Designer: Ludovic Gimet
Artist: Claus Stephan
Publisher: Pegasus Spiele
Year Published: 2019
No. of Players: 3–6
Playing Time: 15–30 Minutes
Main mechanic / Theme: Drawing / Party Games
Giving air quotes a whole new meaning.
Find more info on BoardGameGeek.com
Pantomiming and drawing for others to guess goes back a long time. NObjects takes the simple game of drawing pictures for other people to guess and gives it twist.
NObjects is a competitive and cooperative game, you must work with others to improve your own score. Players take turns drawing a picture for everyone else to guess, the person who guesses correctly first scores a point along with the artist. And here is the twist—when drawing your masterpiece, you use your finger on the tabletop. No paper, no pencils, and preferably no salt scattered on the surface before starting.
It gets harder as you advance through 3 skill levels as you get closer to winning. The required creativity of both the artist and their connoisseurs leads to some interesting guesses of the invisible sketch.
Gameplay and mechanics
There are 120 concept cards divided into the three categories of difficulty: green, yellow, and red. Each deck is shuffled and placed face-down on the table, separately, to keep the objects to be drawn hidden until your table’s Van Gogh takes their turn.
Place the single die within easy reach.
After we started, we found it was helpful to move the decks and the dice to the side to give the person drawing their wonderful creation more room to work. This also made it easier for others to “see” the drawing.
On your turn draw a card from the appropriate skill level based on your score. You only need 6 points to win the game so if you have 0 (zero) or 1 point, draw from the green deck. When your score is 2, 3, or 4, draw a yellow card. When you have 5, you’re drawing a red one.
Each card contains 6 items. Roll the die and get ready to draw that item.
As you draw, it’s a free-for-all for everyone else as they guess what it is. There are a few rules to limit how you interact with your audience, like no talking, gesturing, or pantomiming.
NObjects can be played with or without a timer. The timer can be used to give a limit from the beginning or added to later rounds. We played without one and used the rule of ending the round when someone guessed the correct answer, or everyone decided to pass.
When the right response is given, the drawer and the guesser both earn a point. Points are tracked by collecting cards. The artist keeps the card they were depicting, and the guesser places a card from the draw pile to show their point. You don’t even need paper and pencil to track your score.
If everyone passes on the drawing, the card is discarded.
The next person is now up to the easel with their magic-finger marker.
NObjects gets everyone involved from beginning to end. You aren’t waiting for your turn before you can be engaged in figuring out what someone else is drawing. Like most guessing games I’ve played, some strange comments came up which led to some good laughter.
NObjects is a good cabin or travel game. All you need is a smooth enough surface that won’t give you a splinter.
After we finished a couple of rounds of NObjects, everyone started loosening up. At first there was a level of dread about drawing stick figures, which it turns out work very well in this game. As the difficulty of the drawings increased, the wilder the guessing became. This is when everyone started seeing the fun beyond the “work of drawing.”
Since you can’t draw numbers or letters, we found what usually worked better was starting with a larger concept and then homing in on the object of desire by narrowing in from the larger picture. One of the red list items we ran into this worked for was “Caterpillar.” We were brought from a flower, to the stem, to the bug on the stem.
Players Who Like the following will enjoy NObjects.
- Group activity games
- Guessing games
About the Author
Daniel Yocom does geeky things at night because his day job won't let him. This dates back to the 1960s through games, books, movies, and stranger things better shared in small groups. He's written hundreds of articles about these topics for his own blog, other websites, and magazines after extensive research along with short stories. His research includes attending conventions, sharing on panels and presentations, and road-tripping with his wife. Join him at guildmastergaming.blogspot.com.