Parse the Parcel

From Ludocity
Parse the Parcel
Designer: Simon Katan
Year: unknown
Players: 10
Stuff required: Stereo + CD of party music, 7 parcels (3 cuboid, 2 triangular, 2 round), 10 chairs, A3 Card 2 sheets, several sheets of A4 Card, Velcro sticky pads, 2 easles or music stands.
Crew required: 1 or 2 people.
Preparation: 2 hours
Time required: 3 mins per round. (Maximum of 7 rounds in a game.)
Place required: anywhere
Activities: bluffing, strategy, fast reactions.
This is a playable game - it's finished, tested and ready to play.
This game is made available under an Attribution-Noncommercial Creative Commons licence. (What does this mean?)

Ten seats. Seven parcels. Two teams. Your team's challenge: to pass the parcels - obeying all the rules - arranging them in the best possible way - without dropping them - and as quickly as possible, because your rivals are trying to do exactly the same thing...

Set Up

Make the parcels. Feel free to wrap them in whatever paper you like.

Print off and cut up the two sets of cards on different coloured card so that they don't get confused.


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Download ParseParcelCards.pdf
Parse the Parcel cards.

Print off and cut out the large parcel symbols (two of each shape for each team). Stick one half of the velcro pad on the back of each shape. Stock four velcro tabs evenly spread across the centre of long side of the each of A3 cards.


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Download ParseParcelFlashcards.pdf
Parse the Parcel symbols.

Set up two rows of 5 chairs facing each other.

Put 3 square parcels on the chairs of one row and alternating circles and triangles on the chairs of the others.

Place one music stand behind each of the rows so that it is visible to the opposite row. Put the one A3 card and 2 of each large shape on both of the stands.

How to Play

The aim of the game is for a team to get 4 parcels in the correct order by passing the various parcels between their own team members and to members of the opposing team.

A round starts by each team choosing a card from their team pack which determines what combination of parcels they need to get. This is displayed for reference on the board behind the opposing team. Players may not look behind them at the opposing team’s board during game play.

Players may only hold one parcel at a time, may not swap parcels and may not pass a parcel to someone who is already holding a parcel.

Players may only pass parcels to neighbouring team members or to the player in the other team who sits directly opposite.

Players may not refuse a parcel if it is passed to them but can pass it straight back. Players may not take parcels from other players if they are not being passed.

On achieving the correct combination and on only having 4 parcels a team signals that they have won the round by holding their four parcels above their heads. There must be no gaps between the parcels and mirror images of the shown order are not allowed. Each round won earns three points.

Game play starts when the music begins and ends either when a team wins the round or when the track is finished in which case the round is declared a draw (each team scores 0 points).

If the game master feels that one team is hogging all the parcels they can pause the music, temporarily stopping game play. The team with the larger number of parcels will lose one point. Game play will continue once the music is restarted.

Return the parcels to starting positions at the beginning of each round with the team who started with the cubes in the last round, starting with the triangles and spheres.


Shorter games of fewer rounds can be run where there are time constraints. In three round games reduce the winning points to one.

Allow players to choose which card they do for a round. (Introduces a more tactical element).

Run a knockout tournament over a whole evening.


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