Telestrations – The Telephone Game Meets Pictionary

4-8 Players (Original) // 4-12 (Party Pack)
Ages 12+
15-30 Minutes
Highly Recommended

Telestrations has become the new go-to party game at our gatherings.  A hilarious game for 2-8 players that plays better the less skilled you are.

Most of us remember playing The Telephone Game as kids.  You’d whisper a message in your friend’s ear who would then pass it along.  By the time the message made it all the way around the circle of people, it had changed — sometimes a fair deal.  Telestrations is, at its core, The Telephone Game with illustrations instead of a spoken message.

Each player draws a card and will select (with a die roll) which word they will be drawing.  In a little laminated booklet, they will write down their word and then draw it (for odd numbers of players, you pass after you write the word).   You pass your booklet and the player beside you needs to guess the word based on your drawing.  After their guess, they pass the book to the next person, who then draws a new drawing based on the guess.


By the end of the draw-pass-guess-pass-draw chain you will have up to four drawings and four guesses.  The trick is to see if the last guess matches the original word.  Scoring is based on the original person’s choice of favorite drawing and favorite guess.


Some of the words can be fairly challenging.  The drawing is made a bit more difficult due to a 1 minute time limit and fairly broad marker tips.  If you have some good artists in the group, the extra time pressure and fat tipped pen should give them a good handicap.

The resulting drawings can be hilarious and can degrade a great deal from the original word.  Some cards list categories or outright wildcard values allowing players the opportunity to come up with their own words or phrases for some added fun.  (Note: one suggestion — for a more adult variant — was to use Cards Against Humanity white cards in place of the Telestration word cards)


The original game includes a box of 142 double sided word cards, 8 markers, 8 laminated booklets, 1 die, 1 timer and 8 cloth wipes.

There is also a 12 player Party Pack for some extra fun – 192 cards and 12 of the books, wipes and markers.


The game is fantastic, but there are a few things to make note of.  The cloth wipes should not be stored near the cards as the ink they have wiped off will bleed onto the cards.  You will probably also want to pick up an extra set of markers.  You are probably going to also want at least 6 players with a full compliment of 8 or more likely providing the most enjoyable experience.

Families wanting to enjoy the game may want to stick to the 12+ age group as some of the words can be fairly challenging and possibly frustrating.  That said, allowing players to chose a word from the card or substituting easier cards (maybe Apples to Apples cards) might make the game a lot more accessible.

It’s a great game and certainly a must have if you have a group of 8 (or 12) people getting together and a very good family game.  Highly recommended!


Greg Grondin
Gregory Grondin is a full time Systems Analyst working for Mariner Innovations. He also works as a weight loss consultant for Weight Watchers and is part owner of Heroes' Beacon. You can follow his web comic series at

Greg is a fan of gaming and comics in general and an avid collector of Transformers figures.

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