23 November 2019
As a present under the tree goes it is a winner
Drawing games sit particularly well with Christmas pudding, party streamers and a dusty bottle of port. Although this game works best with the last item on that itinerary.
Drunken Sailors is a slurred-story simulator. The players act as a group of a sailors trying to tell a tall tale from the high seas. Except one of you has had a little too much grog, making it impossible for you to remember how the story goes.
Each player takes turns drawing a single line with their coloured crayon to provide a depiction of the secret word. This is passed around the table where each player adds a line until each has contributed two of their own embellishments. Of course, each sailor only wants to give away as little as possible so they can identify the drunken sailor at the end of each round. This comes with a few accusations and, eventually, simultaneous finger pointing.
It’s good fun, if a little bit too obvious sometimes. And there is an element of it being a quite quiet game while others are drawing because a lot of the game is trying to read other’s reactions when they are passed the board. As such the theme doesn’t fit as snugly as you might expect.
As a present under the tree goes it is a winner however. The game is extremely nicely put together and packaged. There are tiny envelope of the stories to distribute, a clip to turn the wooden lid of the box into a drawing surface, as well as lovely and durable crayons. There is a feeling that you might run out of seaworthy subjects at some point, but there’s certainly enough to provide smooth sailing through the holiday period without too many going overboard.
CHRISTOPHER JOHN EGGETT
PLAY IT? MAYBE
This review originally appeared in the December 2019 issue of Tabletop Gaming. Pick up the latest issue of the UK's fastest-growing gaming magazine in print or digital here or subscribe to make sure you never miss another issue.