Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Pictureka!

My pick for Family Game of the Year.

One of my favorite things about family time is playing games together. I love it. I love to have that relaxed atmosphere, with a hint of competition. I love the laughter and the lessons in sportsmanship. You learn a lot about people when you play a games with them. And it brings everyone to neutral territory, as teammates, rather than parent and child, or siblings.

We play lots of games. In my house in Utah I actually had a huge walk-in closet just for my games. I had that many. And puzzles. It's not hard to accumulate games when you've homeschooled for as long as I had. But you know how it is, some games really blow. They're way too complicated, way too boring, or take way too long. Or they just seem stupid. We have a few games that we return to over and over again, and I get very excited to find a new one to add to our rotation. Sunday nights are for treats and games. And I think we have a winner here, so add it to your Christmas list. It will make a great family gift.



Okay, so here's the deal. It's easy. There are 9 big tiles covered in I-Spy type picture drawings on both sides. You arrange the tiles in a 3 x 3 square, and that's your game board, so it's different every time you play. And sometimes throughout the play you are directed to rotate a tile, or flip a tile, so things are not static for long.


There are three colors of playing cards and two dice and a timer. The object of the game is to find as many pictures as you can and the first person to accumulate 6 cards wins. You roll the colored die. Whichever color shows, that's the color card you draw.


Red cards are for bidding on. Let's say I roll the red. I say, "I bet I can find 4." (of whatever the red card tells me to find, like "things that fly", for example, but you can't turn the red card over to see what it is you're looking for until the bidding stops.) The player to my left says, "I bet I can find 5." It goes around, and you can bid or pass. When it stops, you flip the red card over, start the timer, and you have 30 seconds to find whatever it is. If you are successful, you keep the red card. It's hard!

Green cards are just for you. They're just like the red cards, except no bidding. If you roll a green card, you also roll the standard die, and whatever number shows, that's how many of the pictures you have to find. Make sense? If you succeed, you keep the card.


Blue cards are Pictureka! cards. Instead of a description like you find on the red and green cards ("find vehicles"), you'll just see a drawing, and that's what you have to find. But it's open play for everyone. You start the timer, everyone looks, and the first person to spot it, points at it and yells "Pictureka!" That player keeps the card.


First person to 6 cards wins. Easy, yet difficult enough to be really fun. And with little ones, you can just play the blue cards and find the pictures. Great for detail observation and memory skills, higher-order thinking for kids, and you can play with as many people as you want, from two, to. . .well, we played with all seven of us.

So, there you have it. And it's on sale at Amazon for $13. How's that for cheap entertainment? Go buy it, play it, and you can thank me later. Turn off the TV and play a game together. And Merry Christmas.

9 comments:

Kimberly said...

So good to read your last few posts and get caught up - and what a neat looking game. A bit of fun in the sea of crazy wonderfulness that is life, eh?

Misty said...

we LOVE games.... We haven't played this one, but we'll have to get it. There are so many games put out and some of them are just not worth it...

our favorites are apples to apples and killer bunnies... and of course, Life...

Sarah said...

I've seen this at the store but hadn't picked it up yet to look at. Sounds like loads of our type of fun! And we are focusing on getting several different games this year, rather than a bunch of toys for the kids, so this seems like something we should throw in the mix! Thanks for the review!

Abby said...

I've seen commercials for this game but thought it was just for younger kids. Orion and I have been making it a point to play games (I usually pick Scrabble or Scattergories) every weekend and are always looking for a game that doesn't take 12 hours (Monopoly!! Ugh!) but is still totally fun. Perhaps I'll need to purchase this for Christmas! Thanks for the tip...looks like a heck of a lot of fun, for sure.

Hannah said...

So what do you think Jenna, is it too hard for my kids?

Moody said...

I'll thank you now, thankyouverymuch! I can't wait to get this game. I'm so leery of buying games because so many are duds. I'm glad to get an honest review.

Luisa Perkins said...

THAT looks fun! One of the rare ones where everyone in the house can play....

Josi said...

I don't love games--especially with so many different ages. This one might just work for us, though. Thanks for the heads up.

taralazar said...

We just bought this game and it's a lot of fun, but I'm disappointed that it doesn't come with more blue cards (the "find it first" cards). They suggest using the blue cards to play with young children, and that's what we did, but there are only enough blue cards to have about three to four rounds of the game (with four people) until you have to repeat them. I'd love it more if there were more blue cards.