Sunday, October 25, 2009

Backseat Drawing Junior

Publisher: Out of the Box Publishing(2008)


Players: 3-8

Recommended Ages: 7+

Backseat Drawing Junior Rules: http://www.otb-games.com/backseatdrawing_jr/rules.html
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We were excited to receive a review copy of Backseat Drawing Junior from Out of the Box Publishing.

I will start by saying that I just can't get the name right. I have been calling it "Backstreet Drawing Junior" since we got it. I guess it doesn't help that I also sang "Backstreet's back, alright!" every time we played the game (I'm singing it right now).

Backseat Drawing Junior is a family game version of a teambuiding exercise I remember that emphasized the importance of communication among team members.

There are multiple roles during game play:
  • Director
  • Artist
  • Guessers
The director looks at a card that has a simple outline drawing of an object and its name. The director describes the object to the artist using only shapes, sizes, directions, etc. The artist draws what they think the Director is explaining, and the artist and guessers try to be the first to identify the name of the object.

Example:


The Director could not say words like "house", "roof", "window", or "door".

Instead, the Director might say "Draw a square", "Draw a triangle on top of the square", etc.

The kids loved this game. Mrs. One Zillion Books and I felt a little so-so about it.

There are many aspects of this game that I like.
  • The cards have an green side and a more difficult yellow side.
  • The potential for spatial understanding is great.
  • The potential for communication improvement is great. There were many times that I knew what my daughter wanted me to draw, but she wasn't being very specific, so I purposely drew something that met her directions, but wasn't what she was looking for.


"Draw a circle"


"No, a big circle"


"Now draw an upside-down rainbow-like curved line at the bottom"


"No, inside the circle"


and so on.

My main issue with the game is as a family game. While the kids had a ton of fun, my significant other and I felt that the mixed ages of the players made it less fun for us. If we wanted to give the kids a chance to succeed at drawing, directing, and guessing, we had to hold back. Instead of playing a game with them, it felt like we were facilitating a game for them.

That being said, I would still recommend this game as a fun educational tool for children. I could actually see this as a great fit in the classroom to teach spatial recognition and communication.

OZG Kids' Score: 8

OZG Grown-up Score: 7 points

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