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Type: brain game
Number of players: two or more, not too many
Location: virtually everywhere
Equipment: pen and paper
Duration: arbitrary,
Preparation: none

City-Country-River is a game with pen and paper that can be played by two players or more. The participants need a good general knowledge and creativity, the level of difficulty can be adapted to the participants.


Each player needs a pen and a sheet of paper.


First, the players agree on the categories they want to play with. Typically are geographic entities like "city", "country", "river" (thus the name), but also other topics like "job", "plants", "comic-strip character", "popular song", etc.

For each round, a letter of the alphabet is selected. Often, one of the players silently enumerates the ABCs, with another player stopping him at an arbitrary time; the letter in his mind by then is selected.

Then, all players try to find a term for each category that begins with the selected letter. So, if the letter is "A", then a city ("Amsterdam"), a country ("Australia"), a river ("Amazon river") have to be found (all beginning with the letter "A").

After a predefined time, or as soon as the first player has finished, the terms are compared. The players first have to decide which results are valid and which are not (is "America" a valid answer for country, does a river with name "Alm" really exist, etc.) For all valid terms, the players points:

  • a player with a valid term usually gets 10 points, but:
  • is an answer used by more than one person, only 5 points are awarded (for each player with that term)
  • if only one player has found a valid answer for a certain category, then this answer is worth 20 points.

The points for each player are added, then a new round (with a new letter) starts. Winner of the game of course is the person with the highest number of points (after a few rounds).