Game Review: LEGO Creationary

Pictionary has always been a difficult game to play. Some people insist then can’t draw; other people draw far too well but hate the clock. And most of us get stuck in a world where Pictionary sets have been reduced to a few cards without paper, pens or a timer. But LEGO found a game that takes all the fun of the idea of Pictionary and makes it very, very real.

Roll the LEGO Dice to select one of four exciting building categories: vehicles, buildings, nature or things. With three levels of difficulty you can show off your building skills, while the others guess what you are creating. A great game for family and friends to test your imagination, creativity, building and guessing skills to the max in Creationary!

Suggested ages: 7 – 12 (this is a lie!)

Number of players: 3 – 8

Playing time: 30 – 60 minutes

Retail price: $34.99 available at LEGO Shop or Amazon.com

LEGO has recently been making board games utilizing their classic bricks and I can’t get enough of them. At its core, Creationary is Pictionary but instead of drawing, you build with LEGO bricks to make different items. But since LEGO has never been big on rules, the instructions give you more of guidelines as to playing.

Inside the box there are over 300 assorted LEGO bricks including a generic human figure, a LEGO micro figure (for different scales) and a special LEGO die that is made of rubber. Each of the six sides applied to the die correspond with a different image on the deck of nearly a hundred cards.

But the game’s difficulty scales with the players allowing them to pick from three different decks: easy, medium and hard. An easy vehicle may be an airplane but a hard building could be a Shinto Temple. This self-scaling makes it great for people who want a challenge building or are trying to stump a particular player. But it also can get weird because we’ve had some arguments at the kitchen table over exactly what something is – like the difference between a tractor and a riding lawn mower.

As a game you can play to any arbitrary number of points. You can make different cards worth different amounts, but the catch is the builder and the correct guesser get the points making everyone want to try. And the best thing is everyone knows how to build with LEGO.

There are plenty of different variants available for playing such as only letting people guess up to three times or putting a time limit on the building. Or if you’re feeling very adventurous, add in some bricks of your own.

That’s the one thing about this game that is somewhat odd. When you look at the decorations on the box, you see these amazing designs for some of the cards like a Tyrannosaurus Rex and a tractor, but they don’t show things like Stonehenge or a Mars rover.

At $35, it is a touch pricey especially considering around $30 will get you 650 bricks, but the assortment of bricks in this box are very impressive. The set includes a tray in the box to keep the pieces organized to allow easier finding or specific pieces but the tray is far too shallow for the box so if you move it, expect them to get mixed up.

But this game is just beautifully executed. The rules strongly encouraging house rules are well thought out for younger players but it’s a game anyone can enjoy. But with only 96 cards to build, I worry what will happen when I run out. Hopefully an expansion pack, preferably Medieval themed.

Pros:

It’s Pictionary but with LEGO

Great for a wide age of players, both old and young

Adorable LEGO die

Flexible rules

Cons:

Possibly too few cards and bricks

Price per brick

Tray gets disorganized when moved

Overall: 8/10