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Subject: A Year With Telestrations rss

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Telestrations was an unexpected surprise when my wife opened it up for Christmas last year. We had never heard of the game before, but after reading the box, we realized we had played its homemade inspiration, Eat Poop You Cat.

It was not just unexpected, but a pleasant surprise as well. It works great for a larger size group, and is pretty quick so you can stop if in a hurry, or play several times in a row.

Over the past year, I have played the game 33 times, usually at parties or family gatherings. The version I have is for up to 8 players, but I have played with as many as 17 by combining sets.

The Premise:
This game is based on the old telephone game, where you whisper a word or phrase in someone's ear, and that person passes it along to the next, who then passes it along, until you get to the final person who says what they heard. Usually what they heard is much different than the original phrase since trying to interpret what was said as a whisper can change the phrase little by little as more and more people are included.

It works the same with this game, except the line of people are alternating between drawing a word or phrase, and then guessing the word or phrase from only seeing that picture, which in turn another picture is drawn seeing only the most recent guess. As more people are involved, the end result can be wildly different, which is usually quite hilarious after you go back through the booklet and everyone sees what took place.

The Components:
The game comes with 8 booklets, 8 dry-erase markers, and 8 wipes used for the drawing and guessing. Each booklet has 8 pages that alternate between a drawing page and a guessing page, with the instructions for the current page on the back of the previous page as a reminder of what to do. The game also comes with a deck of cards that are double-sided with 6 words/phrases on each side to choose from, as well as a die if you want to make your starting word/phrase random. A 1-minute sand timer is included to time the drawing portions of the game.

There is also a 12 person version recently released which includes enough booklets (now with 12 pages) and markers for all 12 players.

The Gameplay:
The game is simple to play. Everyone draws a card and selects a word/phrase or rolls the die to start with one at random. The front page of the booklet has a space to write this starting word/phrase and your name. You will then pass the booklet to the player next to you to draw the word/phrase that you started with, and you will also get one from the other person. If there are 4, 6, or 8 players, then you will keep the booklet and draw the word/phrase yourself before passing.

Once you have the next players booklet, you look at their starting word/phrase and make a drawing on the next page to convey that starting word/phrase. Flip the timer so that everyone gets a full minute. When done, you pass the booklet again, and this time, only looking at the previous player's picture you must guess the word/phrase that they tried to draw. Then the booklet gets passed again, and you draw the word/phrase that was previously guessed, and so on until eventually your starting booklet will come back to you.

Once this occurs, one at a time, you show everyone the drawings and guesses page by page, which is almost always hilarious as the drawings are often bad due to the time limit, and the guesses are off because of it, which in turn gets drawings even farther from the original word/phrase. Although, if the words are easily recognizable and easy to draw, they will often make it all the way through to the end.

The instructions give several ways to keep track of score in the game, although I have never used them. For such a fast-paced game, we don't bother stopping to determine who drew the drawing that allowed the next guesser to match, etc. We like to play the game quick and keep the laughs going.

Final Thoughts:
This is a very fun party game. It takes little thinking, you just draw or guess. It keeps that gem light, quick, and the hilarity pouring out. Great game to play with non-gamers for these reasons as well. In fact, since we ignore the scoring, it becomes more of an activity than it is a game, though with everyone laughing so much it doesn't matter. We aren't looking for a winner here, we are just looking to have a good time.

This is a game that does need a larger group, at least 6 or more. With less players, you;re only getting a couple pictures and guesses per booklet, which is less chance of things going awry.

Not much else to say, it's simple, fun, and makes us laugh. Great for the right situations. Following the BGG guidelines, I give this game a 7.

A Year With My Games is where you can see what I think of my other games I've owned for at least a year. Thanks everyone!
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