Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Back To The Table Again

I am of the opinion that that you should not let games in your collection stagnate.  Go back and dig out some of those games that haven't seen the table in a while and see if they've held up.

Last weekend, I had a chance to do exactly that. I dug out Pix. And I'm glad I did.

Pix was part of a rush of "drawing games for people who can't draw" that hit a few years back. It was a good time, honestly, because I can't draw.  Pix also hit when 8-bit nostalgia was peaking.

Pix is a bit overproduced. Players are each given a magnetic board, twenty black magnets, one red magnet, and a small red carat/arrow magnet. The magnetic boards are color-coded, because two players will be interpreting each word.  And everybody "draws" simultaneously.


So in a six-player game, there are three words that need guessing.

You "draw" by placing the magnets (called "pixels") onto the grid on your magnetic board.  Once someone finishes their drawing, they call, "PIXEL!" and flip a timer.  Everyone else has until time runs out to finish their drawing.

Then you start with the player who flipped the timer. They and their color-matched opponent (who drew the same word) compare pixel counts. Each black pixel is one pixel, the red pixel is four pixels. The arrow is worth two pixels (and doesn't have to be on the grid).  Lowest total goes first - they flip their board (and the timer) while the other players try to guess the word.

If they succeed, the artist and the person who guessed correctly each get a point.  If they don't, the other player with the same word flips their art (and the timer) and people get to keep guessing.  If someone guesses it on the second piece of art, then both artists (and the correct guesser) gets a point.  If they still can't figure it out, the card has a one-word hint that can be given. At this point, only a correct guesser will score points.

You then proceed to the next word, and the next, and the next.  And then you'll deal out a new card to each set of players to draw.

The game plays for three rounds. Most points at the end of three rounds wins the game.

It's a unique experience. I don't have any games that are similar (Lego Creationary is the closest I can think of). And it's just ... fun.

The game isn't flawless, however. The word list has a few words that are crazy.  Like "Chalet." I'd never guess that word. Not in a million years. I'm sure it's more commonly used in Europe than it is in the US, but ... wow.

It's also worth noting for Americans that the game is European (Swiss), so the clue for the word "Goalkeeper" is "Football," for example. Whereas we'd call it "Soccer." There are a few other similar "gotcha" words hidden here-and-there throughout. This isn't a problem, it's just something that players should be aware of. When we played last weekend, I didn't read the clue as "Football," I read, "Soccer" to the other players.

Word list aside, however, it's worth tracking this one down. It's a fun game and it plays fairly quickly - and it supports up to nine (!) players.

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