4-10 Players, Age 12 to Adult. Game play 20-30 minutes.
Two teams race to identify drawings done by their own team members. But the artists don’t know what they are drawing—they can only follow the instructions given by another team member. Laughter erupts as players attempt to follow direction and to guess what is being drawn.
Comments from Jon Power of Acomb, York as follows: “It’s very funny trying to work out what someone’s trying to draw when they’re not drawing”.
Review by Ben Rainbird; Actor and Games enthusiast:
BACKSEAT DRAWING is a party game for anyone with artistic aspirations. Indeed, as it can accommodate up to 10 players, it’s the very essence of a party game. The goal of Backseat Drawing is to earn points by identifying drawings done by other members of your team. Sounds familiar, but there’s a twist: The artists don’t know what they’re drawing.
Rather, another member of their team, designated the “Director”, has to give the artist clues, without being too specific.
The players are provided with a Card Viewer containing 168 Challenge Cards with various drawing subjects on them. With an easy and hard challenge subject on either side, giving 336 words in total. There are also drawing boards with wipe clean surfaces, 2 erasers, erasable markers, and a rule sheet.
The players are divided into two teams. Each team picks a Director and an Artist. The Director from either team takes the first card from the Card Viewer, shows it to the other team’s Director, and then the Artists must draw what they’re told to by the Directors. Everyone else on the teams, including the Artists themselves, can now start to guess at what the drawing depicts. The rules prescribe that no clues must be given about the nature of the object, so instructions must be very general – geometric shapes, the approximate length of lines, the direction of line and so forth.
So for example, the Challenge Card may have “hairbrush” written on it, and you might be asked to draw a horizontal rectangle with a circle at the end, but it would be illegal to say anything as specific as “something you would groom your hair with”.
The teams have to guess as quickly as possible what the drawing shows. This process can cause much entertainment, as you might imagine. The way you describe objects in the game will be unfamiliar to most people to begin with, but it’s a skill you acquire as the game progresses, and it’s a lot of fun developing it. Some pretty hilarious results can ensue from your team-mates trying to make the best of your garbled instructions. Things don’t always look exactly like they’re meant to, to put it mildly.
The first team to correctly identify the drawing gains 1 point. The point is marked by the Challenge Card used in that round. The card is not assigned immediately but is given when the card is removed to show the challenge for the next round. Director and Artist rotate clockwise for each new round, and the game continues like this until one team wins by hitting 7 points.
BACKSEAT DRAWING is, in my opinion, an effervescent game for a group. It might be useful as an icebreaker for a party of people who don’t know each other too well because working in a team and the merriment this game is sure to cause will, I am positive, bring out even the shrinking violets and give the extroverts a platform.
Distributed exclusively in the British Isles by David Westnedge Ltd., London.