|Three games to play on road trips|
David Whitley explains a trio of methods for keeping long drives interesting.
Chances are, if you’re old enough to be going on a big road trip across Australia, South Africa or the United States, you’re probably a bit old for I Spy. But there will come an inevitable point on big journeys where you need to create some entertainment as a respite from the over-familiar pile of CDs you burned before leaving. From experience, I can conclude that the following three games make for a thoroughly enjoyable (if weirdly competitive) time.
Cow versus sheep
This simple game combines getting from A to B with wildlife spotting. Both driver and passenger have to keep a look out for animals on their side of the road. If there are animals on both sides of the road, whoever has the best animal wins a point. For example, cows are clearly better than sheep, horses are better than cows, and something mad like a llama or an emu is better than a horse. There are no points given if animals can only be seen on one side of the road, and none if both sides have the same best animal. The first person to three points wins the leg, and you can play as many legs as you like – a bit like a darts marathon. One possible rule variation is to introduce an instant win animal (kangaroos are good for this in Australia). If either of you sees the instant win animal on your side of the road – irrespective of whether anything’s on the other side – you take the leg without needing the three points.
This one is best saved for remote stretches with hardly any traffic. Essentially, everyone in the car has a guess at what the next vehicle coming the other way will be. The simplest points system is one point for a car, two points for a caravan, bus or small lorry and five points for a road train, but you can adjust the categories and points as you see fit. Just make sure you get more points for things that appear less frequently so that the gamble factor comes into play.
For this one, you ideally need to find the sort of radio station that pumps out classic hits all day long. Turn it up loud, and await each song with eager ears. The aim is to be the first person to name the song and the artist. If you can do it before you hear any lyrics (ie. From the intro music) then it’s a try – five points. If you’re the first to get the song, but after the singing has started, it’s a drop goal – three points. You’re only allowed one guess, but if everyone guesses and guesses wrong, you can have a second bash at it. The first to get it after everyone has guessed wrongly scores a conversion – two points. It’s wise to introduce a few cut off points. For example, if the DJ says what song or artist it is beforehand, nobody can score. Also, all guesses made after the actual song title has been sung in the lyrics are invalid. If you like, you can introduce a one point for the artist, one point for the song title system, so that points can be split when people get one but not the other. Just beware that this game will lead to fevered screams of “Relaxbyfrankiegoestohollywood!” or “Sweetdreamsbyeurythmics!”
By David Whitley