Get on Board:
Picture Show

One for playing in a tent – perhaps with an adaptation or two

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Backyard camping is having its moment with families in lockdown and Asmodee’s Picture Show could be the perfect combination of an under-canvas favourite pastime, shadow puppets, and the family classic charades.

A deck of cards provides words, actions or sayings for you to act out using 45 magnetic shapes behind a backlit screen. This game works straight out of the box – a five-minute set-up (don’t forget batteries) and you’re ready to go.

The contents are attractive. With stage lights holding up a translucent screen, it looks like a mini old-time cinema. The main spotlight sits comfortably behind it and produces a good amount of light. Using two decent magnetic sticks you can play freely with the shapes, allowing you to stack multiple shapes on top of each other to create your own. There is a whole variety to work with – people, weather, vehicles, even a dinosaur to portray the answer.

The spotlight has two modes – one where the light stays on for free play, and one with a timer for rounds. The timer has a 10-second flashing countdown to indicate the end of the round and lasts just over a minute – not long even for adults to find the required pieces and act something out. The stack of cards comes with plenty of suggestions to pick from, but they are not categorised or themed. Trying to make your teammates guess “cleaning the house” without context is quite challenging.

The game is an original take on a timeless concept and it’s great quality too – but it’s half-baked. The pieces are so varied the concepts they could portray are endless but the clues are just too random, jumping from “ET” to “a dog with a phone” to “going on safari” in the flash of a bulb and in an unrealistic time frame to boot. My advice – use the cool set-up but play charades the old fashioned way for a fun evening of family entertainment where everyone looks forward to their turn.

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