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Family game review: try Telestrations!

usaopoly-telestrations-the-telephone-game-sketched-out-PG000-264Telephone was always one of my favorite schoolyard games: the end result was always so funny! You remember how it went: you’d come up with a phrase and whisper it into your friend’s ear, who would whisper it into her friend’s ear, who would whisper it into her friend’s ear, until it came back to you as a completely new phrase. It’s the kind of silliness that never gets old – and USAopoly’s Telestrations is even funnier, because it plays on the hilarity of bad art! My husband in particular is not a good artist. Where he is very good at strategy games, Telestration is a game that I always beat him at!

Telestrations works very much like the original game of Telephone, with just a few adaptations to keep it organized. To start, everyone picks up a card, and one person rolls a die, to determine what item you’ll each draw on your sketch book. You write what you’re going to draw on the first page, and then flip and draw what your secret word is (there’s a timer, so draw fast!). Once you’re done, flip to the next page and pass it to your left. They then have a chance to guess what you drew, and the next person gets to draw their guess. The more people who are playing, the funnier it gets: a doggie bag becomes a purse snatcher, a belly ring turns into tighty whities, and so on…

Here’s an example of how it can play out:


Another thing that’s fun about Telestrations is that you can decide to play competitively or not: to score the game, you get one point for everyone who guesses your pictures correctly, another point for every picture you guess correctly, and another point for every picture that helps a guesser make a match. You can also award points for the pictures and guesses you think are the funniest – this is your house, you get to make the rules!

This game appeals to virtually everybody: for instance, my brother-in-law usually refuses to play games with us on game night. One night we convinced him to play, and we were playing Telestrations. Once we finished the game, he said, “can we play that again?” We all gasped!

I chose Telestrations to write about today because it’s just so perfect for this time of year, when the family is getting together. In my family, we get together every New Year’s Eve and play games until midnight! At the end of a long Christmas day, it’s a great way for everyone to enjoy each other’s company, to bond and laugh together. And of course, Telestrations is far from the only game that we carry that facilitates this kind of family fun – come in to any Magic Beans store or talk to our experts at, and we’ll make some great recommendations!

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