Twister is a game of physical skill produced by the Milton Bradley Company. It is played on a large plastic mat that is spread on the floor or ground. The mat has four rows of large colored circles on it with a different color in each row: red, yellow, blue and green. A spinner is attached to a square board and is used to determine where the player has to put their hand or foot. The spinner is divided into four labeled sections: right foot, left foot, right hand and left hand. Each of those four sections is divided into the four colors (red, yellow, blue and green). After spinning, the combination is called (for example: “right hand yellow”) and players must move their matching hand or foot to a circle of the correct color. In a two-player game, no two people can have a hand or foot on the same circle; the rules are different for more players. Due to the scarcity of colored circles, players will often be required to put themselves in unlikely or precarious positions, eventually causing someone to fall. A person is eliminated when they fall or when their elbow or knee touches the mat. There is no limit to how many can play at once, but more than four is a tight fit.
Twister was submitted for patent by Charles F. Foley and Neil Rabens in 1966, and became a success when Eva Gabor played it with Johnny Carson on television’s The Tonight Show on May 3, 1966. However, in its success, Twister was also controversial. The company that produced the game, Milton Bradley, was accused by its competitors of selling “sex in a box”. That accusation was probably because Twister was the first popular American game to use human bodies as playing pieces.
Although Twister was patented by Charles F. Foley and Neil Rabens, sources also mention a man by the name of Reyn Guyer. He claimed to have come up with the idea for Twister while working on a Johnson’s Shoe Polish promotion at his father’s design company. It is said that Guyer originally called this new game idea Pretzel, but that Milton Bradley changed the name to Twister before they put it on the market.