by Amanda Nettgen
Board game manufacturer:
Number of players:
14+ (okay for younger)
A few months ago, my husband and I were perusing the board games section of our local Target (as we often do), when I spotted something bizarre but intriguing. Introducing Pictionary Man, where the classic drawing game goes 3D and combines with charades for an unique Pictionary experience. The ten-inch doll peeping out from the clear plastic box is what got me.
The game and gameplay
If you’re already familiar with regular Pictionary, then Pictionary Man will just be a step up. Divide into two teams and determine the first Picturist (drawer) for each group.
When playing with just two players, work on an Honors System when it comes to guessing the other player’s drawings to give them points.
On your turn, flip Pictionary Man over like you’re about to drop him on his head, and hit the 1 button located on the bottom of his foot.
The figure will randomly provide a category in the small screen display (also on his foot): People, Actions, Titles, Role Play, or Miscellaneous. When given the People or Titles category, an additional clue flashes to bestow upon your guessers (although it’s easy to forget that these extras are only for the two categories and read the actual answer as a “hint” sometimes).
Begin drawing. Feel free to incorporate any (or all) of the props and also “act out” the answer by moving the props around. You cannot talk nor draw ears on Pictionary Man for “sounds like”, but you can write symbols that display emotion (@#$!, anyone?).
Watch out for the players who aren’t shy about distinguishing if the Pictionary figure is male or female (like me!).
If one of your teammates gets it in time, press 1 to cease the timer. Color in the next empty square for your team on the game scorecard (sorry, Pictionary Man isn’t high-tech enough to take care of these details for you).Whether your group was successful or not, play alternates until one team scores the agreed-upon number of points (the default is 15, but that’s rather long).
Once everyone’s hit seven turns, Pictionary Man will break for a Challenge Round. Your team must wager on how many Pictionary drawings of a certain category they can complete in a limited amount of time. Whichever team has the higher hypothesis scores the opportunity.
If they pass all of their drawings in time, they bag just two points (encouraging all to keep their initial goal low when the payoff is so paltry). If they lose, the other group gets a chance to steal, needing only to produce one correct drawing to steal the coveted two points (they can’t pass, though).
Pros and cons
It’s definitely an interesting concept, and the incorporation of props is really fun. There are no cards or a board to deal with, which is nice. The fact that the manufacturers deem it suitable for just two players is also a plus.
As far as cons, a lot of what Pictionary Man dishes up is hard to draw. It can be awkward tattooing and maneuvering him, so you might find yourself reverting to drawing on just the rectangular prop a la traditional Pictionary, as you don’t have an excess of time to work with. The Challenge Round also needs work.
Anybody who’s played Pictionary and enjoyed it won’t be missing anything by opting to get this new version in place of the usual game. Graffitiing a poor, plastic man keeps it novel.