Quick Wit

Quick Wit is a fast-paced and highly entertaining game that asks participants to be quick on their feet.

Before You Play

PREP TIME – None (unless you take time to create your own category topics)

ITEMS NEEDED – Category Topics (provided below), Timer on Phone

Game Info

GAME TIME – 5 Minutes

PARTICIPANTS – 4-8 (can go as high as 16 or break into 2-4 teams)

How to Play Quick Wit

Playing Quick Wit is fairly simple. Once you call up your participants to the front, put them in pairs, as each pair will compete against each other. Explain to them that they will have five seconds to name something or someone from the category you name. Once player one names something, player two will have five seconds to do so. They ping pong back and forth until someone can’t come up with an answer in five seconds.

We’ve found that giving this example helps:

The category is US states. Player one might say Alabama, then player two would say New York. Player one would then say Oregon, player two responds with Pennsylvania and so on. Whoever is the last person to answer correctly has a Quick Wit!

You might think that the game will go on forever, but it’s actually harder than you think to keep on naming things in five seconds. Make sure someone is there with a timer. You can give a split second as a grace period, but try to stay as close to five seconds as possible. We’ve found that most games go less than a minute, and a highly competitive round goes two minutes.

Each pairing results in a winner, then the winners of each round play each other until you have a champion. This is why we like 8 players, as you will be able to watch 7 total rounds (4 games in round 1, 2 in the semi-finals, 1 for the finals).

We’ve listed 25 categories below to get you started, but feel free to get creative.

  • Water Animals
  • Names that Start with ___
  • Foods that start with ___
  • Fruits or Vegetables
  • Worship Songs
  • Cereals
  • Candy Bars
  • Fast Food Restaurants
  • US Presidents
  • Chips or Cookies
  • Movies Starring ___ (i.e. The Rock, Scarlett Johansson)
  • Foods that are Hot/Cold
  • Colors
  • Video Game Systems
  • Movies that had at least 3 in the series (i.e. Fast & Furious, Rocky)
  • Characters on ____ TV show
  • Things at School
  • Types of Dances
  • Genres of Music
  • Instruments in an Orchestra
  • College Mascots
  • Things found in the Fridge
  • Classes in School/College
  • Social Media Apps (past and current)
  • Shoe Brands

Alternate Version

Go back and forth with two teams instead of individuals. Be forewarned that the rounds usually last much longer because the pressure isn’t on one individual. For this reason, you may want to choose more difficult categories to keep the game moving.

Quick Wit Bonus Tips

1. Though you don’t need to be strict, you may need to verify an answer. In that case, we recommend you take note of what was said and let them keep playing until the end of the round. If you need to come back at the end to clarify, that’s fine.

2. This is a great up front game, but it also works to pass time on a long road trip. Our students love it and have played it many times on their own.

3. Put on some light music in the background, but do make sure the participants can be heard by the audience.

4. These are great engagement video posts. Simply ask your followers what was missed from the category posted. Not only do they watch the whole video to see what was said, but then you get to see their minds at work as well.

5. Award the winning team some Smarties or Nerds for their brain-powered prowess.

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