ChickenBug - the car game


Chicken bug is a car game played by two or more players.

The objective is to have the most points when the car is turned off.

How the game is played

Everyone starts with zero points when the car is started.

Points are accrued by being the first to comment on other vehicles with certain characteristics.

VW beetles are worth two points and called out by color as slug-bugs, so a blue VW beetle call out would be "blue slug-bug" or optionally, "slug-bug blue."

Yellow vehicles are worth one point each and are called out as a "chicken."

Yellow beetles are special as they are worth three points and referred to as a "chicken-bug."

Looking at this page is worth three points no matter what anybody says.

Police vehicles are worth one point and referred to as a "Poe-poe."

There are a couple limitations on what can be called out for points. No more than three vehicles from a parking lot can be called out in any single 30 second period.

If a "chicken" is called in error, as happens when part of a vehicle is yellow or the ambient light makes a gold or orange vehicle appear yellow, it is a mistake and results in minus three points for the person making the error and an additional point for each other player. (Negative scores are not allowed.)


For clarity, a vehicle can only be called for points if it is capable of legally traveling on the road under it's own power at 60 mph or greater. Caterpillar construction equipment for example is generally disqualified as it cannot travel at sufficient speed. Boats may travel at sufficient speed, but not under their own power on the road and are thus disqualified. A vehicle is only considered yellow if the average person would reasonably refer to a vehicle as "yellow" rather than "orange" and that is the primary color of the vehicle rather than a part of a graphic paint job. 

Special cases

For young players or gamblers, some special cases may be allowed if all players agree. For example a purple car driving in reverse on the highway may be worth 1000 points. Very young players may be given extra points for each call, for example a four year old might get 10 points per chicken.


There is a traditional adolescent game called "slug-bug" in which participants call out when a VW Beetle and hit other passengers, not necessarily passengers interested in playing the game. Not every parent is okay with having their children hitting each other as part of a game. A mature parent might just forbid the game. I didn't take that route, but instead started calling out random vehicles and joining in against the most successful of the slug-bug participants. As anticipated, I was accused of cheating but my argument that I could play whatever game by whatever rules I like so long as voluntary participation isn't required, a solid argument backed up by the might-makes-right parent style of parenting. As a olive branch to allow the game to continue I offered to do points rather than hitting. Various styles of getting points were tried and yellow cars called chickens seemed to be most likely to provide regular but not common opportunities. VW Beetles were less common and thus became worth double points. As the most valuable opportunity, "chicken-bugs" became the name of the game.

As many drivers, I sometimes pay more attention to driving conditions than posted speed limits and seeing police officers always reminds me to check to ensure I'm staying close to the posted limits. As an extra reminder, I added them to the game.

The game was stable and fun this way for quite a while but there are a couple parking lots where local police vehicles and yellow buses are parked regularly. With a little study an astute player could reliably predict how many vehicles would be available to count points and effectively win the game with a single call. We disqualified buses after they ended the game a few times but Ryder trucks and police vehicles still occasionally proved game enders. Eventually we set a limit of three calls per parking lot per thirty seconds and with that change were able to eventually re-allow buses.