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'Telestrations' breathes new life into childhood classic
By Ezra Mann (Editor in Spoof)

Life is all about proving how unstable a person’s intentions can become. Take this sage fact and put it in a party game environment and you’ve got the potential for disastrous fun.

When I stumbled upon this game at Gen Con 2010 in early August I was actually only looking for another excuse to rest my feet after four days of walking the Indianapolis Convention Center. Next thing I knew, I was intrigued and found another hilarious addition to my growing stack of board games. “Telestrations” is like if one mated “Pictionary” with the “Telephone Game” and the love child was a genetic masterpiece that the whole world could enjoy.

For those that have slept a few years since they last played telephone as a child, it’s that game where you whisper something in a persons ear and they must pass it down a row of people with the often failed goal of keeping the message the same. The goal and primary purpose of this activity is mostly the same except that you get to draw something to start with and you hope other people keep it as close to what you started off with.

As many as eight players can participate, each getting a pad with 8 tabs for rounds, and the rounds will alternate with each person getting a word to draw. The word is determined with a dice roll and depending on the round you will either guess what the person drew or draw the thing yourself until your pad comes back around. The best thing is you can either play this as a competitive throwdown for points or you can simply laugh with the results until you have trouble breathing.

The game is rather quick as well as easy to grasp too, even if you don’t use the timer included in the box and you get everything you need to play with other items like markers and erase pads. Heck, this game could possibly never lose flair even if made a regular thing since you could create your own objects to draw in case you ever go through all 1,728 suggestions included.

I highly recommend this to just about any age, really as long as your kid knows what they are doing they’ll probably enjoy it too and I can verify that it gets wackier the more people you have play. I even had the rare opportunity to prove this game works with a foreign audience as well with a recent visit by a foreign exchange student during a session. For making me feel like I was a class clown all over again minus detention, I give “Telestrations” a well deserved five out of five grins.

Buy this game in stores or online through places like

‘Trailer Park Wars!’ blurs line between reality, stereotype

By Ezra Mann (Editor in Spoof)

Well break out the moonshine and rustle up some possum on the half shell board game fans because the mobile home folks done got in on the competition.

That’s right, the universe as you know it has collapsed and thanks to a company called Gut Bustin’ Games, there is a way to have fun living on the white trash side without having any prior experience in the lifestyle (though it might give you an edge).

There’s no need to be shy about supporting the concept of an activity that allows you to release your inner hick because there’s no escape from the banjo music this time.

Yet, this wonderful snapshot of America’s most backwards stereotype is not about only simulating the environment, but about giving you a chance to be the head countrified honcho. “Trailer Park Wars!” is just funny and wrong enough to entertain even the pickiest gamer.

The end goal of all competitors in this poverty adventure is to be the top trailer manager in the pack. You achieve this by collecting the most pink lawn flamingoes, of which a standard box has 100, and generally being the shiftiest slum lord possible.

I personally had fun trying it out whether it was just my wife and I or playing with a larger group because you can play head to head or with up to six people at a time. The key to sleazy victory is trying to keep the best tenants in your park, which get you flamingoes every round, while attacking competing parks with bad tenants and trailer park cards like natural disasters or alien abductions. In each box you also get 48 trailer cards, 130 war related cards from tenants to attacks, 24 trailer park name cards and instructions (extra yard flamingoes sold separately).

While the recommended age is 13 or older, maturity seems to only be a fleeting suggestion and far from a requirement to play. Once you get over the initial giggles that come with reading descriptions of the game pieces, the gameplay can get pretty intense in the hour or so you’ll need to set aside.

Because there are so many possible scenarios to work through, it can take a little while for some players to catch on to the rhythm. Depending on how rural your upbringing was you might also see a bit more self parody than city grown boys like myself. For bringing a painfully silly world to living rooms everywhere without the Jeff Foxworthy sized hospital bills, I give “Trailer Park Wars!” four out of five y’alls.

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Past Entertainment: Flapjacks and Sasquatches.

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