Two colors, two sets of tangram tiles, and 90 seconds – you’ll need all your creativity to try to convey your secret word! Can you get the other players to guess you’re holding the word duck using nothing but triangles, squares, and rhombuses? Can you guess that your friend has drawn a garbage can with three shapes? You don’t have to be able to draw to play this Pictionary-style game, but it will definitely stretch your imagination.
Show & Tile is a tile laying game for 3-6 players from Jellybean games. It plays best with 6 players.
The object of Show & Tile is to score the most points by creating pictures based on a word clue that other players and can guess, as well as guessing other player’s words.
Each player starts with a play mat, a score sheet, and two sets of tangram tiles – four large triangles, two medium triangles, four small triangles, two squares, and two rhombuses – that have different colors on each side.
Play is simultaneous. At the start of the round each player chooses two word cards and secretly decides which word to play, discarding the other card. Then the timer is flipped. Players have ninety seconds to create artwork using their shapes to represent the word they’ve chosen. Either side may be used in any orientation in order to create an impression, silhouette, outline, or other piece that evokes their chosen word.
When time is up, players turn their boards to display their artwork for the rest of the players. The timer is flipped again. Each player then uses their score sheet to write down their best guess for their opponent’s artwork. Once the timer runs out, players go around the table, having everyone read out their guesses for a single player’s picture, then that player reveals their word. Points are awarded based on correct guesses and whether or not you guessed other players’ words correctly.
Play continues for four rounds – the winner is the player with the highest score at the end of gameplay.
Is Pictionary for people who can’t draw a board game genre? It sure seems like it. Show & Tell is another entrant to the space, and while it doesn’t really introduce anything groundbreaking, it’s certainly a perfectly fine game for folks sharing a laugh and perhaps some holiday tipple.
As a party game, this mostly works. The rules are literally a page – anyone, whether they’d consider themselves a gamer or not, will grasp the concept in just a few seconds. Pictures are large and simple to be seen across the table, though I think some color pairings might present a challenge for colorblind folks.
While simultaneous play means no one is left twiddling their thumbs, it misses out on the frantic, hysterical pace of watching one person draw/act/create while the rest of the players or team struggle to guess its meaning. This does make it more accessible to folks that have trouble hearing or get easily get lost in the shuffle during the mayhem.
Thin components are a little difficult to punch (do it carefully or you might wind up with a paper tear) but stack well without being overly bulky or moving around too much when you’re turning your mat to show other players – a boon in particular when playing with kids.
There’s a video tutorial linked in the rulebook as well, and I like this touch – if no one in the group wants to be the reader/teacher, it’s a fantastic way to get everyone up to speed quickly and gaming.
This entry into the ‘draw and guess’ genre isn’t groundbreaking, but Show & Tile makes a great party game for casual gamers and light game lovers. Folks with some types of color blindness may find the color combos somewhat frustrating. Simultaneous play takes the wait out of play, but also removes the jocularity of faster-paced versions of the same. Show & Tile would likely make a good addition to a family game shelf.
Final Score: 3 Stars – Nothing particularly new here, but generally fun for casual gamers or families.
• Link to a video tutorial for folks who are visual learners or groups with no teachers
• Thin cardboard components stack nicely and generally stay in place when moved
• Variety of words on cards can create more interesting challenges
• Components may tear when punched
• Misses out on some of the energy of more interactive versions of guessing games