Board games are a classic family fun activity that are great for bringing together people of all ages, but if you’re asked to name one and stop at Monopoly, you might need help picking games for your family. There’s tons of great picks out there that will get them drawing, sculpting, thinking playing and bonding, so we took a look at 9 essential games like Pictionary and others that will bring fun and laughter to family game night. 

Our Top Picks

Pictionary Lovers, Here's How to Pick Awesome Alternatives

1. Recommended Age

When a toy has a recommended age range, it’s generally because it’s not safe or simple for kids under that age to use it. For games, age ranges exist to protect kids from choking hazards and to indicate how old they should be to play safely. Younger kids will be frustrated and feel left out of games that are too old for them, and older kids won’t want to play with a game for tots.

2. Number of Players

There are games designed for just two people – think Chess – and those that can accommodate many like puzzles and card games ! Spending time together is important whether your family is large or small, so you’ll want a game that doesn’t leave anyone out and that you have enough people to play.

3. Difficulty Level

There are all kinds of games out there ranging from simple to complex, and they’re not all for kids. It’s not always possible to tell from the box exactly how involved gameplay is, but it should give you a basic idea. Recommended age range does a good job of indicating a game’s difficulty level, but it’s not an exact science, so check out how it operates and how much reading is involved before buying.

4. Size

Some games are super compact and portable, while others spread out pretty significantly when board and accessories are assembled. If you’re looking for a travel game or don’t have tons of space, you might not want a game that’ll take over your whole living room. In lieu of exact dimensions, which can be hard to provide for a multi piece toy, we’ve categorized games as small, medium or large.

5. Style

Whether you like to roll the dice, draw a picture, sculpt your answer or come up with the quickest response, there are games with a play style everyone can enjoy. If your family’s full of sketch artists, a Pictionary-like game might be a good pick, but something like Cranium is better for the versatile thinkers. Check out a game’s style to make sure it will mesh with your family’s interests.

6. Includes

Games sometimes have pieces, cards, a board and other accessories, but other times they’re just a receiver or deck of cards. It’s helpful to know what you’re getting before you buy, especially if you’re part of a bigger family and might want to pick up an expansion pack.

The Winners

#1

Drumond Park Rapidough

Best Overall

Let your family take matters into their own hands with the Drumond Park Rapidough that lets them sculpt their clue while their teammates try to decipher their creation. Challenge cards offer players a task to complete with potentially hilarious results while molding tools help them to use the rainbow of clay colors to create and perfect their final design. It’s a game that’s simple for kids to understand and participate in, but it’s still fun and exciting for adults.

Recommended Age: 8+
Number of Players: 4+
Difficulty Level: Beginner / Intermediate
Size: Small / Medium
Style: Sculpting guessing game
Includes: Challenge cards, dough, instructions, molding tools

#2

Lego Creationary 

Upgrade Choice

Lego Creationary is a unique guessing game where players use LEGO bricks to build their clue creation. The set comes with 341 pieces, but kids who have robust LEGO collections can certainly add their own pieces into the mix for an even more epic game. Players must build their one of the 96 possible clues, offering creative hands-on guessing game action that the whole family will love – don’t be surprised if you get just as into it as the kids(and maybe secretly a little bit more).

Recommended Age: 7+
Number of Players: 3 – 8
Difficulty Level: Beginner / Intermediate
Size: Large
Style: Building guessing game
Includes: Legos, cards, instructions

#3

USAopoly Telestrations 

Best Budget Buy

The USAopoly Telestrations is a sketching guessing game that is great for families who love the idea of sketching guessing games but really, truly aren’t Picassos – stick figures will work just fine here. A take on the classic telephone game, players draw the clue they see and opponents guess what clue the drawing player is recreating. There’s plenty of potential for laughs and misunderstandings, just like in the game’s namesake. It’s a fun party game that’s also inexpensive, and there are a variety of add on packs that allow for more players or unique themes.

