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4:58pm on Monday, 29th May, 2006:

Sketchy Games


Games where you have to sketch things and other people have to guess what they are — don't you hate them? They always have ridiculous rules to try make sure no-one ever gets too far ahead (eg. the people who can actually draw), and they usually end up in an argument over whether the person who guessed you'd drawn "rain" should get marks when the card says "rainy".

What I want is a game where everyone is in the same position in terms of crafting skills, so players can concentrate on being imaginative instead. I also want it so there's no ambiguity in the descriptions arising from some poor soul having to sit down and write 200 cards, each with 5 or 6 things to draw on them (colour-coded by topic), with the result that players end up having to sketch "around the house" or "in the pink" in under a minute.

Here's how I'd do it...

Have a couple of pack of cards, one with adjectives and one with nouns. Have a list and use dice if you prefer. Pick one adjective and one noun and make the result out of Lego. Some people can draw and some people can't, but no-one can make anything half decent out of lego without using their imagination. Whatever dumb rules usually apply about going round a board or whoever has to guess the solution still apply.

There you go: a police dog! I should contact Lego and ask if they want to make a special set for this.

You can tell I spent a frustrating hour yesterday playing Speechless with my kids, can't you?

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Copyright © 2006 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).