There are very few party games as iconic as Pictionary — a game where most of the fun stems from trying to decipher your teammates’ terrible drawing skills. But how do you improve on such a classic? By bringing technology into the mix, of course. That’s exactly what Mattel did with Pictionary Air.
What’s in the box?
The first thing you will notice is that the game comes in a very small box compared to the original. The main reason for this is that you no longer require pesky drawing slates, paper, and pens. Instead, Pictionary Air comes with a bunch of clue cards and more importantly, the Air pen.
The cards are your standard party game cards as far as quality and card stock goes. Nothing impressive, but completely functional.
The pen, on the other hand, is made of durable plastic and is lightweight enough that it won’t tier your wrist while drawing in the air.
How do you play it?
The whole draw of Pictionary Air is that it’s a smaller more compact version of the original that you can take anywhere. This is in part thanks due to the game’s Air pen.
The pen uses an app, which you can download on your phone or tablet free of charge, to track its movements. As you move the pen, your drawing will magically appear on the screen of your device. The app itself is quite easy to understand and handles most of the nitty-gritty stuff, like timing each round.
Except for the Air pen, the gameplay remains true to the original. Player’s split into two teams. Each team chooses one person to draw the clue they have to guess. That person then draws a clue card and chooses one of the objects to draw. They then use the Air pen to draw the clues/objects in the air. Then the rest of the team must guess what the object is before the timer runs out.
It’s still just as simple as the original, even though it uses a bit of modern wizardry.
What did we think of Pictionary Air?
If you love the original Pictionary then Pictionary Air might be a bit of an adjustment for you. Not being able to see what you are drawing is a lot harder than it sounds.
On the other hand, you are able to sort of mime actions along with your “air” drawing, which adds another layer to the game.
The pen and the app work great and help keep the overall package nice and small. You do have the option to cast your device to a smart tv, which is also a nice feature. Having said this, Pictionary Air is made to take with you when you go on holiday or visiting friends, and with most people having a smartphone in their pocket, you’ll mostly be using that instead of a tv.
Pictionary Air feels like the logical progression for the franchise. Where it used to be a game you had to lug around in a large box, it has now become one of the most portable party games on the market. Sure, it is more difficult to draw something when you can’t see the lines you are drawing, but this just adds even more fun and hilarious moments into the mix.
And that is what Pictionary Air is about. It’s less about who wins in the end and more about how much fun was had to play.
If you’re looking for other fun games to play this festive season, check out our Mattel gift guide.