I remember playing “Broken Telephone” as a kid when teachers thought we needed a break from school work. Everyone would sit in a line, the first person would whisper something to the next person, and the message would get passed on and on until it reached the end of the line. It was always hilarious to see how skewed the message became by the end of the process – going from “My favourite flavour of ice cream is strawberry” to, “My armpit’s neighbour in Iceland is Berry.”
Telestrations builds upon this exact theme with a unique twist and is one of my favourite games to bust out at a social gathering. Today’s post is dedicated to explaining how to play the game, and why it’s so fun!
How the Game Works
With every round of this 4- to 8-player game, the goal is essentially to have your “message” make it through every player without being changed. But instead of just verbally stating your message to the person beside you (a la Broken Telephone), you have to draw your word out for the next player to guess.
Every player draws their unique words in a little dry-erase booklet without telling anyone what it is. Within the booklet, there are different pages that have simple instructions on them like, “Write what the person before you drew,” or “Draw what the word is on the previous page.” Keep in mind that you’re also being timed so you have to make your drawing quick!
Next, you pass your booklet to the next person, who has to write the word of what you drew on the previous page. For example, if I drew a horse on the first page, they’d simply write “horse” on the next page. The next person—seeing that they’ve written “horse” on the previous page then has to draw out that word – and so on. Sounds simple, right?
Well, unfortunately not everyone can do a beautiful drawing in such a limited amount of time — and not everyone is a very good “drawing guesser.” So, what started as a drawing of a hamburger might end up being a drawing of a bunk bed, and you’ll have absolutely no idea how it got there!
To summarize how to play the game in one quick sentence: you draw a word, pass it on to your neighbour, they guess the drawing by writing a word, pass it on, the next person draws the word they wrote, and so on and so forth. Draw — guess — draw — guess…
Likes and Dislikes
Telestrations is an amazing social/party game considering it’s insanely easy to learn and hilariously fun. It’s really great for people who are completely new to the gaming world yet are looking for something fun to do on a Friday night. Even my 80-year-old grandma played with my family and me! My all-time favourite part of the game is going through everyone’s booklets at the end and seeing how on earth you got from point A to point B, which always gets everyone laughing.
I also love how user-friendly the game is. The instructions on each page are helpful and you can tell they’ve specifically designed it to be very easy to use.
Another great feature is that technically—if you had enough supplies or got into teams—you could play with as many players as you wanted, really. If you want to tailor the game to your own group, too, you can just start making up words and drawing them out, which can be absolutely hilarious. In other words, the game offers a helpful degree of flexibility that can allow for more people to be included and specific customization to your group.
In terms of dislikes, the only one I can think of is that sometimes it takes quite a bit of time to get from the start of the round to the end. This can can get a wee bit boring since the best part of the game comes at the end when you’re comparing everyone’s starting words to final pictures. That time in the middle can seem a little drawn out, but I’d consider this to be a very small “con” in an otherwise amazing game.
So, if you’re looking for an easy game to bust out at your next party that will get everyone laughing, this is the one! It’s also worth highlighting that there’s an “After Dark” version for those who are looking for more R-rated words.
If you are planning to purchase Telestrations from Amazon, or would like to help support Devetos Gaming, please use this link to purchase Telestrations or this link to purchase Telestrations After Dark, or to purchase the 12 player party pack of Telestrations, use this link!