Thursday, November 12, 2015

A Sketch on the Dark Side

Years ago, I reviewed Telestrations, a party game that combines "Telephone" with Pictionary. When you're forced to draw the "best guess" of what the person to your left thought was drawn by the person to his left, hilarity ensues.

Now, a new installment of the game has been released: Telestrations After Dark. Apparently, the publishers finally noticed that a large number of Telestrations drawings devolve into a phallic space already, and decided to make an entire game to help that process along. In After Dark, the clues you're given to draw are adult-themed (or can easily be taken as such by a dirty mind). The gameplay is otherwise identical -- you draw something, pass it on, guess what you were passed, pass that on, and keep on passing around the circle.

It may be I wasn't quite in the right frame of mind when I played this new version -- perhaps I wasn't in the mood for a party game that day, or perhaps I hadn't been plied with as much alcohol as the other players. But simply put, I just didn't find this version of the game to be as entertaining as the original. It's hard to zero in on exactly why, but I think the bottom line is that rude stick figure drawings are funnier when they accidentally turn out that way. They're certainly funnier when they come up more sparingly, as opposed to in a relentless torrent.

The laughs are still there, to be sure, and the game remains fun for a large group. But I can't help but feel like Telestrations After Dark exists for an audience that needs permission to be lewd. (From a game manufacturer?) In that regard, it's rather akin to Cards Against Humanity -- a game that has some detractors (whose arguments I can understand), but which ultimately struck me as more fun than this.

I'd still play Telestrations After Dark again, but my vote would be for the original. I give this edition a B-.

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