Picture Picture

Reviewer Reviewed On Publisher Designer Published In Rating
June 15, 2003 Western Publishing Not credited 1992 7
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As a child, some of my favorite books were the “Where’s Waldo” series. I could spend hours looking the pictures, looking at all the little things that were drawn in each one. Picture Picture is a game that slightly expands on that idea, and again has you staring at pictures for periods of time.

So is this picture staring game any good? The short answer is yes, it’s a good party game, but it has limited replayability. Now, for the longer answer…

First, a short description of game play:

A medium-sized game board with a track winding around it is placed in the middle of the table. The track is numbered from one to 38 (finish). Pawns of different colors (representing each player) are placed on the “start space”. A large plastic picture frame is placed in the middle of the game board, and each layer takes an answer sheet. The first round then begins.

In each round, one of 50 double-sided pictures is slid into the frame. A 90 second timer is then flipped over and each player looks at the picture, writing down objects they see in the picture. The answer sheets have blanks for each letter of the alphabet, so only one “A” answer is allowed per player per picture. Once the timer runs out, each player stops writing, and the answers are compared.

Scoring is very similar to Scattegories. If two or more players have written down the same answer for a certain letter, the answer is crossed off. If one player has a unique answer, they get the points for that answer. Most letters are worth one point, while “I” and “J” are worth two points; “Y”, “U’, and “V” are worth three points; and “Q”, “X”, and “Z” are worth four points. Players move their pawns the number of points they score each round. The player whose pawn reaches “Finish” first is the winner!

Answers cannot be proper nouns, acronyms, intangible nouns, or phrases (the Funny puppy). They can be variations (daisy or flower, man or male, etc.)

Comments on the game:

1). Components: The box is big and sturdy., and it’s colors of the box are bright and interesting. The inside has ample room for all the components, with cardboard to hold them into place. (As with most cardboard in boxes, I got rid of it, because it’s a greater pain then it is a help.) The plastic picture frame is functional, but seems to fall over at the slightest jostle. The board is nice and big, but is certainly bigger than necessary. The pawns are…. pawns. Don’t worry if you lose them, you can use pretty much anything. The timer is of good quality. The pads for the game are nice, but I was able to use the computer to make up substitute sheets once we ran out. Over all, components for this game are of decent quality.

2). Crazy answers: Almost every game I’ve ever played of Picture Picture follows the same pattern. At first everyone picks fairly common answers, until they discover that others pick the same common answers. After that, answers get stranger and stranger, and then start to push the bounds of reason. “Is that flower a rose – doesn’t look like a rose to me? How do you know that the dog in the picture is a mutt?” There is always someone in each group who pushes the limits farther than they were meant to go. Arguments over this person’s stupidity and/or attempts to win/cheat usually occur and get rather loud.

3). Fun Factor: These arguments can make the game more fun or less fun, depending on your view. Picture Picture is a fun game, no doubt. However, it really depends on the group you are playing with. If people are playing to win at all costs, the fun factor of the game goes down. If everyone is playing to have fun, then that is exactly what you will achieve.

4). Replayability: The pictures have a pile of objects in them. That’s probably my favorite thing about the game – the pictures. Each picture is chock full of hundreds of things to write down. About ten of the pictures are used per game, giving you at least five good games of Picture Picture. After that, however, the game may get a little old. When the same group plays with the same picture, it’s very easy to have the same words come back out on the pads. People are willing to play the game when I bring it out, but it is not usually one that is asked for.

5). Rules: The rules for the game are a single sheet of paper, on both sides. The rules are very detailed, considering how simple they are. The font is easy to read, and there is an illustration on how scoring works. The rules are very nice and easy to understand. As with most party games, this one can be taught in less than 2 minutes.

So, a short review for a fairly short game. It’s fun, but I don’t think you’ll bring it out to the table that often. If you see it on sale at the thrift store, pick it up – but don’t go searching for it on eBay. Enjoyable – for a few plays.

Tom Vasel