What would the offspring between Pictionary and the Telephone game look like? It’d look something like Telestrations. This hilarious party game gets you asking how did you get that from this, and what were you trying to draw here?
We’ll get back to the drawing board in a bit but first, let’s sketch up some tech speak.
Publisher: Magellan and USAopoly
Date Released: 2009
Number of Players: 4-8
Age Range: 13 and up
Setup Time: little to none
Play Time: 30 minutes or so
Each player receives a dry-erase sketch pad and a dry-erase marker. Players begin each round by selecting a key word that they’ll have to draw in their sketch pad. (The main game suggests that you use a card and die system to select the word but I like picking a theme like movie or book titles and having players choose their own key words.) Once everyone writes their key word in the front of their books, you flip over the 90-second sand-timer and you’re on the clock with trying to draw your key word.
When players are done, they pass their sketch pads to the next player and it’s these players’ jobs to guess what the first player was trying to draw. The second player writes down their answer and passes the sketch pad to the next player and these players must draw what the second player guessed was the answer. Play continues in this manner (with players alternating between drawing and guessing) until every player gets their original sketch pad back and they can see what happened to their key words.
Here’s an example of a round of Telestrations.
Telestrations is a fun game but you need at least four players—and it’s better with more than that. I played the four-eight player version several times and I think the twelve player version would be even more fun. There’s a scoring mechanism (that I didn’t add to the Game Flow) to the game but it’s a subjective scoring system, which I don’t like, and it doesn’t matter who wins. The people who laugh the most win.
This is certainly not a game to play with certain people. You know the type. Those folks who don’t have a funny bone in their body, so Telestrations isn’t a game for everyone but with the right group of people, it’s a blast.
As mentioned in the Game Flow, I prefer key word selection by means of theme (you use a single theme for a game round like song titles or famous sayings) instead of using the cards, but that’s because the older versions of Telestrations had boring key words. Oh, your cat became a dog or your chair morphed into a table. (Yawn.) The newer Telestrations cards have phrases on them, so they might play better but I’ve gotten used to playing with themes.
No matter how you play Telestrations, you’ll have fun with a goofy set of gamers.