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Thinkblot is an original game by Mattel most comparable with Pictionary. It involves trying to find pictures of things (faces, body parts, cups of tea...) in a page of symmetrical ink patterns.
*How to play*
1. One player rolls the 10-sided die. There are 5 possible categories: clothes, food, people, creatures or anything.
2. Someone starts the timer and players attempt to spot shapes of objects (for example a pair of trousers if the clothes category was rolled) appropriate to the category amongst one or several of the blots and write them down: in the 'anything' roll, any objects can be noted down.
3. When the timer runs out each player goes through their list pointing out what they have found. If another player spotted the same object in the same blot, these players get 1 point each. If no other players have that object noted, the player must CONVINCE the other players that it exists and they must vote as to whether the person receives 2 points or not.
4. In an 'anything' round, players look at the back of the ink pattern for 'bonus' blots selected by the game makers as particularly good things to spot, and any players with these on their list get 2 bonus points for each.
5. Scores are tallied on the scoreboard and the first player to get to one end of the board and return wins.
1 Spiral binder with 70 blots and rules
1 Easel and 1 Clip
1 minute timer
6 Note pads
6 Scoring pegs
1 10-sided category die
Inkblot comes in an attractive yellow-orange box which is quite large and square. A black stand is supplied to hold up the hard-backed book of blots which is pretty simple to put together and holds up well though at a steep angle which is not ideal for getting 6 players around. There are a reasonable number of ink blots in the book for a few hours of game play (a usual game gets through about four or five pages), and after a time a imagine you would forget them anyway.
I find this game very enjoyable, as I like Pictionary, am artistic and enjoy lateral thinking. For those more traditional Scrabblers or Monopoliers, it may seem a little strange. My mum was in hysterics the first time we played, claiming that she couldn't see anything/pretended to see ridiculous things. My boyfriend on the other hand played earnestly along with me during our first game and also enjoyed trying to expand his mind to the possibilities in the patterns of ink blots. It is both enlightening and funny finding out what other people have seen. Sometimes answers can be rude (various body parts), ridiculous (spaghetti), and even reveal something about the players personality, it seems (angry people).
The game can be quite challenging, and (like in Boggle) sometimes you will spot very few things. The patterns involve lines, blobs and outlines which are usually flexible enough to throw up an interesting array of interpretations. The timer is a little short to get full enjoyment from each round, so we sometimes double it over. The category rolls (especially food and clothes) add nice variation to the game, but can be particularly difficult.
The idea of players having to consent to other players getting points can be frustrating for those who enjoy a competitive element.
The game is recommended for 2-6 players aged 12+, but I think younger children would enjoy the game as it is quite simple promotes imagination. I also think (like Boggle) it is a nice game to play solo just too stretch your mind.
This is a great game particularly for creative people. I can see the concept being used as a Brain Training exercise as I'm sure it must increase your lateral thinking and creativity (similar to the 'list as many uses of a brick' exercise). It is a lot of fun, non-competitive and sometimes humorous to boot!
Spiral binder with 75 ThinkBlot images & instructions