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Subject: Three Editions of Telestrations rss

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Randy Cox
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I first ordered Telestrations back in April of 2010, for a convention. It was quite the success because the entire concept of drawing simple objects or concepts and watching them get twisted into different words, then different images, and then even different words was just hilarious. There's a scoring system, and it does seem that some people are "better" at this game than others, but that doesn't matter because everyone has fun.

Well, I shouted loud and often around here about the wonders of this game and it got the attention of USAopoly. Because my two-week-old copy had seen so many plays at the convention, and because we (and other players) had purchased so many extra dry-erase markers for the game, the company was kind enough to send me 10 extra markers and a new (2nd edition) copy of the game.

It took until this past week for me to actually use that new copy. But in the meantime, USAopoly came out with a third "party" edition. Now that I have all three, I'll do my best to note the differences here.

The first edition came in a blue box.

In the box, you got 8 dry-erase, spiral-bound pads for drawing and guessing, eight generic dry-erase markers, a box of double-sided cards with six drawing targets on each side, a die, a sand timer, and eight handy felt swatches to clean off the boards.


It must not have taken long before they realized they had a hit and created new graphics and a second edition (white box).

Now, you'll notice that they jazzed up the back of the box and altered the components. The tablets now have different colors of spiral binding to note which belongs to whom and the artwork on each page of the "easel" is a bit different. Most notably, they changed the tabs on those boards to say just numbers, rather than a number and letter (G=guess, S=sketch). Minor change, but the new tabs seem a lot flimsier to me. They also cut the felt swatches in half, so that you get less clean-up capability. And they now have custom dry-erase markers with the game logo printed thereon.

And they changed the cards.
The cards are still blue and yellow, but there are new categories like "A children's TV show" where you fill in one that comes to mind. There are even some that say "____________" which means you can put in whatever you like. I do not recall anything like this in the original version. Furthermore, though I haven't looked through the deck, I suspect that they juiced up the cards to include harder and less kid-friendly items. I'm not sure this is a good thing.

In the first edition, we often had images go around the table with no misses and no derailing, which many people find to be the fun of the game (I like seeing one go unscathed as well). In our play of the Second Edition, this never happened. Not even once. Now, we included an 8-year-old this time, and a very drawing-averse player, so that could have been why, but from the words and phrases I saw, I'd say that perfect rounds will be much fewer.

And then there is the new party pack for 12 players. I have not yet had a dozen gather to use this (or even 9), but here's how it looks.

Differences are that there are four more writing tablets and markers, back to the full-sized felt swatches, more pens, and a supplemental packet of 600 new words and phrases (50 cards, I presume).

Now, one thing I noticed is that the second and third editions no longer mention playing three rounds for a full "game." But there are still 3 rounds of scoring tables on the front of each pad. I can't even swear that that was in the original rules, maybe we just assumed because of the way the pads are printed. Anyway, the game rules certainly stress fun over competition, and that's OK.

But back to the less kid-friendly cards... Our 8 1/2-year-old is no gaming slouch but there were cards where she knew all the words, but did not know the concepts of any of the six offerings. I must say that it appears the game has moved slightly away from the "family" genre and more into the young (and older) adult genre. Not horrible but...

I think I prefer the original edition. But if you don't have kids in your group and particularly if you have more-than-eight who want to play, the base or party edition now available is still great for a fun evening.
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Randy Cox wrote:
In the first edition, we often had images go around the table with no misses and no derailing, which many people find to be the fun of the game (I like seeing one go unscathed as well).


Really? I've never played with a group that enjoyed something go all the way through, those are the most boring of the "presentations". If it happens, we all just say 'eh' and move on to the next one. The ones that go horribly awry are the ones that are the most hilarious.

We don't mess things up on purpose, because we do get ones that go through, but seeing each others interpretations of drawings or guesses and how amazingly far off they were is what we find funny.

We also don't use the scoring either, no one bothers to keep track of who guessed which one correctly. In that way, I guess we treat less like a game, and more like an activity. We just keep it moving fast and funny.
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Randy Cox
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DoomTurtle wrote:
Randy Cox wrote:
In the first edition, we often had images go around the table with no misses and no derailing, which many people find to be the fun of the game (I like seeing one go unscathed as well).


Really? I've never played with a group that enjoyed something go all the way through...

We also don't use the scoring either, no one bothers to keep track of who guessed which one correctly. In that way, I guess we treat less like a game, and more like an activity. We just keep it moving fast and funny.
That explains a lot. If you keep score, then going around without a failure means you get to compliment the people who did well, admire their drawings, and dole out points (which people like to get).

So, while we always score the game, we also give many kudos for outstanding jobs. We do giggle at the screw ups. But when the word starts out impossible to do ("left wing" will automatically go awry) it takes the challenge out of the game's purpose--to illustrate such that the next person can answer with the right phrase.
 
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Richard Skinner
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Is the party pack an expansion or a complete game (ie. does it contain 12 pads or 4)?

Assuming it contains 12 pads, are the pads the same length as the pads in the other editions, or do they have more pages so that everyone draws on each pad?
 
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The party pack contains a full set of 12 pads, and those pad do have more pages, so every player will contribute to every pad in a 12 player game.
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