We Have A New Favorite Game At The House

11 Jul

The game is Telestrations. In simplest terms it the classic game of Telephone meets Pictionary.

Everyone gets a notebook and a dry erase marker. They draw a card and roll the die. Everyone writes the word down that corresponds to the number on the die and passes their books to the right. Then they look at the word on the book that was just passed to them and draw it on the next page and pass the books again. Then they try to guess what the previous player drew and write down their guess and pass the book. The next player draws a picture of their guess.

This continues until the books make their way around the circle. (Although we started playing until we filled the books.)

Then everybody shares the pages of their books and the hilarity ensues.

We laugh so hard playing this game that we have yet to read the rest of the rules where they explain a way to score the game. It’s just more fun to play this way.

I also got a game that is similar in some ways called Scribblish! But Telestrations is just a better design. For one thing, the Telestrations flip notebook trumps long pad that Scribblish requires you to scroll up into the plastic holder. Flipping pages is just easier than pushing paper up the scroll. And the flip book gives you a bigger drawing space.

The premise of Scribblish! is that after a round you try to guess which drawing is your original clue. This can get difficult because the cards in Scribbilish! are more complex making them so much easier to distort. Another interesting feature is instead of passing the scroll in one direction you roll a die that tells you where to pass it, making it more random. 

So what I ended up doing was keeping the cards and movement die from the Sribblish! board and putting them in the Telestrations box. As we keep playing Telestrations and want to mix things up we’ll start using them. But the scroll pad we’ll just keep for shopping lists.

49 Responses to “We Have A New Favorite Game At The House”

  1. Donna Siano July 11, 2011 at 9:29 am #

    Thanks, I have family coming over later today and we love playing games. We needed a new game. Thanks again. Donna

  2. DANIEL ELCHE July 11, 2011 at 9:40 am #

    parece muy entretenido y divertido.horas y horas de diversion asegurada.

  3. DANIEL ELCHE July 11, 2011 at 9:44 am #

    me encantan los dibujos ,sin duda alguna son la cabeza de un lobo,el juanete de una chica(arriba)un conejo encerrado en una reja de una bruja.(abajo)he acertado verda?

  4. Girly@BeyondThePopcorn July 11, 2011 at 10:05 am #

    We play a game called “Eat Poop You Cat” which is more or less similar to these games. In our game we get pieces of scratch paper, let each person write any random words or sentence and fold the paper over, and then pass it on & let the next person draw that sentence and fold the paper again, and then the next person writes what they think that is and fold the paper, and so on. We usually play with 5-8 people and the paper gets a bit hard to fold near the end but it’s workable. We don’t keep score but instead each person presents their “story” and it’s tons of laughs. It’s great because it’s free, we are recycling scratch paper, and you can play it anywhere as long as you have paper and pencil. I saw Telestrations just recently in the store but I’ve never heard of Scribblish.

  5. Sam G July 11, 2011 at 10:30 am #

    Now I understand. Needed visuals.

    • Joseph July 11, 2011 at 4:12 pm #

      Sounds like fun!

  6. Christine July 11, 2011 at 10:43 am #

    My friends and I used to play this game with just a piece of computer printer paper. We had to do the folding method though as we passed it around. Always lots of fun and we made up our own sentences to illustrate, which could make it even more hilarious if you mentioned someone there by name.

  7. Debbie M. July 11, 2011 at 10:57 am #

    Telestrations sounds like a lot of fun! Thanks for telling us about the game and for the review!

  8. Natalie @ Chadwell Chronicles July 11, 2011 at 11:53 am #

    I had no idea this game came in board game form! We have played “Telephone Pictionary” for a few years now and we just make little paper notebooks each time we play. This would be so much easier. We also don’t “score” the game because it is just fun to see what everyone else drew. We have some especially bad drawers in our group and that makes it awesome! Thanks for sharing!

