Were you born to hand jive? No, I’m not talking about the song and dance from the classic movie Grease! I love the film, but I am talking about the family card game Hand Jive! from Cheatwell Games, which is a very good thing as I can’t dance (even with my hands!). Cheatwell’s Hand Jive is a family friendly ‘hands only’ charades card game.
Hand Jive! is a play anywhere manic miming card game that is lots of fun for all the family. It is a deck of cards, a game that is suitable for 2 or more players aged 8+. If you have ever played charades and liked it, you will definitely love Hand Jive! It is a twist on the classic game of charades where players have to act out (mime) a wacky mix of words and actions, but you can only use your hands, fingers and thumbs and nothing else. The deck comes supplied with 56 double-sided cards, giving 440 different hand charades to have quality family fun with.
This hands only game of charades is a card game that is suitable for all the family, anyone from 8 to 108 (and beyond). It is played by two to four teams of players, roughly the same size. It is a game that the whole family can play together, and it doesn’t really matter if it is children vs adults, adult and child vs adult and child, adults vs adults or children vs children – every age group can join, engage and have fun. It has a playing time of around 30 minutes.
How to play the game is very easy. Get into teams and start those very important discussions about what your team’s name will be. After some negotiation, compromise and finally agreement on the name, write the team names on a piece of paper so that you can keep track of the scores. Shuffle the deck of cards and place the green or pink side face-down on the table within easy reach of everybody, if doesn’t matter what side (colour) you play with.
To start, each newly name team selects a Hand Actor – this person will be the lucky/unlucky player who becomes the first mime artist. Players take it in turns on each round so everybody on the team gets a go at miming. Hand Actors chosen; the oldest player gets to go first.
The Hand Actor in play selects a card from the deck. Each card has 4 mimes on each card, graded from 1 to 4 (level 1 is the easiest level and worth 1 point, level 4 is the hardest and worth 4 points), and a successful hand mime guessed by their teammates earns the number of points attached to that mime. The Hand Actor first must select a level they want to mime (one they think they can successfully mime with their hands and one that they think their teammates will be able to guess) and announces the level they are playing before passing the card to a player on an opposing team so they can check if any guesses are correct.
Teams and team names decided, first player ready to go, card taken, and level selected, now the fun and laughter begins.
The Hand Actor in play now has 30 seconds (timed by the other team) to act out the word or action they have chosen on their card, just by using their hands – no other parts of the body can be used, no props can be used, no mouthing words or letters, no verbal clues, no air drawing letters, no singing, humming or cheating. If the player is caught attempting any of these other methods their turn is null and void and immediately ends.
Hopefully the skill of the Hand Actor is good enough that their team mates can decipher the clues. If the team decipher the hand mime and correctly guess the answer on the card, then they get the points (points awarded depend on level in play). But if they fail to find the answer or time expires, then the card is returned to bottom of the pile, the team receives no points and the next team plays with a different card. The first team to score 20 points is the winner.
Overall, we all loved playing Hand Jive! despite how shocking we all were at miming and deciphering hand mimes. It is a game of hilarious fun with things like miming how to make a paper aeroplane, jazz hands or even trying to mime a toilet. It is a very quick game to learn, lots of fun to play and as it is just a deck of cards it can be played anywhere and by anyone.
We think that Hand Jive! is an excellent game for families; from children to grandparents, everybody can play together equally as well. It is a game that provides lots of entertainment packed with laughter and giggling. Some of the mimes are quite easy, some are more difficult (how do you mime a toilet?) with the difficulty levels ramping up depending on level selected, but as each player can select the level of difficulty on their turn everybody can choose something they are comfortable with on their turn – whatever level is played, all were just as hilarious. As it is a game on interpretation, we did have to wonder about some of the thinking that went into them by the Hand Actor – it clearly made sense in their head, and by some of the abstract guesswork. And the best part, the mimes will change every time the game is played depending on the players and clearly their way of thinking.
Cheatwell Games Hand Jive! is a quick and fun game that will bring enjoyment to family and friends on game nights, holidays or just waiting for dinner to be ready. And with a cost of only £5, it is an absolute bargain, especially as it can be played over and over again with a dizzying array of results and mimes.