It is easy to draw when you are holding the marker, but how well can you draw when you can only move the board?
|Telestrations: Upside Drawn (2020)
Reversing the way drawing traditionally happens is an interesting concept. I have seen games that used team drawing, but I believe this is the first I have seen of this specific setup. It is an interesting twist on the genre so let's see if it is any fun.
Box and Components
The box is a good and has a nice plastic insert to fit everything snuggly. The illustration on the box gives a good idea of what is being done within the game.
The game includes the following components:
- 4 Double Sided Sketch Boards and 4 Dry Erase Markers
- 1 Category Die
- Deck of 100 Double-Sided Word Cards
- 60 Point Tokens
The quality of everything is really good except the Drawing Boards. At the moment after a few games, one of our boards is a little messy; we will look into options to clean them without damaging the boards. It really isn't too bad, but I was a little surprised that they didn't clean up better. Luckily, each board is double sided as well so you technically have 8 Drawing boards.
Each of the word cards include 10 words (5 on each side) so there is 1,000 words meaning there is a lot of replayability with this game.
The game is very easy to learn and setup. It can be a little difficult the first round just trying to grasp what you are and aren't allowed to draw and say, but it doesn't take long before you are in the swing of it.
During each round, each team will have one Guide who will know the word and will be controlling the Sketch boards. Another player will be the Artist/Guesser and will be essentially just holding the marker over the Sketch board lifting and lowering the marker as told by the Guide. The Artist and any other players on the team will also be guessing what is being drawn based on the category.
Setup is very quick. Break up into teams of 2-3 people. Each team takes a drawing board and marker. Shuffle the word cards and place them on the table; decide which color/side of the card you want to use and make sure that side is face down. Place the point tokens out on the table.
You are ready to play.
- One Guide will roll the die that will determine which category will be used on the card that turn, and then they will draw card keeping it hidden from all Artist and Guessers. Each team's Guide will look at the word and will be drawing things representing the same word. There are 5 categories on each card:
- The Guide will tell the Artist which category to circle, and the Artist will hover over the Sketch board awaiting for instructions from the Guide.
- Once all Guides are ready, all teams will begin. The Guide will tell their Artist to Lower (Down) the marker and will begin moving the Sketch board to draw their image. The Guide may only say Up or Down to guide Artist.
- The Guessers will shout out words trying to guess what is being drawn. The Guide may point to the 5 Hints icons on the board; be sure not to say it out loud and give hints to the opponents.
- Hot: Used when they are getting close to the answer.
- Cold: Used when they are not close to the answer.
- Sounds Like: Used if they said a word that sounds similar to the answer.
- Broader Scope: Used when the Guesser needs to be more general with their guess. Such as they are guessing Car when the answer is Vehicle; the guide may use Broader Scope to get them to the word Vehicle.
- Narrow Scope: Used when the Guesser needs to be more specific. Similar to above, maybe they said Vehicle when the answer is Car.
- The first team to get a right answer earns the points from the card. Take a number of tokens equal to the number shown on the card.
Once a turn is over, switch roles and continue play in the turn sequence described above.
Once a team reaches 20 points, the game is over, and they win. This is one of those games that doesn't have to end at a specific point though. You can play a few rounds allowing everyone to be Guide and Artist/Guesser or play for hours; as long as you are having fun, keep playing.
As with all drawing games, there are basic restrictions you must follow. I won't go over them all since they are pretty standard for this style of game. No letters/numbers, no cheating off others boards, or no verbal or body language hints. You are allowed to draw basically anything else that gets the Guessers to the word. For example, we had "Bigfoot" come up; there was no way I was going to draw the actual Bigfoot cryptid to get her to the answer. Instead, I sketched a large foot and made arrows for emphasis on the size. So there is a lot of flexibility with how you get your Guessers to the correct answer.
At first, the game is a little hard to reverse your way of thinking of drawing, but it quickly becomes fun once you get into a groove. It is an interesting concept to reverse the way drawing is done, and one that is a lot of fun. I can certainly see a lot of gaming groups enjoying this one if they already enjoy this style of game. I like that the game is quick to setup, learn, and can be played for as long as people are having fun; having that flexibility means this game can be a simple filler or can be a main game if the players are really into the game.
Like any drawing game, you have a lot of freedom for what you can draw while keeping your audience/team in mind. If you have a gaming group that is into this style of game, certainly check out this unique twist on the genre.
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