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DoodleMash Kickstarter Preview

Quick Look: DoodleMash

Designer: Jake Bussie & Lindsey Bussie
Artist: Jake Bussie
Publisher: Self-Published
Year Published: 2018
No. of Players: 3+
Ages: 8+
Playing Time: 30-45 min.

From the publisher:

DoodleMash is a really fun party game for any occasion. What do you get when you cross a giraffe, praying mantis, and a penguin? A Manffeguin? How about when you cross a baboon with a bee and a spider? A Beeboonder? An eagle, snail, bear? Lion, moose, bird? You get DoodleMash! The combinations are endless with this one of a kind game that matches imagination with doodling to create some of the funniest, wildest creatures you could ever dream of! From art rooms to living room, or boardrooms to board game pubs. Doodlemash doesn't disappoint.

Each round every player will draw a token that has 3 random numbers on it. The numbers will correspond to animal cards dealt on the board. The players will then have 60 seconds (or less) to mash up the 3 animals into 1. After the timer is up, players exchange drawings and try to guess which numbers the other player has based on the drawing. Landing on an "X" on the board will draw a sketchy card which changes how the other players must draw. From non-dominant hand to blind draw, sketchy cards always draw a laugh.

First one across the finish wins.

Find more info on BoardGameGeek.com

WARNING: This is a preview of DoodleMash. All components and rules are prototype and subject to change.  DoodleMash is expected to launch on Kickstarter on November 5, 2018.


Overview and Theme:
DoodleMash is a light party game centered on drawing animals--not just one animal at a time, but three animals mashed up together into one new animal!

Components and Setup:
My prototype copy of DoodleMash contained a square game board, 42 Animal Cards, 6 Sketchy Cards, a token bag with 20 tokens, 4 "gameframes" (holders for your self-created pawns), and a drawing pad and pencils. I was impressed with the quality of prototype components and always feel it's a good sign when a designer takes the time to make their prototype as good as can be.

Setup is quick and easy--shuffle the two types of cards and put each deck on one corner of the board.  Decide if you're playing in teams or as individuals, and draw your own characters to slip into the standee "gameframes." (If you draw a character you particularly like, save it in the board for another game!)

For each round, you'll flip 6 of the Animal Cards face up in the center of the board and let each player draw a token from the bag. Everyone gets a piece of paper and a pencil, and you can choose whether to set a timer and if so, for how long. You're ready to play!

Game Play and Mechanics:
Each player has a token drawn from the bag, and on each token there are 3 numbers--signifying which of the 6 Animal Cards in the middle of the board you will need to mash up in your sketch.  Take a look at these animals so you know what you need to draw.

Start the timer (or just say "GO!") and everyone sketches their mash up, following a few simple rules--no more than one head per animal, and other attributes are limited to the highest number of that attribute that any one of your animals has. (For example, if you are mashing up a fish, a horse, and a spider, you can have up to 8 appendages--maybe 2 fins, 2 horse legs, and 4 spider legs. If you're mashing up a snake, a duck, and a sheep, then you can draw up to 4 appendages--maybe 2 webbed duck feet and 2 sheep legs.) Try to make your drawing as clear as possible so someone else would know which animals you were mashing up!

Let me take a moment to talk about TIME. We had several different responses to the game's lack of a timer and general suggestions for using one--some people felt this gave the game a feeling of more open-ended creativity, and others felt the game should come with a timer and specific rules about using it. The rule book suggests setting a timer for 2 minutes for new or younger players, and 1 minute for more experienced or older players. The game could include a 1 minute timer, to be flipped once if playing with younger players, and that would be convenient for folks who prefer to have a timer in the box.

We most often played with my immediate family, which is a little unbalanced in terms of drawing and gaming ability, and so we often decided to play without a timer, but for each player to announce when they were done (encouraging the rest of the players to finish up). This free-form style worked for us, and might work for you, too.

Once everyone has completed their drawings, it's time to score! The rules include team scoring and individual scoring, but both versions start with passing your drawing to another player, who will compare your drawing to the animal photos in the middle of the board and write down which numbered Animal Cards they thought you were mashing up. After everyone has decided, you reveal your choices one person at a time, and score a point for each correct answer that you wrote down as well as a point for each correct answer given on your drawing. Individuals or teams who guess perfectly AND receive a perfect guess (the person guessing about your drawing got all the animals right) will get a bonus point for a total of 7.

Pawns are moved around the board, with the goal of being the first to get to the finish. Along the way, you may land on the X spaces, which allow you to draw a Sketchy card. These Sketchy cards give different challenges to the other players (or teams) who are NOT on an X space for that round--things like drawing with your non-dominant hand or drawing in half the time.

The Sketchy cards add some interesting drama to the game, but we found that because they are evenly spaced out, every six spaces on the board, we rarely landed on them. 

We'd love to see more X spaces and have them unevenly distributed so that we are more likely to land there. The solution provided in the rule book ("Sketchy Scoring") gives you a different distribution for how many spaces you should move based on your score--but for teams doing well and scoring perfectly every round, you still won't ever land on an X, so there might be a better solution out there.

The first individual or team to cross the finish line wins--and there are suggestions in the rules for how to resolve ties with a sudden death round, too.

The Good:
DoodleMash is lots of fun to play.  Fans of other drawing games or party games will enjoy the lighthearted spirit and teamwork. It's a very interesting creative challenge to mash up three different animals in a way that will be recognizable--before your time runs out!

The illustrations on the box and rulebook are great--one of the creators is a tattoo artist, and you can see his creativity at work.

The Bad:
We'd like to see MORE so that we can play more games, longer games, and with even more variety.  We'd love to have more Animal cards in the deck so you have more options, more of Jake Bussie's artwork by putting it on the board as well as the box and rules, a longer path (or optional longer path) so the game doesn't end too quickly, as well as more X spaces so the Sketchy cards are used more often, and a timer included in the box for those who want it. More, more, more! 

That's a pretty good negative thing to say about a game, though. What's included in the DoodleMash prototype is a solid game that we enjoyed playing.

Players Who Like:
Players who enjoy drawing games and party games--like Pictionary, Cranium, Listen Up, or Scribblish--will enjoy DoodleMash.

Final Thoughts:
DoodleMash is a creative party game that is fun for families or larger groups, bringing a unique twist to drawing games by encouraging you to envision new types of animals with the mashed-up qualities of three other animals. Our sessions of DoodleMash were full of laughter and entertainment and it's a game we look forward to playing again. I wish the creators the best of luck on their upcoming Kickstarter!

Check out DoodleMash on:


DoodleMash is on KICKSTARTER now. Campaign ends December 10, 2018.

About the Author:

My name is Alexa: I'm a life-long game player and homeschooling mom to two awesome kids. I've loved board games since my early days playing Scrabble and Gin Rummy with my grandmother, and life only got more interesting when I married a Battletech enthusiast and fellow game lover. We've played games with our kids since they were small, and I helped start a thriving homeschool co-op where we have weekly sessions of board games with kids.  In a family with kids raised on Catan and Pandemic, life is sure to be fun! You may run into me on Twitter, BoardGameGeek, and other social media as MamaGames. Be sure to say hi!
DoodleMash Kickstarter Preview DoodleMash Kickstarter Preview Reviewed by MamaGames - Alexa C. on November 07, 2018 Rating: 5

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