The top two complaints from the kids in the Three Time Daddy household have got to be I’m hungry! and I’m bored!
The latter is the most frustrating because NJ and Roo have countless books, games, pens and paints to keep them entertained for years. So when we were asked to give the game Randomise a go, I thought it sounded a bit different (think a mash-up of Pictionary, Charades and Articulate) and the perfect solution for keeping boredom at bay.
What’s it all about?
The premise of Randomise is that you become something ridiculous and must help your teammates guess what you are by describing, drawing or acting. You need at least 4 players – 2 teams of 2.
The rules are simple. You pick a card from three piles marked A, B and C.
A – describes you, such as happy, angry, scared
B – tells you what you are, such as cow, wasp, Santa
C – says what you are doing, like juggling, skipping, bouncing a ball
The opposing team will then choose three random numbers from 1 to 3 (e.g. 2,1,3). You match the numbers to the cards and this gives you your identity. So, you could be a Female Squirrel Playing the Piano or a Cool Witch Flying a Kite – there are countless possibilities.
You then have a certain amount of time to act, draw or describe your identity and you get a point for each card your teammates get correct. There is also the option of easy or hard mode too, with more points up for grabs if you go for the harder identities (Good luck with a Royal Maggot Playing the Bagpipes).
If your team doesn’t guess your full identity, the opposing team has the chance to steal the points. The first team to get to 30 points is crowned the winner.
How did we get on?
Acting – Turns out to be the hardest option, but easily the most entertaining and fun. Maybe it’s because we seemed to spend more time laughing than guessing, but found the 60 second time limit just vanished. As you can get up, crawl around or flap your arms about it is much more active than a traditional card game. If you fancy a nice sit down with a cup of tea, you’re better off going with a different option.
Drawing – This pushed our (mainly mine) creative skills to the limit as we had 90 seconds to draw our identity. If you’ve ever been puzzled by the pictures your kids have brought home from school, you’re in for more of the same. And be prepared for their drawings to be better than yours.
Describing – Funnily enough, I had been looking for games that helped my kids to expand their vocabulary so this fitted in perfectly. We found ourselves mainly picking the other two options though because they made us laugh more. We only had 30 seconds to describe the identity without saying any of the words or using rhyming words.
What did we think of Randomise?
Things I ask myself when considering playing a game with the kids:
1. Will it give them the chance to be creative?
Randomise is creative, both physically and mentally, so gets a big tick. A nice touch is that some blank cards are included so you can add your own words ready for randomising.
2. Will I have to spend two hours explaining the rules?
No, thankfully. The game is incredibly easy to pick up and to be honest, you don’t even need to follow the scoring to enjoy it. There is plenty of variety involved as it is but there are also a few alternative ways to play it – such as the ‘Speed Demons’ mode where the times are halved or the ‘Variety Show’ mode where you have to use a different method of communication than used before.
3. Will it leave thousands of bits all over the house that will inevitably get lost?
Nope, the game is played with just normal-sized playing cards and they come in a nice sturdy and compact box so there is no excuse for losing them. It’s also the perfect size for travelling too.
4. Will it be too hard and make one of them cry with a) frustration b) anger or c) disappointment?
As already mentioned the game is very easy to pick up and play. It is aimed at those aged 8 and over and I guess this is largely down to the obvious advantages of kids being able to read their own cards. Roo (aged 4) enjoyed playing but we made little tweaks (relaxed time limit, hints from Mummy and Daddy) so she could feel fully involved. Kids will no doubt be more unforgiving and competitive as they get older, but the game is flexible enough for everyone. The important thing for us is that it got us playing together rather than staring at a screen.
Overall, we would definitely recommend Randomise to anyone looking for a fun game to play with the family. Randomise is currently available on Amazon here.