Drawing games can be a great way to explore your creative side while enjoying some healthy competition with friends and family. Ever since the popularity of the iconic picture guessing game Pictionary, there have been numerous drawing board games that try to appeal to our inner artists.

Nowadays, drawing games come in many forms. From family-friendly guessing games like Pictomania to more adult-centered games like Drawing Without Dignity and everything in between. With so many great games like Pictionary on store shelves, it can be hard to know where to start. So we decided to list some of our favorites.

Telestrations (2009)

  • Players: 4-8
  • Time: 30 Minutes
  • Publisher: Broadway Toys Ltd

Telestrations is the fast-paced guessing game where players pass around their drawings and the next player has to try and draw what they think it is. The result is a hilarious game of telephone where players end up drawing something that isn’t even close to the original prompt.

Round example from Telestrations via UltraBoardGames.com

To begin a round someone rolls a die and then secretly writes down the matching word or phrase. Once that’s done it’s time to sketch it. After the 60 second timer is up, the sketch is passed clockwise and the next player needs to guess what the sketch is and write it down. This continues, alternating between sketching and guessing until the book makes it all the way back to the player who started the round.

A Fake Artist Goes to New York (2012)

  • Players: 5-10
  • Time: 20 Minutes
  • Designer: Jun Sasaki
  • Publisher: Oink Games

June Sasaki’s A Fake Artist Goes to New York is a drawing game with an element of bluffing. In this game players must draw one line at a time, trying to work together to finish the prompt. However one of the artists is an imposter, and has no idea what the finished piece is supposed to be. Their job is to blend in and not be caught by the Question Master.

The game begins with the Question Master choose a word and then write it down on the players drawing boards (except for the fake artist). Then the artists take turns drawing only a single continuous stroke on their turn trying to complete the Question Masters prompt. As they pass the board around the fake artist tries to blend in, without revealing that they don’t know the prompt. At the end of the round the Fake Arist tries to guess what the prompt was, and the other Artists try to figure out who the Fake was.

Pictomania (2011)

  • Players: 3-6
  • Time: 25 Minutes
  • Designer: Vlaada Chvátil
  • Publisher: Czech Games Edition
PreviewProductPrice
Czech Games Pictomania Czech Games Pictomania $18.23

Pictomania is the family drawing game that gets everybody involved. Unlike most of the other games on this list, Pictomania has everyone drawing and guessing at the same time. Which means drawing quickly and accurately is more important than creating a masterpiece. A great drawing game for the whole family.

A great thing about Pictomania is you don’t have to be an artist to play. Since everyone will be drawing and guessing eachother’s works, the best strategy is to draw quickly and start guessing what everyone else is drawing. However the game is split into 4 rounds, with each round getting progressively harder than the last.

Scrawl (2016)

  • Players: 4-8
  • Time: 30 Minutes
  • Publisher: Big Potato Games

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Scrawl is a game that plays similar to Telestrations with a twist. Rather than simple drawing prompts, Scrawl is jam packed with some pretty outlandish prompts such as “Tasering a sloth” and “Teenage mutant ninja snails”. Which almost guarantees the guesser is going to get it wrong and wind up drawing something way off-base.

In this party game, players must draw a prompt for the next player. Then in turn they must guess what it is, pass it along, and repeat until the drawing makes it’s way around the table. Scrawl is a very light game good for parties or quick gaming sessions, with points awarded for things like “most disastrous doodles”, Scawl never feels too competitive.

Googly Eyes (2008)

  • Players: 2-8
  • Time: 15 Minutes
  • Designer: Vlaada Chvátil
  • Publisher: Czech Games Edition

Googly Eyes is a hilarious board game like Pictionary with a twist; the drawer has to wear a set of ridiculous glasses that distort their vision in different ways and make drawing difficult. What’s great about this game is even the best artists will have a hard time drawing through a set of googly eyes, so everyone is on a similar playing field.

Google Eyes is a great game for kids and the whole family. It comes with three separate lenses that distort your vision in different ways. Players group up in teams and try to cross the board before their opponent, stopping at various challenges along the way. Googly Eyes is a great game for kids or young adults who love to draw.

