Pictionary (DS)

Game review by
Christopher Healy, Common Sense Media
Pictionary (DS) Game Poster Image
Multiplayer is OK, but solo games are too hard to be fun.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 12+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

The game encourages creative thinking and gives kids a chance to exercise their artistic skills.

Positive Role Models & Representations

There are no characters to be role models in the game. The game itself encourages creative thinking and group play.

Ease of Play

The multiplayer format can be a bit clunky, in that you need to rely on team members closing their eyes while the drawer looks at his or her clue, but group play is still the best way to go here. The solo modes are incredibly difficult, especially the "quiz mode" which strikes you down after only one incorrect guess, even if that guess is 99 percent right.


This DS game is based on the popular Pictionary board game. A Wii version of the Pictionary game also exists.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

One of the hundreds of clues, which contestants may have to draw, is "chain smoker."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Pictionary (DS) can be a decent electronic version of the board game when played in groups. Solo play, even on "easy" level, can prove frustrating for kids as well as adults. Also be aware that one of the many possible clues that kids could be instructed to illustrate is "chain smoker."

User Reviews

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  • Kids say

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Kid, 11 years old January 20, 2011

wat i think:)

i think it iz a good game cuz u can b very creative and some wat educational. they only bad thing iz that it has some drinking drugs and smoking:(....
Teen, 14 years old Written bymama_4578 January 13, 2011
can we play any type of fun games on here

What's it about?

PICTIONARY (DS) is an electronic version of the classic Pictionary board game. Teams of players compete, having one member of a team sketch a picture of a certain clue while his or her teammates try to guess what that clue is. Multiplayer games here can be played in a pass-and-play format with just one DS, or by linking several DS units wirelessly (all units must have the Pictionary game card). Teams can play in classic or "mania" format, the latter introducing challenges like drawing with your off-hand, drawing without picking up the stylus, or drawing with only straight lines. There are also solo modes that only involve guessing the clues sketched by an "invisible artist." Guesses must be letter-for-letter precise, which makes the solo games incredibly difficult.

Is it any good?

If you have at least four people who are willing to play a board game on a handheld video game unit, then Pictionary (DS) could provide some fun. You just need to make sure that your teammates aren't peeking when you read the clue you're about to sketch. And then you have to make sure that everybody can see the small DS screen while you're drawing on the touchscreen with the stylus. It's clunky, but you can make it work. The solo modes offered here are just no fun, though. First of all, who wants to play Pictionary without getting to draw? But worse than that is how difficult it is to make a correct guess (even on the "easy" setting). The computer-made sketches are often hard to decipher, and even when you think you know what they are, you're probably wrong -- because you need to type in the answer exactly as the game understands it. So, for example, if you figure out that the sketch is a person eating sushi, and you type either "eating" or "sushi," you're still wrong, because the answer the game wants is "eat sushi." What you thought was "jump," turns out to be "leap." And so on. It's too frustrating.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about playing group video games together. Does playing together help improve family relationships and dynamics? Can video games really bring families together? Does a handheld game on a Nintendo DS stand a better, worse, or equal chance of doing so?

  • Do you like to draw and be artistic outside of a game like this? In what ways can you use your creativity around your house?

Game details

  • Platforms: Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi
  • Price: $29.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: THQ
  • Release date: November 21, 2010
  • Genre: Party
  • ESRB rating: E for Tobacco Reference
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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