Anticipation is a NES video game published by Nintendo and developed by Rare. The game included multiplayer support for up to four players, and is considered a game best played with friends rather than alone (though this option is available as well).

The game is usually compared to the popular board game Pictionary. Rather than someone drawing an image though, the computer does, and the first one to guess what the object being drawn is will progress on the game board.

Playing against the computer was often considered the toughest, and the computer always buzzed in on the die roll it needed to advance to the next necessary color. On seldom occasions the computer would get the answer wrong by typing in nonsense symbols. One rare review said that "as long as you play with your own type, you know, human, Anticipation will be a lot of fun."

Select Mode

On select mode, You start with human players, computer players, then difficulty level.

Human Players
  • Player 1 (Shoes)
  • Player 2 (Trumpet)
  • Player 3 (Teddy Bear)
  • Player 4 (Ice-Cream Cone)
Computer Players (If less than 4 players are human)
  • Player 1 (Trumpet)
  • Player 2/1 (Teddy Bear)
  • Player 3/2/1 (Ice Cream Cone)
Difficulty Levels
  • Easy
  • Medium
  • Hard*
  • Very Hard*

Key:* Includes Level 4

Controller Configuration

  • Control Pad - Select the players, computer player, and difficulty level.
  • A - Not used.
  • B - Not used.
  • Select - Not used.
  • Start - Start the game.


You have 3 levels and 3 different boards; if playing on Hard or Very Hard, there will be a fourth board that is a copy of the third with holes in it. You also have 4 color puzzles. A picture is about to be drawn. The die is there for the move if you can solve the puzzle. You must solve the puzzle before time runs out. If you get an incorrect letter, you get a second chance, but after the second mistake you fail. If all players failed on the correct answer, then "No-One Can Answer" will display before returning to the board screen to try another puzzle in the same category.

The Color Puzzle

  • Yellow Puzzle
  • Green Puzzle
  • Blue Puzzle
  • Pink Puzzle

Board Design

  • Level 1 - Circle, Start on the left Yellow Puzzle.
  • Level 2 - Diamond, Start on the left Yellow Puzzle.
  • Level 3 - Pentagon, Start on the Blue Puzzle.
  • Level 4 (used on Hard and Very Hard mode) - Cut Pentagon, Start on the Blue Puzzle.

Controller Configuration (Board)

  • Start - Pauses the Game. The Pause function does not work Does not work during the puzzle.

Controller Configuration (Puzzle)

For 1 (or 2) Human Players, Press ether Control Pad, Select, Start, A, or B, to what the picture is.

For all 4 players. Player 1 Control Pad is for Shoe, Player 1 A and B keys are for Trumpet, Player 2 Control Pad is for Teddy Bear, and Player 2 A and B keys are for Ice-Cream Cone.


Because of the date it was released, this game did not receive many reviews. In 1990, Power Play gave the game a 65/100, while more recently NES Center gave it a 45/100 and Just Games Retro gave it a low score of 15/100.

External links

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