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Backseat Drawing, Junior

Backseat Drawing, Jr is at least as fun as its Major FUN Award-winning parent, Backseat Drawing. The rules, drawing boards, markers, card holders are all the same. The most visible difference is in the clue cards. Where Senior's clue cards have words on both sides (in three languages, even), Junior's have both drawings and words.

As the "artist" you most definitely have to follow the instructions as carefully and responsively as you do in the Senior game. On the other hand, when you're the "Director," though you still have to describe the object in terms of shapes (it's rectangularish, with rounded corners, only it looks like someone stepped on the middle of it), you have an actual drawing to guide you.

So the challenge, and hence, the fun of it, is similar in the excruciating delight of the grown-up version of Backseat Drawing. Having drawings to work from makes the game easy enough for barely-literate seven-year-olds to play (or, in the case of my granddaughter Lily, extremely literate 5-year-olds), which is all the difference you need in order to transform Backseat Drawing into a significantly laugh-producing family game.

There are two versions of the game suggested. The first, especially designed for younger children, is called "Everybody In." Here, the Artist is part of a team, with everyone on the team guessing at the same time. If the Artist succeeds, she and the Director both get a point (though you can have as much fun without keeping score at all). If not (both Director and Artist agree that the challenge is too hard), no score, no blame. The Director joins the Artist team. A new Director is selected. And the game continues. To further level the conceptual playing field, the yellow side of the challenge cards display more complex, "super challenge" images. The second version, "Team Play," is played the same as the elder version of Backseat Drawing, and is recommended for people 10 and up, giving the family something to continue playing after the giggly young'uns have been calmed into bed.

All in all, Major FUN for the whole family.




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