to you, all other players will guess.


Which cards to use?

  • When a child is either explaining or guessing, use the family cards.

    In addition, spin the spinner. If the spinner points to the Alias sector, draw a kids card and act accordingly.

    Family cards are also used when all players are guessing, but without using the spinner.

  • When an adult is partnered with another adult, use the adult cards.

    In addition, spin the spinner. If the spinner points to the Alias sector, draw a wild card and act accordingly.

    If there is only 1 adult playing, don't use the wild cards at all.


Which word should you explain?

Adult cards have eight numbered words each on them. The spaces on the game board have the same numbers, so the location of your pawn determines the number you should explain.

Family cards include one picture and four written words. Each word is bordered by two different numbers, and where your pawn stands determines the word you should explain. The pictures are used only when an appropriate kids card has been drawn.

Explanation Guidelines

  • You must not mention any part of the word you are explaining. If the word is "hand bag", you can't say "a bag that women carry".

  • The guesser has to say the word exactly as it is on your card. If the word is "running", "run" is not accepted.

Start Explaining!

Turn the sand timer and start to explain the word by the correct number.

When your partner guesses the correct answer, put the card on the table and start explaining a new word by the same number from the next card.

End of a Turn

When the sand in the sand timer runs out, the other players yell "stop".

If you are still explaining, all players can now take part in guessing. The first player to guess the correct answer gets to move one space forward on the board.

Finish Zone

  • The rules change on the finish zone!

    When you enter the finish zone, you will no longer explain words or become anyone's guessing partner. Instead, you try to steal words during other players' turns.

    Try to guess the explained word correctly before the guessing player. If the spinner arrow points to you, all players will guess.

    Note: After a child has reached the finish zone, the other players will always use family cards.

  • Moving is different on the finish zone!

    Players whose pawns are on the finish zone move their pawns forward immediately after their guess was accepted, instead of moving at the end of each turn.

  • Last player outside the finish zone

    If you are the last player outside the finish zone, you must explain words until you too enter the finish zone (or until someone reaches the victory space).

Minus Points

  • If you use part of the word you are explaining, place that card face down on the table to mark a minus point.

  • You also get a minus point if you skip a word without trying to explain it.

  • If the guesser seems no closer to guessing the correct answer after about 10 seconds of explaining, you can skip the word without minus points.


Moving forward on the board

How many words were guessed correctly? The explaining and the guessing player get to move their pawns as many steps forward as there were correctly guessed words.

If all players were guessing, the explainer gets to move one step for each correctly guessed word, but the guessing players only get to move for each word they personally guessed correctly.

After the pawns have been moved, it's the turn next player's turn.

Scoring Example (2 Players): On your turn, you explained 8 words. Your partner guessed 6 words correctly, but you made two mistakes.

In this instance, your partner gets to move 6 spaces forward, but you can only move 4 (6 correct words - 2 mistakes = 4 spaces).

End of the Game

The game ends when:

  • a player reaches the victory space! This player wins!

  • all players reach the finish zone!

    The player closest to the victory space wins! If two or more players are in the same space, the player who got there first wins.

Victory space

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