LEGO has a long, if somewhat sporadic history in board gaming. I distinctly remember playing a LEGO board game back in the 1980s, where you built up animals from bricks as you played along – if anyone recalls the name of that game, I’d appreciate a note in the comments. In 2009 TLG consolidated these efforts under the LEGO Games theme, which has been flourishing ever since. I have had the pleasure of playing several of these games. Our latest acquisition is 3844 Creationary, a sort of Pictionary in LEGO.
Creationary was part of the original LEGO Games launch troupe in 2009. It comes with 338 pieces of various colors, shapes and sizes. In addition to normal and special bricks, these include the LEGO Games dice, partially brick-built as usual, two figures (one mini and one micro) and a host of game cards in three levels of difficulty. The setup is very simple. There is no game board, nor is one built – Creationary revolves around the dice, the cards, the included brick container and the things players build and tear apart.
There are some variations, but the basics are very straightforward: Players take turns in throwing the dice, which decides the building theme (nature, vehicles, buildings or items), and choosing one card from the three difficulty stacks. Every card portrays four subjects, one for each theme, and the player must then build the likeness of the one in the appointed theme. Others try to guess the subject and when they do, the builder and the guesser both receive points. If nobody guesses right, no points are awarded. Either way, the turn then moves to the next player. Point or time limit settles the winner.
Note: You can click the images for larger versions.
The game is a hoot and a half. Initially I was concerned that building LEGO (as opposed to sketching in Pictionary) would increase the lead time before guessing can start. Not so. The known theme allows other players to start guessing immediately, which turns out to be a big part of the fun. It really adds to the atmosphere when you build and others are constantly commenting on the building process and what your MOC looks like, certainly a novel LEGO building experience that. If at times somebody gets it right after just one or two bricks, so be it – it is far preferable to silent moments where one builds and others wait.
Aside from the occasional laugh when a single white 2×4 is correctly guessed to be a husky sleigh, most of the time it will still take a completed design before players start getting close with their answers. Even then we have chosen to allow moving the design to show its function, because it is not all that easy to portray, say, a squirrel with the reasonable, but still very limited brick selection at hand. Peeron has the complete parts inventory, if you want to give the squirrel (or the husky sleigh) a try…