How You Doodle? (2019)

  • Players: 3-7
  • Time: 25 Minutes
  • Designer: Jeff Lai
  • Publisher: Albi

How Do You Doodle is a game that rewards talented drawers. In this game three drawers are given very similar drawings and it’s the guessers job to spot which is which. So instead of just drawing something simple like “Duck”, the three players are given something similar like “Bird”,”Fowl” and “Game”, and it’s their job to make their drawings stand out from the others.

How Do You Doodle offers a bit more critical thinking than most drawing games, as the drawers need to be clever and come up with ways to make their drawings stand out. Anyone can draw a “Meal” but how can you signify that it’s “Supper”? Each round the guessing players must guess what everyone drew and are awarded points for correct guesses.

Drawing Without Dignity (2016)

  • Players: 4-12
  • Time: 30-60 Minutes
  • Publisher: TwoPointOh Games

Drawing Without Dignity is like Pictionary for adults with dirty minds. Anyone looking for a game to play with their kids should steer clear of this one. Instead of drawing simple things like hotdogs or houses, Drawing Without Dignity has players drawing riskier drawings like an AA Meeting or a Sperm Donor.

Drawing Without Dignity is a great party game to help liven things up. A great ice breaker for people who are looking for a good laugh. In addition to the standard Pictionary style game-play, Drawing Without Dignity also includes a number of “Cockblock” cards that allow the opposing team to swoop in and steal some points.

Cranium (1998)

  • Players: 4-16
  • Time: 60 Minutes
  • Designer: Whit Alexander, Richard Tait
  • Publisher: Hasbro
PreviewProductPrice
Cranium Game Cranium Game $16.99

Cranium is a game that combines multiple different types of trivia and guessing games. Although not strictly a drawing game, there’s a category called “Creative Cat” that includes a lot of fun doodle games. Cranium plays out similar to Trivial Pursuit where players hop around the board answering a plethora of different questions or completing creative challenges.

A great aspect of Cranium is that there’s something for everyone. The game is split into four categories: Creative Cat, Data Head, Star Performer, and Word Worm. With each category representing a different part of the brain. Creative Cat is for artistic types who love to draw or sculpt. Data Head is for trivia buffs who know their facts. Star Performer is for people who love to be the center of attention. Finally the Word Worm category is for those who think they’ve mastered their language skills.

Dirty Drawers (2019)

  • Players: 3-7
  • Time: 5 Minutes
  • Designer: Kristen Brown
  • Publisher: Self Published

Dirty Drawers is the game that describes itself as the “Mature game for immature people”. The way it works is a judge is chosen who draws three cards and combines them to create a ridiculous scenario. Then the other players each try to draw it to the best of their ability. Finally the judge rolls to see what criteria they will be judging on such as “Most Detailed”, “Cutest” or “Fastest Drawn”.

Whats great about Dirty Drawers is the sheer amount of replay value the game has. With nearly endless card combinations, each game feels brand new. You’ll end up with funny combinations like “A Phallic Wizard in a Stick Situation” or “A Hula Hooping Eyeball doing Burlesque” that are sure to have everyone laughing.

MonsDRAWsity (2020)

  • Players: 3-8
  • Time: 5-30 Minutes
  • Designer: Eric Slauson
  • Publisher: Bread and Circuses

MonsDRAWsity is a game where players act as a sketch artists for bizarre looking creatures. Where one player tries their best to describe the abomination they’re looking at, and the other players need to draw it out based on their description. At the end of each round points are awarded based on who’s drawing was the closest.

In MonsDRAWsity a players sketch can only be as good as the description they were given, so giving detailed descriptions is key. The creatures range from simple to absurd, with some being much easier to describe than others. If you happen to run out of creatures to draw don’t worry, there’s some great expansions as well as monster images to look up for free online that will keep the game fresh.

Didn’t see your favorite drawing board game on our list? Well feel free to let us know which games we missed that should definitely be in every board gamer’s collection.