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Simple to Learn, Fun to Play

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating




Telestrations is an all ages party game that's perfect for an entertaining, casual gathering, or a fun night at home. The best way to describe it is that it's a cross between the childhood favorite game of telephone and the more modern game, Pictionary.

Game Description

This game follows the pattern of other contemporary party games, where it's less about the game board, and more about the players' interactions. With simple prompts, and a few simple tools, this game takes on a life of its own. The heart of this game are the small erasable drawing books that each player uses throughout the game. Each player receives a book, an erasable marker, and a word card. One of the players throws the die to see which word is played on each card and then the drawing begins until the sand timer runs out.

For the artistically insecure, this may seem like the hard part of the game. But, there's no need to worry. The less accurate the drawings are (not that you should attempt to make them bad) the funnier the game becomes. As the drawing books are passed around, players alternate between writing down their guesses of what each drawing is supposed to be, and then drawing the previous player's guess. And just like the classic game of telephone, the word becomes distorted as it's passed down the line. When the books return to the original artists, each player takes us through the drawings and guesses of their word.

The game is easy to learn, but even if you don't understand the directions initially, each page in the drawing book spells out the next step and how to proceed. In fact, after an initial review of the directions card, I only referred to my drawing book to see just what the next move should be. Once you've played through one round, instructions become entirely unecessary, unlike many games I've played where you need to continually refer back to them.

Is It a Competitive Game?

This game can be played competitively. The instructions tell you how to score each round, if you choose. But that's so little the point of the game. You don't really need to score at all to have fun. As you see the drawings for each word, and as players attempt to defend their illustrations, you can't help but laugh at the misinterpretations. And if the point of the game is to laugh, do you really need a score?

Is There Anyone Unsuited to this Game?

Although this game is suitable for all ages making it perfect for large family get-togethers, families with young children will have to wait a few years until the children can read and do basic sketches. On the other hand, at large gatherings of my family, the younger ones are often paired up with an adult so they can still join in the fun. As long as the adults remember that little ones are present, the game can remain G-rated. Of course, with a group of only adults, the game has the potential to take a more mature twist as adult minds interpret the drawings from an older perspective. You can learn a lot about your friends when you see the turn their minds take! Either way, the group will begin laughing as soon as the books begin their journey down the line.

A Great Gift Idea

The next time you're bringing your host a gift, why not think outside of the box? Or, rather, think of this fun game in a box. Instead of giving classic hostess gifts like flowers or a bottle of wine, a game is something that your host can use for many future parties. This game would make a great housewarming party gift, a welcome idea for a cocktail party (and if they break it open that night it could get the party started), or even a gift for a family gathering such as Thanksgiving when, after the turkey is done, the laughs will keep everyone from falling asleep on the couch.
Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.

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