Anticipation is a virtual board game blending the board mechanics of games like Trivial Pursuit with the gameplay components of party games like Pictionary. Each player is represented by one of four objects reminiscent of Monopoly markers: a pair of pink high-heeled shoes, a teddy bear, a horn, and an ice-cream cone.
The game was one of the few games for the NES to support 4-player simultaneous gameplay through the use of the Four Score and NES Satellite peripherals. If three or four players are competing in this game, then two players will need to share a single controller. The control pad would ring in the player who knew the answer for the picture being drawn, then essentially, the controller would have to be handed to that player in order to enter in the answer.
Players are tasked with collecting one tile of each color by landing on a square of that color on the board and then being the first person to correctly answer the challenge.
Depending of the level board that the challenge is from, players can be given clues to the answer through a written puzzle category, a number of dots that the computer connects as it draws, and the number of letters in the correct answer. As the players ascend through the game's 3-4 boards (depending on the difficulty being played), more of these clues are removed until the challenges do not include any visual or written clues at all. A player wins the game when they have collected a tile of each color across all of the game's board levels.
During each turn of the game, the computer will display random points. A pencil will appear and start connecting the dots to form a picture. The first player to buzz in and correctly identify the picture will earn a card for the color of the picture being drawn. Players are on a time limit per game as a dice on the screen will count down from 6 seconds. Whatever value is showing when a player successfully identifies the picture is the number of spaces that players game piece will move on the game board for the next turn.
Any player can be awarded the tile for answering any other player's question correctly.