Pictureka! by Hasbro Games is a fast-paced family party game perfect for younger children. Picture a crazy mash up of Dobble and Where's Wally, where two or more players, aged 6+, scan nine tiles of zany artwork to find specific pictures or objects within those pictures and collect cards. The player, or team, with the most cards at the end of the game wins.
The box comes with nine double-sided tiles covered in lovely but unusual pictures. These are arranged randomly in a 3x3 grid. The three coloured packs of cards green, blue and red are shuffled and placed face down by the grid.
There are a few game modes in Pictureka!, but all follow the basic rules. Blue cards have one of the pictures on them and are all play, the first person to find the picture in the grid, point it out and shout Pictureka! wins and takes the card. Green cards are solo play and players first roll dice to determine how many of the object described on one of the three sections on the card they have to find before the sand on the timer runs out, fingers crossed you don't roll a six.
The red cards are played in a similar way to green, they are all play, but players take one or two of the tiles for themselves and use these to find the objects, before replacing the tiles back in the grid. The objective, one of three, is read out players count down three, two, one go and flip their tiles and search. The first person to find it, shouts Pictureka! and if they are right, wins the card.
The game, designed by Arne Lauwers, is so much fun and as there are three objectives to choose from, on each red and green card, all tiles are double-sided and are placed randomly, there is plenty of replay-ability. Hidden amongst the decks are cards that require you to switch the tiles around and flip them over, which prevents those with a more photographic memory from winning too often.
The game is frantic particularly in blue and red all play rounds and challenging in the solo green rounds where you are pitted against the clock. Played in teams at a party, the fun and excitement increase as the team members shout out and try and help their teammate locate the objective before their opponents.
If you prefer an even more random game, break out the coloured dice and ‘Mish Mash’ the game right up. Rather than agreeing the number of rounds and following card order let the dice decide!
Final Thoughts on Pictureka!
Pictureka! is simple to learn and so much fun to play. It is great for all ages and, in fact, playing with a wider variety of people adds something to the game and it will become a firm family favourite. As it is not a strategy game with lots to learn and understand adults have no real advantage over children. In fact, it often appears that the younger the player the better the eyesight and faster the reactions and so this often results in the older players becoming more competitive as they start to lose to the younger ones!
The level playing field the game provides will help younger players make memories of adults and older brothers and sisters scanning frantically trying to he first to find the objective and shout Pictureka!
But beware, if anyone (usually dad or grandma) is found out as a cheat, shouting out before they have found the objective, the opponents can decide on an appropriate forfeit, and be careful if the younger ones decide this as the forfeits can be pretty terrifying.