"First played it with my Girl Scouts when we came to visit in October, purchased it on my phone while still in your office, and it has a permanent spot on my coffee table!"
I highly recommend Buffalo to all I speak to. It’s fast, fun, highly replayable, and always a challenge. It’s great for small or large groups, can easily be adjusted for time, can seamlessly add or remove players from the game without upsetting game play, and has always taught me something new.
“Buffalo is a brilliantly compact game that broadens horizons, exercises wits, and gets players sharing their knowledge about all manner of wacky and unexpected things.”
“A great party game! Fast paced and makes you think on your feet. Funny combinations that can inspire some interesting answers and conversations!”
"I am now completely convinced buffalo is the best card game ever."
"Buffalo is the best thing about GDC"
"Simple but fun game that makes you think about things that may never have crossed your mind."
"I love this game. It can get intense at our Venture Scout meetings! Love how versatile it is!"
"I have played this several times already and enjoyed it. It is a fast game best with 3-6 people and because of the way in which cards are drawn, it has pretty much limitless replayability."
“I've played buffalo a couple of times, and it's a lot of fun even with people of different ages. It's really interesting to see which ones are easy (or difficult) to come up with! Buffalo's very easy to join in mid-game, which makes it great for parties or casual get-togethers.”
Can you name a flamboyant popstar, a blind scientist, or a skinny superhero? You’d better think fast, or your fellow players will leave you buffaloed!
A card game of quick wits and zany combinations, buffalo: the name dropping game asks you to name-drop faster than your friends, collect the most cards, and win! How fast can you name a vain artist? How about a glasses-wearing heartthrob? Don’t be surprised if you find yourself surrounded by curious players eager to name an annoying conqueror or perky religious figure!
buffalo is a 20 minute party game for adults and families (2–8 players ages 14 and up), and players are encouraged to join in the middle of a game!
Have someone flip over one card from each color deck face up onto the table. All players immediately race to think of, and shout out, the name of a real person or fictional character who matches the descriptors on the cards. The first player to name a match takes the matched cards. When the decks run out, the player with the most cards wins.
Whenever the group finds itself Buffaloed by the cards on the table and unable to make a match, someone adds another card from both decks to the table.
Kaufman, G., & Flanagan, M. (2015). “A psychologically “embedded” approach to designing games for prosocial causes.” Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace, 9(3), article 1. doi: 10.5817/CP2015-3-5
Keywords: Embedded Design, game design, prosocial games, stereotypes, prejudice, perspective-taking
Read coverage of this work in the press:
buffalo: the name dropping game was developed as part of a National Science Foundation-funded project called “Transforming Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) for Women and Girls: Reworking Stereotypes & Bias.” The funding enabled Tiltfactor, with additional assistance from the National Girls Collaborative Project, to research and create a number of games, with designs informed by psychological theory and research, aimed at reducing gender bias and broadening participation in STEM. Initial data suggests that buffalo: the name dropping game reduces prejudice and encourages greater inclusiveness in players’ representations of social identity groups.
Read coverage of this work in the press:
Gan, Vicky. “The Anti-Stereotype Party Game,” The Atlantic CITYLAB, 27 October 2015,
Wilson, Mark. “A Simple Card Game Designed To Rewrite Gender And Racial Stereotypes: The Neatest Thing? It’s Been Proven to Work.” Fast Company, 28 Oct 2015.
Shapiro, Lila. “This Game Can Make People Less Prejudiced. Here’s How.” The Huffington Post, 28 October 2015.
Nauert, Rick. “Right Games Can Reduce Stereotypes & Social Bias,” Psych Central, 27 October 2015
Clark Flory, Tracy. “Sexist Stereotypes Defied With Smart Game Design, Study Shows.” Vocative. 26 October 2015,
Кузнецов, Даниил. “Игры признали эффективным,” N + 1, 26 Oct 2015,
Smith, Steve. “Dartmouth College Researchers Say Newly Designed Game Will Reduce Social Bias And Spread Diversity.” Medical Daily, 27 Oct 2015
Medical Press, “Study illustrates how game design can reduce stereotypes and social biases.” 26 Oct 2015
If I only have a buffalo card and one other card on the table, can I name a person who matches the single descriptor?
No, the group is buffaloed. Add two more cards.
If the group is buffaloed, and I add two more cards, and one of them is a buffalo, do I add another two?
No, you only ever add more cards if matches cannot be made.
Warning: In compliance with the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) we are notifying you that some of the products we sell may contain small parts or parts that may break off potentially causing a choking hazard to small children. Please supervise small children to ensure their safety.
Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.