SNAP Review – Telestrations: Upside Drawn
Draw and guess in a new way with Telestrations: Upside Drawn.
“Letter? Email? Oh, mailbox! But it’s a person – it’s mailman!”
We’ll tell you about Telestrations: Upside Drawn in just a handful of minutes. Listen or read on below.
This new variation on Telestrations comes from The OP. Play with 4-12 people in about 20 minutes. It’s recommended for ages 12+, but we think it’s suitable for the whole family.
Like many other drawing-and-guessing games, you make the art yourself! So we’ll talk about the components.
The whiteboards are sturdy, with a minimalist color scheme and simple icons on the edges that look charmingly hand-drawn.
The clue cards have plenty of variety (1000 words and phrases!) and most should be familiar even to your youngest players.
Split up into teams as evenly as possible (at least 2 players on a team, up to 4 teams). Each team picks a clue giver, and all the clue givers agree on a word or phrase from a common card. You want to get your team to guess this word before any other team can.
But there’s a twist! The clue giver is only the “guide”, and someone else on each team is the artist!
The guide can slide the board around on the table, and they can tell the artist to lift their marker “up” or put it “down” – that’s it! Can you cooperate when only one person knows what they’re trying to draw?
We expected yet another party drawing game. Telestrations: Upside Drawn is that, but it’s more, too. There’s a real teamwork aspect here that’s missing from many games. You can keep the teams very small (2 players) to get the most benefit.
The clue card specifies a point value for each word. As expected, higher points usually means harder guesses.
Tokens are provided to help you keep score, but everyone already knows this game isn’t really about winning and losing. The rulebook even says “If you had fun, you win.”
Telestrations: Upside Drawn has more in common with Pictionary than with the original Telestrations. In the original Telestrations, you played as individuals, passing notebooks around the table. Every turn, you either drew a picture representing the word or phrase the previous player wrote, or wrote down your interpretation of a drawing.
Instead, Upside Drawn is all about teamwork. You’re always working together, drawing, “guiding”, and guessing.
One of the great things is that everyone is always participating. In the original Telestrations, reading was absolutely necessary, and kids could get bored waiting for pads to work their way around the table.
It can be very hard to team up and draw, especially when the “guide” is not allowed to say anything. You can use “hot” and “cold” symbols on the whiteboard to answer simple questions, but no using numbers or charades to supplement your clues.
It is really hard to move the board around under a fixed-ish marker! And all the more so if you’re playing with a younger kid.
Our other surprise is that everyone can play! Younger kids may not always be great at guiding the board, but they can be great guessers. And since all the clue-givers know the same clue, another team’s clue-giver can explain the word to a pre-reader. Once they know what the word is, there’s nothing to stop them from being the guide and moving the board to give their team clues.
If you had fun, you win – so we rate Telestrations: Upside Drawn 3.5 messy drawings out of 5.
Find Telestrations: Upside Drawn on Amazon or at your local store for under $20.
The Family Gamers received a copy of Telestrations: Upside Drawn from The OP for this review.
This post contains affiliate links, which do not change your price, but help support The Family Gamers.
SNAP review music is Avalanche, provided courtesy of You Bred Raptors?
Telestrations: Upside Drawn
Number of Players: 4-12
Age Range: 12+ (can go much younger)
Playtime: 20 minutes