The game is best with 5 or 6 players.
It can still be fun for smaller groups. You should probably use these rules modifications, unless you want to play it wrong.
Game Rules with 4 Players
In a 4-player game, everyone starts with an acorn. Yeah! Now you'll be plenty fat enough to get through winter!
The tough-question kicker counts double.
That's great, but only one other player is guessing. You get 2 points if he or she guesses wrong.
With 3 Players
This is a really cozy game. One person asks, one person answers, and the one left over has to guess.
In a 3-player game, use 4 acorns. give one to each player and an extra one to the person on the starting player's right.
You could also just leave the acorns in the box and let players ask whoever they want. With only 3 players, everyone is likely to get asked several questions.
Since only one person is guessing, the tough-question kicker is useless ... or at least it would be if we didn't have this awesome rule:
If you are the guesser, you can choose to use your tough-question kicker before the answer is revealed.
The asker must also make a guess. you get 2 points if the asker's guess is wrong. the asker doesn't get any points from his or her guess, not even if it's correct.
Play your kicker face up and ask the asker, "What would be your guess?"
With three players, only half the colors are actually in the game. That's a shame. Here's a variant that uses all the colors to make a 3-player game shorter and more action packed. Use the rules for a 3-player game plus these two modifications:
Each player has two kickers of each type.
Take the kickers from an unused color. The rules for using them are unchanged. So you still play at most one, and when the rules say you get one back, you get only one.
Squirrels boosted by extra kickers don't need as many questions to climb the mountain:
Instead of using 24 cards in the draw pile, use only 18.
With 2 Players
Um ... we're stumped. This really is not a 2-player game. But you can still take turns asking each other questions. That's called conversation.