  9. Chris July 11, 2011 at 12:25 pm #

    We’ve had Telestrations for a couple of years now. All of our friends love it. In fact, they love it so much that a few of them have bought their own.

  10. Marc B. July 11, 2011 at 1:26 pm #

    I’ve been reading your blog for years and I love that I’m learning you’re such a gamer! The one mentioned in this post is fun to play with index cards and pens – which makes it super portable and easy to break out if you’ve forgotten to pack for party gaming. Looking forward to your next review (My fingers are crossed that you give Cluzzle a try)!

  11. Danny July 11, 2011 at 1:37 pm #

    My friends and I play a similar game – except we just use pads of paper and pens. Instead of using famous actors and whatnot, we begin by writing a full sentence, something like “Santa and five elves traveled to Japan where they attended a business conference for sleigh technology.” As you can imagine, these stories often morph into pretty ridiculous drawings and subsequent interpretations.

  12. Jaime July 11, 2011 at 4:08 pm #

    I just spent this weekend playing Scribblish! while on vacation with my family. We too laughed and laughed but realized that it would be even better with at least 6 people. This way you dont get your own drawing/phrase back at some point. Fun game! I’ll have to try Telestrations next.

  13. Jodi Mac Millan-Cooper July 11, 2011 at 5:48 pm #

    We’ve been playing this game for the last few years at Thanksgiving. But with out any products, just pens and paper. In our version you just think up a phrase or song title, etc and then you alter between writing and drawing. You have as many papers as there are people playing (the more the better). I wish I saved the picture my Mother drew for “You had me at hello” it was a woman giving birth and the baby waving hello!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Serena July 11, 2011 at 6:47 pm #

    Nice, so there’s an “official” version of this game! This is the best. We played with sticky notes recently at a friend’s house and we laughed till we almost threw up. We started out with “words of wisdom” or “commercial taglines” and ended up with pervert bunnies and murder-by-spoon.
    Thanks for sharing, I’ll be buying this for our game-night host!

  15. MARTA(BcN) July 11, 2011 at 10:50 pm #

    suena genial,great!!! lastima que aqui en españa no estará, o quizá hay algun juego similar.

  16. Claudia July 12, 2011 at 1:50 am #

    You must be the MOST FUN EVER to hang with.
    This game looks like so much fun.
    Can only imagine the laughs you have while playing it.

  17. Jared July 12, 2011 at 3:36 am #

    You’d love brokenpicturetelephone.com
    amazing wit and actually artists on there too

  18. crankypants July 12, 2011 at 7:18 am #

    That looks like fun. I wish I had friends to play with. I don’t think the dog would be so good at this.

  19. Aarron July 12, 2011 at 7:52 am #

    My friends and I love scribblish! We have scanned in all of our scribblish cartoons and put them up online.

    Check them out if you are looking for a laugh, or submit your own!


  20. Jenn July 12, 2011 at 7:57 am #

    They both just got added to my wish list. Thanks!

  21. BrianEnigma July 12, 2011 at 9:17 am #

    This sounds very much like “Eat Poop You Cat” (http://www.alexandrafinger.com/epyc/), which works well with those spiral-bound “books” of tear-off 3×5 index cards. You just look at the topmost page, flip it around to the back, and write/draw on the new blank page.

  22. Pedro July 12, 2011 at 12:19 pm #

    Mi inglés no es muy bueno Jorge así que no lo he podido enternderlo muy bien pero parece muy divertido.

  23. american thighs July 12, 2011 at 6:24 pm #

    Awesome! Thanks for the review, I’ll definitely be buying this. Gonna check out Werewolves of Millers Hollow as well. Love your blog!

  24. Ralph- July 12, 2011 at 10:33 pm #

    I am a master at Pictionary. Drawing games are my favorite!

  25. Jeff July 13, 2011 at 7:28 am #

    I’m old enough to remember watching the Sherwood Schwartz shows when they were NOT reruns. Gilligan’s Island was on Monday nights and Brady Bunch ruled Friday nights. Rest in peace, Mr.Schwartz.

