This look at Jun-ichi Shinde's Stamp Graffiti, published by Uzumaki Switch, is the 7th in my series of Tokyo Game Market mini reviews. (Please check out the bottom of this post for a list of my previous TGM mini reviews.) I attempted to buy this game, along with ChagaChaga Games' Catalogue, at Osaka Game Market this past spring, but both were sold out shortly after doors opened there. I was lucky enough to get reservations for both games submitted this time, so I knew that as long as I got to their booth before the reservation deadline, I'd be able to take these games home! I was surprised to see the line to their booth stretch all the way outside the building!
But I wanted my games, so I waited and eventually made it to the front!
SUCCESS! Everyone at the ChagaChaga Games booth was extremely nice, and it was a pleasure to meet Junichi Shinde after chatting with him about Stamp Graffiti a couple of times here on BGG.
After getting the games home, I had to check everything out.
The components in the box are all nicely made and appear to be extremely high quality. The stamp cards are fairly standard with a good thickness and a linen finish, and lots of them are included.
Stamp Graffiti comes with two white boards, a large (A5) sized one and a mini one the size of a standard playing card. The large one is used to draw the picture that the other players try to guess, while the mini one is used to write the word being drawn. Also included are a dry erase marker with cleaner, a die, a stand for the small whiteboard, and lots of big, chunky, clear and blue gems for keeping track of the score. These components look like they will all work well for what's needed for playing the game.
Additionally, the box contains rule books in Japanese, French and English! Though the rules could be fairly easily understood without English instructions, it is a wonderful bonus to have them available. I also received Special Cards No. 02, 03, and 04 with my TGM purchase.
I'm not sure what Special Card No. 01 is, but I hope to be able to add it to my stamp card deck in the future. Was it an exclusive card at OGM maybe?
In a normal game, the player(s) who will attempt to guess what is being drawn will be given the category of the drawing to assist in their guessing. For example, if the word being drawn is ELEPHANT, they will be told that the category is ANIMAL. The artist is allowed to pick any word that they want to draw within that category and write it on the mini whiteboard for reference. There is also a question card which comes with in the box to get you started if you can't think of good ideas the first time you play.
I also spent an extra ￥300 (about $3) on a stack of mini question cards being sold at TGM which I think was a good investment. Each question card comes with a basic and a difficult option for each of the 6 categories.
I felt like these would be good to have around for use when people aren't feeling creative, or for using in my classes. Since I first saw it listed on the OGM blog, I thought Stamp Graffiti could be both a fun party game, which my game group tends to enjoy, as well as an interesting addition to my library of games for use in my JHS English classes. It's listed for 3-5 players ages 8+, with a play time of 15-30min. This seemed about right for a classroom game. We tend to break into groups to play, so I felt confident that I could make it work.
I tried it out for the first time today when we had an extra 20min available at the end of class. Overall, it went well, and it also showed me some hiccups that I need to work out before I attempt to play it again in a future class. (Just as an aside, there are very strict rules about posting photos of students on the internet without parents' permission, so unfortunately I won't be able to include a photo of us actually playing the game in this review.) I broke the class up into 4 teams of 4 students each. Each team would send an artist to the blackboard and each artist would get 3 stamp cards. They would take turns picking a word from a randomly drawn question card to attempt to draw. Then, in team order, they could "play" one of their stamp cards and add to the drawing to try to get their team to guess the correct answer.
Everything was going fairly smoothly since the question cards have English and Japanese text on them. I told them that if their team could guess the word in Japanese they would get 1pt, but a correct guess in English would receive 2pts. They seemed to enjoy that challenge. Then a group of 13-14 year-old boy artists drew the question card I photographed above. Here it is again, a little easier to examine:
Can you guess which word they attempted to draw? Of course you can! One of the artists had the stamp card titled "The Earth" which lets them draw 2 perfect circles...and that's exactly how he started things. It only went downhill from there. Luckily, after one guess of "eyeglasses" a girl on the next team correctly guessed the word and ended the round before things could get too silly.
I think now that the students understand the rules, Stamp Graffiti will make a nice addition (with some minor tweaks and possibly a few card removals) to the English games we can play when there's free time available. After seeing the game in action, I also really believe that my game group will enjoy it. It simplifies things for those of us (myself definitely included) who are not great artists, which adds a unique element to distinguish it from other drawing games. I'm very happy that I was able to pick this up at TGM, and I look forward to future releases from Shinde-san, Uzumaki Switch, and ChagaChaga Games!
Previous TGM mini game reviews:
November 19th - TGM Mini Review: Flakes of Ice
November 20th - TGM Mini Review: Flip 9
November 21st - TGM Mini Review: Rolling Japan
November 22nd - TGM Mini Review: Flat Cube
November 23rd - TGM Mini Review: Sheep & Thief
November 26th - TGM Mini Review: Doggy GO!