Have you ever found yourself on a family holiday, in a room full of distant relatives at Christmas, all eyes glued in excruciating silence on a How I Met Your Mother rerun, or at a gathering of people who can only get drunk if there are rules involved, thinking to yourself: Why, god, are there no decent board games in the world?
Here at Noisey we appreciate the value of PG-rated fun, we admire an activity that can get Grandma chuckling as hard as the kids, and we have a lot of respect for the lure of a traditional board game. That’s why we’ve created Guess Wu: the world’s first literal rap game. Beautifully illustrated by Dan Evans, Guess Wu is the two-player "mystery face" game that, inexplicably, nobody has invented until now. The concept is simple; it’s Guess Who?, only with Wu-Tang Clan members and affiliated artists, instead of some Leave It To Beaver-lookin’ randoms called “Maria” and “Alfred.”
We might—MIGHT—give you the chance to win this cultural artifact in the near future. Until then, you can make your own by simply locating the childhood board game from your attic or local charity shop, crudely taping the words “GUESS WU” on the front, and drawing a spliff in the kid’s hand. Then, replace all the characters on the board with your favorite rappers using the cards above, and play on, playa!
If you’re not familiar with the rules, here’s how it goes...
– 48 small pictures of Wu-Tang affiliated rappers
– 2 playing boards
– 1 supreme knowledge of hip-hop (not included)
– The only known copy of Once Upon A Time Shaolin (nah, we're fucking with you).
OBJECT OF THE GAME
Be the first to guess the identity of the mystery rapper on your opponent’s card.
GET READY TO GUESS WU
Before you play the game for the first time, take a moment, zen yourself, notice some of the differences between the faces on your playing board. Note the difference in full beards, slimline beards, and women. Maybe you could get your grandma to focus on the stitching of the hats; she'll like that. Be discerning.
PLAYING THE GAME
Whoever can rap all of “C.R.E.A.M” without stopping goes first, so that'll be your grandma. On your turn, you can ask one question to try to guess the identity of the rapper on your opponent's card through a process of elimination. The question you ask must be one that can be answered “yes” or “no.” To eliminate a card, simply flip its frame down and out of play. Take turns to ask one question each. In case you haven't caught on yet, we haven't veered too far away from Guess Who.
You can make it as easy or complex as you like depending on how well you know your Wu-ology, but here is an example round to get you started. In front of me there is a card with a rapper on it that you cannot see. These are the kinds of things you could ask in order to guess that rapper:
Is your rapper a woman?
Nope: See ya, Tekitha.
Did your rapper cut their own dick off?
Nope: Oop, Christ Bearer, that’s you out of the game, sorry m8.
Is your rapper wearing a baseball cap?
Nope! Okay, now we're taking some names. Flip down 4th Disciple, Cappadonna, Killah Priest, Shyheim, U-God, Nas, Method Man, and Trife Da God.
Is your rapper related to another member of Wu-Tang?
Yeah: Say goodbye everyone who is not Sun God, Ghostface Killah, Young Dirty Bastard, Ol' Dirty Bastard, RZA, GZA.
Is your rapper still alive?
Yeah: RIP Ol' Dirty Bastard.
Did your rapper appear on GZA’s 1999 album Beneath the Surface?
Yeah: So long everyone except GZA and RZA.
According to Celebrity Net Worth, is your rapper worth more than $16 million?
Hell yeah! RZA.
The correct rapper is RZA. Well done.
If you think you know the identity of your opponent’s rapper, you may make a guess. But you must think first before you move! If your guess is wrong, you’ll lose the game as well as your street cred.
Score one peg in the hold on your playing board each time you win a round. The winner is the one with the most pegs after five rounds, and the loser, well, the loser has to cut their penis off just like Christ Bearer. (Nah, we're joking. The loser has to dance convincingly to Mariah Carey and Ol Dirty Bastard's "Fantasy" for the entire unfathomable five minute duration, while the winner claps victoriously.)
Hey! Are you a Wu-Tang fanatic or an actual member of the Clan? Is your Guess Wu style immensely strong and immune to nearly any weapon? Do you like the look of this game and think you can show us how to play it properly? Wanna try and win it? Shout at us on Twitter @NoiseyMusic.
Special thanks to Dan Evans for doing an incredible job illustrating this whole thing, including the logo—not the spliff though, that was all us. Dan also illustrated Grime Week on Noisey last year. You can find out more about his work in our interview with him here.