Recommended Age: 12+
Number of Players: 4 – 8
Difficulty Level: Intermediate
Size: Small
Style: Drawing
Includes: Sketchbooks, dry erase markers, cleaning cloths, dice, cards, instructions, timer

#4

BRAIN GAMES Doodle Rush

Quick thinking is the name of the game with this family fun offering. Players are offered two cards, each with three words, and must draw each word within 60 seconds for a total of six drawings. Other players must guess the original words that promoted the drawings, with fun and funny results. Brain Games Doodle Rush is a great game for encouraging focus and critical thinking in both kids and adults, and the clues range from simple to outlandish, so you’re in for some new laughs every time.

Recommended Age: 10+
Number of Players: 3 – 6 years
Difficulty Level: Beginner / Intermediate
Size: Small
Style: Drawing guessing game
Includes: Drawing pads, pens, cards, instructions, timer

#5

Pictionary Showdown

Pictionary is taken to the next level here through the use of the Pictionary Showdown console, which allows players to customize their game time for short or long games. Lights and sounds offer extra fun to the game’s classic content, and extra rewards are provided to players for speed in this edition. It’s easy to set the game up, but it’s important to know that it will require 3 AA batteries, which aren’t included.

Recommended Age: 8+
Number of Players: 2 teams
Difficulty Level: Beginner / Intermediate
Size: Medium
Style: Drawing guessing game
Includes: Console, cards, instructions

#6

Thames & Kosmos Dohdles!

Combining a sculpting guessing game and 20 questions makes for a hilarious and thought provoking good time with clay. The active player is in charge of molding their clue, but they shouldn’t make it too hard to guess, as they may also receive a point when someone gets the right answer. Other players must ask questions to decipher creations, advance to the end of the board and become the winning Thames & Kosmos Dohdles Master.

Recommended Age: 10+
Number of Players: 3 – 6
Difficulty Level: Beginner / Intermediate
Size: Large
Style: Sculpting guessing game
Includes: Board, suggestion boards, guess funnel, pad, placard, dough, tokens, cubes, chips, instructions, storage bags

#7

Goliath Googly Eyes Game

The Goliath Googly Eyes Game is a fun twist on traditional sketching guessing games, players must wear goggles that distort their vision with interchangeable lenses as they try to draw their clue. This, of course, makes the drawing process more difficult and the clue more difficult to comprehend, adding a new element to the fun. Players will crack up when they see their silly drawings post-goggles, and it’s a good way to make an old favorite fun for younger kids. 

Recommended Age: 7+
Number of Players: 4 – 16
Difficulty Level: Beginner
Size: Medium
Style: Drawing
Includes: Drawing pad, pencil, board, tokens, goggles, cards, lenses, dice, timer, instructions

#8

Mattel Pictionary Frame Game

The most unique version of Pictionary yet, the Mattel Pictionary Frame Game utilizes a translucent panel in a frame to allow viewers to see what the artist is drawing as they’re creating it. Alternately, players can choose to play in Mirror Mirror mode wherein opponents try to match the artist’s drawing by tracing their lines exactly at the same time on the opposite side. The clear board wipes clean after every use, so your family can use it again and again without wasting paper.

Recommended Age: 8+
Number of Players: 2 teams
Difficulty Level: Beginner / Intermediate
Size: Medium
Style: Drawing
Includes: Board, cards, timer, dry erase markers, dice, instructions

#9

Cranium

There’s a little bit of everything in this great Cranium  pick for older kids and adults. Players must draw, sculpt, build and learn their way across the board, using their unique breadth of knowledge to win. There’s a question here everyone will know and plenty they won’t, so be prepared for a learning curve plus plenty of fun and laughs with a new fact or two learned every time you play.

Recommended Age: 14+
Number of Players: 4+
Difficulty Level: Intermediate
Size: Medium
Style: Drawing, sculpting, knowledge guessing game
Includes: Dice, cubes, timer, instructions, board, clay, drawing pad, pencil, cards

Quick Decision

Drumond Park Rapidough – Best Overall
It’s a great twist on drawing guessing games that lets players mold their clues

Lego Creationary  – Upgrade Choice
Everyone loves LEGOs and building clues in this guessing game is a total blast

USAopoly Telestrations – Best Budget Buy
It’s an inexpensive take on the telephone game that demands very little artistically but is still plenty of fun

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HANNAH H.

HANNAH H.

Hannah is both a parent and a freelance journalist and author. You go, girl! She is an impeccable wordsmith and her warm and witty outlook on life makes her pieces a joy to read.

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