Pictureka! has been around for a while, but we hadn’t ever played it. My kids and I had been eyeing it in the store since it first arrived on the scene, but I was only recently fortunate enough to be able to review both the board game version of Pictureka! and Pictureka! Card Game.
I knew the basic premise of the games, that it had to do with finding images among many. My son especially loves I Spy type games, so I knew these would be hits. Their 6 and up age range solidified it for me.
Pictureka! Board Game
The Pictureka! board game is not your usual unfoldable board game. Inside the box are nine double-sided cardboard squares; two dice, one regular and one with two each of three different colored dots; a sand timer; three colors of cards; and instructions. You arrange the nine boards in a 3 x 3 grid in any configuration you want. The fact the board is different each time you play makes the replayability of the game much higher.
To play, roll the colored die. The three colors on the cards are the same colors as those on the colored die. If you roll a light blue, you take a card from the light blue pile. Each of these cards has one picture from the boards. It is then a race among the players to see who can find the image first. Whoever finds it first yells “Pictureka!” and gets to keep the card. Since each side of each board has different images, I wonder what happens if you need to find an image that is on the back side of a board. We never had this problem, but I’m sure it would come up eventually.
If you roll red, before you flip the red card over, go around the table and bid on how many images that fit the unseen category you think you can find. You have to either pass or bid higher than the last bid. Once the bid goes no higher, the high bidder gets the card and reads the mission, such as “Things you plug in.” Someone flips over the timer and the winning bidder has to find that many objects before the timer runs out. If the player succeeds, they get to keep the card. There seems to be no disadvantage to outbidding every one each time. You have nothing to lose, and you’re preventing others from potentially winning the card. So this doesn’t seem like a good part of the game play. There should be some kind of penalty for winning the bid but failing to make it.
If you roll a green, read the mission on the next green card and roll the numbered die. You have to find that many objects on your own that fit the mission before the timer runs out. If you make it, you keep the card.
The timer runs out very quickly, so this game is harder and faster than you might think at first. Once you get to know what is on the game boards it is easier, but playing for the first time, it was a real challenge. Another thing that keeps the game interesting is if you draw a card with a special symbol on the back, you get to rearrange the board.
Pictureka! is easy to learn and fun to play. One advantage of this game is that it is just as easy for a detail-oriented kid to win as it is for an adult. Kids are fast and often competitive. This is a great game for families to play together. It is fast-paced, and you can make the game as long or as short as you like by changing the number of cards required to win.
Pictureka! retails for $19.99, and I recommend it for families or kids who like their games fast and competitive.
Pictureka! Card Game
If you’re looking for a more portable version of the game, Pictureka! Card Game is a good one to try. Clever pictures and Pictureka categories combine to make one of four games included in the rules, or you can easily make up your own. There is no board, dice or timer in this version, just 78 picture cards and 32 mission cards.
Two of the included games are fast and competitive. Two of them are slower and more creative. All are playful and fun. This is another example of a great set of game materials where you can also make up your own rules and your own games, such as Go Fish: “Do you have a hairy beast?” “No, Go Fish.” “Do you have something that you plug in?” Or you can play a game by yourself, matching categories and picture cards.
We played two of the included games, a fast one and a slow one. 8-Away is a great speed game. I went easy on my six year old son, making sure he had enough time to match his picture cards to the one mission card showing, but I soon found that he would have won without my help. Matchureka is a memory game which is fun for different aged people to play together. Match hidden cards with missions, but also try to remember cards you see and match them to future missions.
The artwork is fun and quirky, and the categories on the mission cards are specific and clear. There are two missions on each card, which can add complexity to games. It is a bit hard to put the cards back in the box properly, though. I even got a paper cut the first time I tried. A tin would have been nicer, but that’s the only bad thing I can say about this game.
Pictureka! Card Game retails for $9.99. It has the fun of the board game in a portable box, but with even more flexibility. Perfect Pictureka portability.
There are also other Pictureka! variations available, such as other games and a puzzle.
Note: I received a copy of both Pictureka! games for review purposes.