BENGALURU : Last week, we wrote about Witness, a modern board game adaptation of the classic ‘telephone game’. Today, we’re taking a look at yet another adaptation that might just be one of the best party games we’ve written about in a long time.
In Telestrations, each player (depending on the edition, it can play up to 6, 8 or even 12) gets a sketchbook, a dry erase marker and a randomly-drawn card with six words or phrases on it. After they write their names on the front of the sketchbook, a die is rolled and the result determines their secret word/phrase which they must also write in their book. Once everyone’s done so, you turn to the next page and try to draw whatever your word was.
So far, so Pictionary; but it’s here that Telestrations kicks into gear. After your artistic attempts, you turn to the next page — helpfully titled ‘Guess It!’ — and hand it to the player to your left. After peeking at your sketch and taking an appropriate amount of time to recover, they must write down their best guess as to what exactly you were attempting to draw. Everybody then hands their books left once again, and that hapless player must now attempt to draw the previous player’s guess about the original player’s original sketch.
You already know how this is going to go, don’t you? Each interpretation will veer further and further away from what kicked the whole thing off, until eventually each player gets their own book back and the big reveal happens, one wild guess at a time. The key thing about Telestrations is that you don’t need to be good at drawing to have fun with this one — it’s hilarious irrespective of your artistic skill.
And it’s one of the most level playing fields in gaming, as even the most gifted illustrator will eventually break down and produce something out of Dr. Seuss’ nightmares. Always remember, your drawing is only as good as what the next player makes of it. One game, somebody drew a pretty great representation of a banknote only to have the next player confidently put it down as ‘swimming pool’. Telestrations is brimming over with moments like this, which is why it’s a winner.
Heck, you don’t even really need to score points as per the rules — most games just wind down with everyone around the table in tears from laughing, and that’s a pretty good place to end a party game! There’s a reason Telestrations is generally hailed as one of the reigning kings of party games and, if you haven’t tried it out yet, this is an absolute no-brainer.