'It's facing us and it's body and head are the same part and it's sort of avocado shaped. It has one eye central and the top of it's body head thing and then three antenna with eyes on too. It's got one leg that is sort of a unicycle but a fleshy one…'
There are plenty of party games out there, and plenty of drawing party games. So it takes something special to stand out. The best party games are simple rules wise, and result in a lot of laughter. The best drawing games get everyone drawing and reward people for their creativity rather than their drawing ability. How does Monsdrawsity stack up?
The first thing to talk about with Monsdrawsity is the artwork. Provided by a large number of artists its wacky and brilliant. Giving board game artists like The Mico free range to create their own wacky creatures has paid off big time! Some of the monsters are so well done and bizarre that just looking at them can cause spontaneous laughter to erupt.
Can I Get A Witness?
Up to nine players (more if you are happy to use pen and paper as well as the provided dry wipe boards) will take turns being the Witness. The Witness will take the score board and draw a single monster card. The Witness will look at it for 20 seconds before placing it face down and describing it to the remaining players. The describing period lasts two minutes and during it the other players will attempt to accurately draw what is being described. During this time they can ask questions of the witness to clarify things or remind themselves of what has been said.
'There was no body at all?' 'What about it's legs?' 'Is the mouth open?' These and other questions will be asked depending on the craziness of the monster and the describing chops of the witness. Again this is where the design of the monsters really makes an impact. There are monsters with various appendages, heads like lightbulbs and more.
Of course the game is at its most hilarious when a very strange monster is met with a slightly inept witness. One who doesn't quite use the right words to describe things, or mixes up their left and right. One who simply doesn't see the super obvious parts of the monster.
A Pleasing Score
Once the describing phase is up everyone will show their picture to the witness. Without looking at the picture again the witness will award a secret point to the person they think drew the most accurate picture. Then the monster card will be revealed and the other players will vote on who drew the picture that is most like the monster card. The most voted for player(s) will also get a point. Finally if the players and the witness chose the same player then the witness also gets a point.
This scoring sound more involved that it is is practice and is a satisfactory way of seeing everyones pictures. It also often rewards the people who are best at listening rather than drawing. While we might appreciate someones excellent drawing, there's a strong chance it won't look like what it is meant to look like!
This makes it a drawing game everyone can enjoy, not just the artistically talented. I've played this with oldies and children as young as 6. Sometimes this means adapting the rules, like letting those who want skip being the witness, or perhaps take more turns being the witness. It doesn't matter really, as with most party games the points are not, well… the point.
As well as the base game you can pick up a cute monster expansion to add to the variety. This is another deck of monsters given the theme of 'cute'. The base game was already very generous with the amount of cards it had but having more is no bad thing. I've played this around 10 times and still not got through the combined deck.
The future also looks great with a Shut Up & Sit Down inspired set of monsters recently having funded on Kickstarter too. Early worries about replay value and remember monsters are well and truly put to bed with all these decks but also the amount of cards in the core box. Added to this the monsters are so bizarre that regularly players are unlikely to remember every detail of a monster unless they stay up studying them to ensure a joyless victory next game!
The components are good through out with some of the best dry wipe pens I've seen in a game. Often I raid the box to get the pens when playing other drawing games. Though a simple game the scoring and flow work well for those who take their party games more seriously. It's also a game I've played in a wide range of settings and been able to home brew to work over video calls.