  26. Jeff July 13, 2011 at 2:49 pm #

    I just heard a PSA on the radio by Josh Holloway promoting the National Park Service. Cool.

  27. James Hernandez July 13, 2011 at 3:14 pm #


    That looks like fun! I was never an artist or good in charades.

  28. Amanda R July 13, 2011 at 5:15 pm #

    We have just recently discovered Telestrations as well. HILARIOUS!

  29. BethS July 14, 2011 at 7:35 am #

    Sounds like a terrific fun game! May have to get my hands on that one.

    Our latest game craze is Apples to Apples! If you’ve not tried that one, give it a try!
    Apples to Apples is a party game with a simple concept: match nouns to adjectives. That may sound like an SAT exercise, but there’s far more hilarity here than you’re likely to get filling in dots with a number two pencil. The game revolves around two decks of cards. Everyone gets a hand of seven nouns (Madonna, Tokyo, lightning, etc). On each turn one player assumes the mantle of the Judge and flips up a card from the other deck showing an adjective (imaginative, scary, dark, etc). All other players quickly choose a noun from their hands which they think best exemplifies that adjective and toss the corresponding card face-down onto the table. In one of the most brilliant rules ever designed to keep a game moving along briskly, the last player to get a card on the table has to take it back. No hemming and hawing, please!

    The judge mixes up the submitted nouns and turns them over, reading them aloud one by one, and declares one of them to be the winner. The judge can use any criteria he sees fit in making the decision, rewarding literal-mindedness, thinking outside the box, punmanship, or whimsy. In effect, the other players are trying to match the judge as much as they are the adjective. Whoever played the winning apple claims the adjective card. Everyone fills their hand back up to seven, and the judge can exchange any nouns he doesn’t like from his own hand before passing the mantle clockwise. Whoever claims the requisite number of adjectives first wins the game.

  30. Gillian July 14, 2011 at 7:37 am #

    I LOVE that game!

  31. Jeff July 15, 2011 at 10:09 am #

    Speaking of games, did you know that Candy Land is being made into a film? http://popwatch.ew.com/2011/05/23/candy-land-movie/

  32. Howard Shum July 15, 2011 at 8:39 pm #

    Looks like fun games. Jorge, if you have time at San Diego Comic-Con, stop by booth #1943. I would like to give you art that I did of you and a copy of my new comic “Fusillade.”

  33. Jeff July 17, 2011 at 7:35 am #

    Shoot some zombies: http://www.yourdailymedia.com/games/play/63/

  34. Tasha M. Goldsmith July 18, 2011 at 5:13 am #

    Attacked by pirates? Those look like the leprechauns from Alabama! 😉

    If I don’t get this for myself, it’s definitely going on the Wishlist.

  35. d9gk2fh July 19, 2011 at 3:43 am #

    they should call this game “lost in translation” because it is crazy and results in something that doesn’t make any sense. they can call it “lost” for short

  36. Debbie Hamblen July 20, 2011 at 8:32 am #

    My sister ordered Telestrations for my birthday party on Saturday. I’m looking forward to playing it.

  37. aweightymix July 20, 2011 at 4:29 pm #

    I know this doesn’t have a TON to do with this post (though I will say I looooove Scribblish; laughing that hard at people’s interpretations is the best!), but I just saw a photo that the Smoking Popes posted on their Facebook with you! I think I nearly keeled over and died because it’s a photo that contains my favorite band of the world (Destination Failure is one of the best albums ever) and one of my favorite actors. It was a near explosion of happiness in that moment.

    That being said, I had no idea you enjoyed the Popes and I’m hoping you got to see them live on this current tour they’re on. I saw them up here in Seattle for the first time (and I’ve waited years for that moment, as I’ve been a fan since I was a wee-freshman in high school) and it was amazing! My husband and I actually used “I Know You Love Me” as our cupcake eating/cake cutting song at our wedding.

