Dadada is the game where players create their own new language, every time. It’s about categorizing pictured objects and then placing a sound or nonsense word amongst pictures. It brings a new appreciation to language and communication with lots of laughs.

The object of the game is to use a set of newly defined sounds to get other players to understand the new language. There are 2 piles of cards: Sound deck, which has 1-syllable nonsense words (phonemes like, “ah,” “foo,” “bong,” “jah,” “tep”) and image cards (pictographs, lots of random things you see often, and not so often).

There are 3 phases of gameplay. Phase 1 is Creation. Players work cooperatively to create a “language” by categorizing image cards and assigning a sound to that group. For instance, you might categorize objects by “foods,” “things that move,” “animals,” “things that are loud,” etc. The catch is that you can only communicate using the sounds on the sound card!

It’s very challenging not to turn this into charades. Focusing on intonation was key to “understanding” each other. “Jah?? no, JAH… jaaaaahhhhhh.” Each group of image cards gets assigned a sound card as the group agrees (thumbs up, head nods, etc.).

Phase 2 is Communication where your new language is put to the test. One player is chosen at a time to be the Communicator and selects a new image that will be their target word. They then choose 5 additional images and shuffle those amongst the target image. The Communicator must then use the new language (a sound or combination of sounds) to name the target word and the team guesses the target card. Players take turns being the Communicator and using their new language.

Phase 3 is Reflection & Scoring. It makes for some robust discussions about how players used their new language, how sounds were paired with ideas and communicated to others. Dadada is communication at its finest… and funniest.

Available soon at The Op