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Subject: Pictionary - Review rss

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Josh Goodall
United States
Oregon
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Overview:
Pictionary is a game for 2-4 teams. The game is playable by younger children, with the real critical factor being one’s ability to draw (and knowing what it is they’re drawing). Depending on the players and the number of teams, a game can take from 45-90 minutes. I have seen/been a part of games that took upwards of two hours, but those games involved a lot of socializing and rehashing after each round of drawing. The game itself is very easy to learn, with the board serving mostly as a tool to determine what category to draw and decide when the game is over. In fact, unlike most eurogames, many people have heard of Pictionary (even if they haven’t played it) and are at least somewhat familiar with what it involves.

Game Summary:
Pictionary is played in a series of rounds, some of which involve only one team, and others involving all teams. Each team takes a pawn to represent them and places it on the starting point (in my version that’s a “P”). The goal of the game is to reach the end of the scoring track, which snakes around the board. On a team’s turn, one player takes a card from the stack and finds the category that corresponds to the square their pawn is on. The player then attempts to draw the specified word while their teammates attempt to guess what the word is in the allotted time. The artist is not allowed to write letters (obviously), and must communicate what they are trying to draw silently (i.e. no humming, nodding, etc…). If the team correctly guesses the word, they are allowed to roll the die, move along the scoring track and go again, with a new artist. If the team does not correctly guess the word in the allotted time, play proceeds clockwise to the next team.

At times, a player may land on a square, or draw a card that notes the word is “All Play”. If this is the case, each team in the game is allowed to participate in the round. This is probably the closest thing to “stealing” in Pictionary. Each team then selects an artist, and all teams’ artists draw the word at the same time. Whichever team gets the word correctly first gets to roll and move their pawn, and play passes to the next team (the team after the team who drew the card).

Play continues in this fashion until once team reaches the final square (in my version it’s an “All Play”) and correctly guesses a word there. Obviously, that team wins.

Overview:
Pictionary is a great party game with a group that enjoys drawing. However, most words are not obscure, and the time crunch of the game does not force players to be a master artist to succeed in this game (i.e. if they’re shading or drawing perspective they’re taking too long). With younger children, you may need someone to act as an assistant in making sure they know what the word is. I have experienced many times where a younger person begins drawing the wrong word (they misread the card), or grows frustrated because they keep drawing words they don’t know. An alternative to having an assistant is to have a separate set of words that the child can use when it’s their turn. However, I would be cautious using this alternative all the time, as it can alienate the child from the game (kids want to be grown-ups too).

Although there are no “tough choices” to make, or “elegant bits”, Pictionary is a solid party game that you can play with both grandma and nephew Kyle. There are a lot of words provided with the base game, so I do not think you will find the need to have additional cards for some time. Also, you can always use the dictionary if you get desperate (though you will have trouble doing categories).

My Rating: 7/10
 
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Franco
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Although I love more sophisticated games, the fact of the matter is that Pictionary is a winner for almost any group, whether you're entertaining peers or parents. It has never failed to generate lots of laughs and lots of rehashing of zany drawings.
 
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Josh Goodall
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ced1106 wrote:
Just curious, but I go OCD whenever someone draws a noun when the word is a verb (eg. "phone"). Any comments, or do you all just let it slide?

Thanks,


aka. Washu! ^O^

ps. I'm sure kid's words are fine. Apples to Apples does this as well.


I typically just let it slide if it's in the wrong category. Most people forget the category 3 seconds into the round anyways.
 
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