    Anyway I’m blabbing over here, but I just had to say that you became even more awesome in my book for being a Smoking Popes fan… Not sure you’ll read this but yeah, totally awesome. 🙂

  38. .Hollywould. July 20, 2011 at 5:00 pm #

    Yes! I love this game. Only, my family plays a homemade version. Glad you enjoy it too! 🙂 I usually write a random sentence that doesn’t make a lot of sense from Homestarrunner.com and the stories they entail are hilarious!

  39. Linda Potato July 21, 2011 at 6:46 am #

    Hey! I saw this this morning and thought you might like (and fyi-I liked the ending in the church, yo- it still makes me tear up thinking about it):


  40. Emily July 21, 2011 at 1:32 pm #

    I think I’ll have to add Telestrations to my list of games to try. Sounds like a good one. And with my lack of artistic ability, who knows what my clues would look like. Just wanted to say I had the longest day ever here working in the kitchen on cake decorating, and in this heat wave we’re stuck in with limited air. Anyway, I got back and brought in the mail, and saw the autographed picture you sent. Thank you so much, it was nice of ya!

  41. Scott Christensen July 21, 2011 at 7:55 pm #

    Outstanding game, for the record. 😉

    Jorge – wanted to thank you for your reply to my daughter Rebecca (just this last week) who is only eight years old but really adored you in Lost. She wasn’t expecting anything back from the photo and drawing she sent you, but the personalized response you sent back was really, really cool. You’ve made the entire year for this little girl who was awestruck by your personal touch in your response. Her older brother and sister (aged 14 and 12, also big-time LOST lovers but pooh-poohed her making you a drawing and sending) were also blown away and a bit humbled… 😉 As a Dad, it was great to see her get that response from you.

    It’s clear to me that you are truly ‘one of the good guys’ and your genuineness comes out in your work and your personal efforts. Thank you for six great years for our family and our kids – you can bet that we will be following your career with great interest and wish you and Beth much happiness and success with all your endeavors. Hurley is a character that my kids will remember forever and I’m very grateful for that. 😉

    All the best and take care,
    Scott C.

  42. Janela July 24, 2011 at 8:27 pm #

    Dude, it’s time for a report from Comic Con….

  43. Jeff July 27, 2011 at 6:41 am #

    A cat with four eyes: http://youtu.be/BnvLvtiUwGw

  44. Jeff July 30, 2011 at 4:56 pm #

    Weezer cruise: http://www.theweezercruise.com/

  45. drdownundermum July 31, 2011 at 4:11 am #

    Cool . . . I love games that a big mob can play and shout out a lot. What lovely fun.
    We are all doing Dance Party on W!! together and ages stretch from 70 to 7mths. Even the baby loves to shake a boogey. Ha ha. Some family members can get quite competitive though!

  46. Lisa August 3, 2011 at 7:52 am #

    We LOVE Telestrations! We got Scribblish after playing Telestrations at a party and after playing it once went out and got Telestrations. It’s way better, but I like the idea of using the dice and cards with Telestrations. Great suggestion!

    By the by, my friend has this website where they put sticky googly eyes on random places that they go and take pictures and then leave them there for the pleasure and enjoyment of others. I thought you might like it. http://googlyearth.blogspot.com/ If you go back through the posts, there is an exceptionally hilarious one of Paula Deen.

    Love, peace and chicken grease…

  47. Kendra August 10, 2011 at 7:57 am #

    We had family visiting and I bought Telestrations on your recommendation. It was the most fun we’ve had in a long time! Several times we were all laughing so hard we were crying!

  48. Heidi Baird January 21, 2012 at 4:09 pm #

    Thanks for the game review, will definitely have to try this one! Have you every played Cards Against Humanity? It is a very adult version of Apples to Apples, I have only ever seen it available online. But my friend said they also have a free download, which was fun b/c we also added our own question and answer cards, it got pretty out of control!!

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