True American is one of the strangest drinking games we’ve ever witnessed. As Jess once described it, “It’s 50% drinking game, 50% life-size Candy Land.” Technically, no official rules exist for this game. So, we looked around at what everyone else suggested, and this is what we’ve come up with.
To play the game like your friends from New Girl, you may need to do a little bit of rearranging. We think the best way to set up the “board” you’ll be playing on is to arrange your furniture and pillows in an “X.” For a really functional flow, we also recommend each “X” be a thin loop so it’s easier to return to the center (“the Castle”). That said, you can set up your “board” however you want, as long as there’s a clear path back to the Castle. (You could even try it with a circle and two Castles!)
There’s no limit to how many people can be on each spot, though, so things could get snug.
The Castle is where the alcohol lives… and it wouldn’t be a drinking game without the alcohol, right? In the middle of the Castle (usually a table) is “the king” (a bottle of liquor) surrounded by “pawns” (beer). As you answer questions and follow the path around the room, each time you come to the Castle, grab another drink. You can have no more than three drinks in your hands at once. If you get to the Castle and already have three cans, you can’t move until you finish one. Once all the pawns are gone, the next person to get to the table, finish the beer in her hands and take a swig from the king is the winner.
There are multiple ways to start off the game. You’re welcome to come up with your own or just start off with shotgunning beers. The first person to finish is the knight who kicks off the game. The knight starts the game by yelling, “One, two, three, JFK!” Everyone must grab a beer from the castle and quickly retreat to any non-lava surface.
How to get to the Castle
Once everyone is on their starting point, there are three ways to advance. The knight gets to pick from any of these:
The Count: The knight can yell, “One, two, three,” and then everyone must hold a number up on their forehead. If no one picks the same number as the knight, they must each move back a space for every player in the game (Five people playing? Move back five spaces). If someone picks the same number, that person moves ahead, and the knight moves back one space for every player who picked the same number (no one else moves).
Complete a quote: The knight can also choose to yell out the beginning of a famous quote and have everyone else finish it. Knight: “We’ve nothing to fear but…” Players: “Fear itself!” Everyone who gets the quote right moves ahead one space. (If you get it wrong, move back.)
Something in common: The knight may also yell out two people, places or things. The other players must yell out the connection. (Ex: “Jackie Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe!” Answer: “JFK!” Or: “Washington, D.C., and the western White House” “George W. Bush!”) If you get it right, you move forward two spots. (Don’t know? Back up two spaces.)
After each round, a new knight must be picked. We recommend you just go in alphabetical order.
How it ends
Winning: The first person to make it to the Castle, finish the beer in her hands and then take a swig from the king is the winner.
Losing: If you fall into the molten lava, you’re dead. But, if you’re caught with no beer or an empty beer, you’re out until you chug a beer and then can enter at the beginning, again.
You always need at least one beer in your hand, and you must drink from it. A good rule of thumb is a sip or two from the can for each new knight.
Extra rules to consider
Anytime someone finishes a beer, she yells, “All trash belongs…,” and everyone else answers, “In the junkyard!” before tossing her can into the nearest receptacle. If you miss the trash can, you move back a space. If you make it, you move forward.
At any point someone can yell, “JFK!” When she does, you must shotgun your beer. (This is why it’s important to keep two beers in your hand. If someone follows up with a trash collection and you’re caught without a beer, you’ve got to start over!)
Good luck, and stay out of the lava!