Board games are getting better.
It’s not a bold statement. With thousands of games released every year, and more money being pumped into the hobby. Designers are starting to figure out how to distil fun.
However, there are games that will stand the test of time.
This is one of them.
Name: Telestrations: 12 Player Party Pack
If we can imagine that the sea represents every board game ever. And each fish represents a fun game. It leaves us with a lot of open sea – a lot of fine board games.
In this world, where board games are seemingly immune to water.
Telestrations is a blue whale.
Now, I know technically, whales aren’t fish. But that’s not the point. The point is Telestrations is a whole lot of fun.
It’s the old game Telephone – or as I used to call it before I understood what racism is: Chinese Whispers. This time it’s in book form. And you’re drawing.
To start everyone is given a book and a word, or they choose their own word. They write this word down. Draw it. Pass the book to their left. Receive a book from the right. Guess what the last person drew. Pass the book to the left. And so on.
This continues until you get your original book back.
There’s a scoring system, but it’s not important. In fact, this is the first game I’ve played where we stopped keeping score altogether. That’s because the important part is the show and tell.
Everyone revealing the journey their book went through. How it went from donut-to manhole-to belly button-to pubic hair. Not only do you laugh about the terrible drawings, but also the missed connections.
Telestrations revels in this miscommunication. It’s always expected someone will guess a drawing wrong. It’s the how they get it wrong that brings the surprise. As it often leaves you wondering – what were you thinking?! Another opportunity for laughter.
Which is what this game is all about.
And it succeeds. Consistently.
It works best when it’s natural though, and everyone is trying to play correctly. If one person deliberately throws off the group, it cheapens the experience.
The experience is also cheapened when you get a dud word from the box. A picture so easy to draw that everyone gets it right. But these are few and far between.
There’s not too much more to it, but Telestrations is a fantastic party game. One I wished I’d played sooner. It’s easy on rules, a great social experience, and very little downtime no matter the size of the group. It’s also self-regulated, so it can be as dirty or clean as you want it to be. And it’s edged out Monikers as the funniest game I’ve ever played.
If that isn’t high praise, I don’t know what is. Oh wait, I do know. A Roll to Review Critical Hit.
Short and sweet today! Which is a good way to bounce back from a week of illness. Yesterday was my first time meditating this fortnight. It was good to get back on the horse.
By the way, you should try meditating.
It’s pretty good.