Skip to Content

Articulate! Board Game: Rules for How to Play

Articulate! Board Game: Rules for How to Play

Are you looking for a specific Articulate! rule? | Setup | Playing the Game | Control Round | Spin Spaces | End of Game | FAQ | Components |

Note: These rules and the review in general is based off of the 2019 version of the game. Older versions of the game may have slightly different rules.


The objective of Articulate! is to reach the finish space and win a Control round.


  • Place the gameboard in the middle of the table. Attach the spinner to the middle of the gameboard.
  • The players will divide into teams.
  • Each team will take a playing piece and will place it on the start space.
  • Vote to determine which team will start the game.

How to Play Articulate!

To begin each team’s turn they will choose which players will be the Describers and Guessers. These roles should alternate so all of the players will play as both roles. The number of Describers and Guessers on the team will depend on the number of players on each team:

  • Two players – One Describer and One Guesser
  • Three players – Two Describers and One Guesser
  • Four players – Two Describers and Two Guessers

The sand timer will be turned over which will start the team’s turn. The Describer(s) will take the first card from the stack of cards. The Describer(s) will try to describe the word/phrase corresponding to their current position on the board to the Guesser(s) on their team.

Trying to describe a battery in Articulate!
The current team is on an object space. For this card the Describer will have to describe a battery. They could give a clue such as a portable source of energy that powers electronics.

When describing the word/phrase the Describer(s) have to follow certain rules. If they break one of these rules, their turn will end immediately and they won’t earn any spaces for the round. The rules Describer(s) must follow are as follows:

  • Describer(s) may not say what letter the word starts with or how many letters are in it.
  • You cannot say the word or any derivatives of it. For example for the word run you couldn’t say something like runner.
  • Players can’t use “rhymes with” or “sounds like” clues.
  • You may act, mime or use other gestures (not mouthing out the word though) in order to get your teammates to guess the word.
  • You may choose to pass a card and draw a new card, but you are only allowed one pass per round.

If the Guesser(s) say the correct word, the Describer(s) will quickly draw a new card and begin describing it.

The round ends when the timer runs out. The Describer(s) will count up how many cards that the Guesser(s) guessed correctly. They will then move their playing piece forward the corresponding number of spaces. Some versions of the game (not the 2019 version) appear to limit the number of spaces that you can earn to five. If a team lands on a Control or Spin space they will take the corresponding action. Otherwise the team’s turn will end.

Movement in Articulate!
The red team correctly guessed three cards during the round. Because of this they were able to move their pawn forward three spaces.

Control Round

When a team lands on a Control space (white space with Spades symbol) they will play a Control round. The Describer(s) for the current team will take the next card from the stack and will look for the category that has the Spades symbol next to it.

Control Round
The green team is on a Control space. Based on the card that they drew, they will have to describe Little Red Riding Hood.

They will then describe this word/phrase to the rest of the players including the other teams. The first team to shout out the correct answer will win the round. The winner of the round will get to take the next turn. If it was the team that initiated the Control round, the roles of Describer(s) and Guesser(s) will change. For their next turn they will use the categories marked with the spades symbol instead of a normal category.

Spin Spaces

When a team lands on one of the Spin spaces, orange and red spaces that extend into the center of the board, due to guessing words/phrases correctly; they will get to spin the spinner.

Spin Space
The yellow team moved to a red space. They will get to spin the spinner and take the corresponding action.

Depending on what they spin they may get to take a special action.

Wide Green Section – You can move your piece forward two spaces or another team’s piece back two spaces.

Wide Green section of spinner

Narrow Green Section – You can move your piece forward three spaces or another team’s piece back three spaces.

Narrow green section of spinner

Red or Orange Section – No special action is taken.

Red section on spinner

If the spinner lands on two different sections, you will spin again to determine what action is taken.

When moving other team’s pieces you can never move them back past the start space.

End of Game

When a team reaches or passes the finish space they will have a chance to win the game. The Describer(s) will take the next card and everyone will play a Control round. If the team that reached the finish space wins the round, they will win the game.

Reaching the Finish space in Articulate!
The red team has reached the finish space. If they are able to win the Control round they will win the game.

If the team that reached the finish space didn’t win the round, the game will continue like normal. On their next turn the team will play another Control round in order to try and win the game.

Articulate! FAQ

If you have any questions about how to play the game, leave a comment below on this post. I will try to answer any questions asked as best and as quickly as possible.


  • 500 Cards
  • Gameboard
  • Sand Timer
  • 4 playing pieces
  • Spinner
  • Instructions

Year: 1992 | Publisher: Drumond Park Ltd., Tomy, Ventura Games | Designer: Andrew Bryceson

Genres: Party, Word

Ages: 12+ | Number of Players: 4-20+ | Length of Game: 45-60 minutes

Difficulty: Light | Strategy: Light | Luck: Moderate

For more board and card game rules/how to plays, check out our complete alphabetical list of card and board game rules posts.

Noamaan Wilson-Baig

Saturday 1st of January 2022

Hi Eric,

Great review on the game Articulate!

I note in the rules,

"You may act, mime or use other gestures (not mouthing out the word though) in order to get your teammates to guess the word."

I am dyslexic so prefer to draw pictures without writing the word. Retrieving words quickly is a challenge for people with dyslexia.

Is this allowed? The rules are not clear on this. Some friends of mine think this is not permitted....However, I note that one can mime or use other gestures. If this is so I cannot see why a drawing should not be allowed.

Thanks so much for your time.

With Best Wishes


Eric Mortensen

Sunday 2nd of January 2022

That is actually a really good question. I don't think the official instructions specifically mention anything about your question, but I haven't looked at them since I wrote the review. Therefore I would say that it comes down to house rules where the players have to agree on how it should be treated.

With the game allowing you to mime, at the very least I think you could at least pretend to draw the word as that is a form of miming. You definitely wouldn't be able to spell out the word by miming out the letters. Whether you can actually use a pencil/pen and paper to actually draw the object where your teammates can see it drawn out becomes the question. In this regard I can see both sides. Ultimately your group will have to decide whether it should be allowed or not.

I wish I could have been more helpful.