A Return to Pictionary (As An Adult)


Sometimes you’re with your friends and you are posed with an option- do we play a game none of you heard of before- or do you go with an old classic?

While in most cases we go for the ones we never knew about- a case of the giggles had us wanting insurance that we were going to have a good time. It was almost a unanimous decision to go back to a childhood favorite- Pictionary.  I hadn’t played since I was in my early teens, so I was eager to see how my experience was going to be from a “reviewer’s” standpoint.

An overview

Incase it’s been 10+ years since you have played Pictionary- let’s just go over basic gameplay.

Hopefully you have a large number of players with you- so each team (2 is best) will have a good amount of people on it. Players will take turn being the ‘picturist’ each turn.

Each team gets a category card, pad of paper and a pencil. The cards communicates the definition of the abbreviations (P) for person, place or animal, (O) for object, (A) for an action or event, (D) for Difficult words and (AP) for all play.

You are given a game board, deck of word cards, die, playing pieces and a timer. The word cards sit in the middle of the board and will be used by both teams.

A quick way to determine who draws a card first can be resolved with a roll of the die. Once that is decided, the picturist from the first team to play will pull a word card from the deck – check the category their playing piece is on – and show the picturist from the other team what the word will be that they have to draw. They should only get about 5 seconds to look at it. As soon as they are ready to draw- the timer is set and each team begins guessing the word/phrase based on the drawings THEIR team member produces.

The first team to guess correctly wins control of the dice and will begin the game. The turns go in the same fashion the “who goes first” determination does (pick a word card, draw category– team guesses within allotted time- which is one minute)… except the other team does not participate. Their job is to simply watch the clock and make sure that their opponents pictures do not talk, gesture or write letters/numbers down.

If the word is guessed before the timer runs out- they get to roll the die again, move the number of spaces rolled, pick another card and draw again! If the word remains unguessed by the time the timer runs out- they will hand over control to the other team. Remember- you only roll the die when your team has guessed within the timer- it is not the basis of play each turn.

You basically continue this play until you hit the last All Play square on the board. Whoever wins that final round- wins the game (unless you and your friends decided to keep track of correct guesses).


Kid vs. Adult Gameplay

I’ve got to say this game is just perfect at every age!!! Me and my mid-20s group of friends have never laughed so hard. I tend to think it was even better being older because you quickly realize how silly it is to have difficulty communicating such simple every day words and objects when you can only draw them. At least as a kid you kind of expect this to be an obstacle. Being 27 you can’t help but say- goodness did I pay enough attention in school?!

But seriously- this was such a wonderful party game. It’s too light to deal with anybody getting overly edgy or competitive. It’s so easy to get caught up in the poor or questionable quality of the illustrations over winning or losing.

Even when someone “cheats” it never seemed to be intentional and a hilarious riot would ensure upon realization of it. So much of the game relies on the personalities you have surrounded yourself with so perhaps this wouldn’t apply to everyone. Based on my experience I can’t help but insist you grab a group of friends and family and have an exceptional night of laughter, poor artwork and great memories. Highly rated, classic for a reason- don’t be like me and forget about this gem!

1-4 Too Much Awful
5-7.5- Not so Awesome
7.6-8.5 Almost awesome
8.6-9.4 – Awesome!
9.5-10- Totally Awesome!
8.8 Awesome!

I really don't have anything negative to say about this game. It was nothing but a blast with some great people. I can't vouch for everyone but I would say whether you be among a young family, fellow teenage friends or even a group of adults hanging out- it's worth your while to pick Pictionary!

  • Concept: 9
  • Presentation: 9
  • Longevity: 7
  • Gameplay: 10

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