20 July 2010

the best game ever: picta-phone

A few weeks ago, I found myself at a friend's house, celebrating her big 3-0, and playing this game that was perfect for our late night crowd.  The people I was with only called it "the best game ever," which is annoyingly nondescript and makes the actual game itself hard to remember.  It's kind of like a pictorial game of telephone, and it's a hoot!

You will need:
  • At least 6 people (8-12 is probably ideal)
  • Enough index cards or quarter-sheets of paper for (number of people)^2  -- we had 8 people, so we needed 64 cards
 These puppies got me through college, so of course I always found bargains!

  • And 1 writing utensil per person 
I love my lambie pen from my '08 Easter basket!

How to play:
1. Each player gets a set of index cards (divvied up evenly, of course)
2. Use the blank sides of the cards, if applicable
3. Each player will write a phrase or a saying on the first card - keep it a secret what it is!
4. Once everyone has written their phrase, each player will keep their phrase card on the top and will pass their ENTIRE STACK of cards to the person on their left.
5. The receiver will then read the phrase and then DRAW a picture of it on the next card.  So, if the card said, "The cow jumped over the moon," then the receiver will draw their best rendering of that.  6. You cannot use words or symbols in the picture.  Move the phrase card to the back of the pile.
7. When everyone is done, the cards pass to the left again, with the picture on top.
8. The new receiver will now WRITE what they see.  Don't look at the phrase card in the back, just write what you see in the picture.
9. Game play passes to the left again, alternating writing and drawing until you get your original phrase back in your hands.
10. Then it's show-and-tell time!  Everyone gets a turn to show the other players the "journey" that their phrase has taken.  This game is probably even better when combined with alcohol* (what game isn't?).

When we played this, my "On Wednesdays, we wear pink" (a quote from Mean Girls) resulted in an old man doing his laundry because he is out of clean clothes, and the phrase "30 and Flirty" evolved into a bawdy scene so controversial that I can't even post it on the blog!  And to think I was playing this with my good lil' Catholic friends!

*Please only drink legally and responsibly!


  1. I definitely have to store this one in my memory bank! Sounds like too much fun!

  2. Well, the good thing is you can just hop on the 'net and search this blog for it!