Posted by: gschloesser | August 11, 2011

Squint, Jr.

Designer:  Deborah Boss
Publisher:  Out of the Box Games
3 – 8 Players, 20 – 30 minutes
Review by:  Greg J. Schloesser  

Squint has been described as “Pictionary for folks who cannot draw”.  While that comparison does have some merit, I actually think Squint is more difficult.  Players are forced to “draw” a picture of an item by assembling various symbols so that their fellow players will recognize and identify the resulting creation.  This is not easy, especially when forming the more difficult words.  The proceedings are made even more difficult by the presence of a timer, which always seems to expire just before someone shouts the correct answer.  

One drawback of Squint is that it is not very family friendly.  While it is tough enough for adults, younger children seem to have considerable difficulty visualizing how to form the required picture with the various shapes at their disposal.  Squint Junior has solved this problem by providing an actual drawing on the card clearly showing which pieces are required and how they should be arranged to convey the word depicted.  To level the playing field, adults are encouraged not to study the picture, concentrating only on the word.

 

Dozens of small, transparent plastic tiles are scattered face-up on the table.  Each tile contains lines or various shapes.  Each round, the active player draws a card, and attempts to locate and arrange the necessary tiles to convey the image of the word depicted on the card.  The player only has 60 seconds in which to get a player to successfully name the word on the card.   

The rules are quite simple.  The active player cannot speak, save replying “yes” or “no”, “hot” or “cold” to guesses or inquiries from his fellow players.  Nor can the player perform charades in attempts to elicit responses from the other players.  While the player can animate or move the tiles, they must maintain contact with the table.  These rules are easy to understand, but it is difficult to resist the temptation to make grunting noises or frantically waving your arms while trying to convey the picture to your companions. 

If a picture is correctly guessed, both the active player and the player giving the correct response receive a chip.  This exact procedure is repeated until each player has assembled tiles a set number of times, after which the player with the most chips is victorious. 

The game is a decent party game, as it does involve every player on every turn.  The main aim of Squint Junior was to make it accessible to all ages, and it accomplishes is goal admirably.  Children have few problems arranging the tiles to depict the word on the card, and are still free to manipulate the image as they desire.  They also derive a sense of accomplishment for completing the task and obtaining the correct answer from their fellow players.  Further, the game does not bore adults, and they can add challenge by not studying the image on the cards.  Squint Junior is an excellent selection when gathering with a group of various ages.

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Responses

  1. Squint is fun for a short time. You make pictures out of a bunch of stick drawings. I do well at this because when I draw I use stick figures. 7/10
    Squint, Jr. is definitely easier for kids but not as much fun for adults. 6/10


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