The Ultimate Guide to Playing Pictureka!

Updated January 31, 2022
playing Pictureka game

If you are looking for a family game of hide and seek that you can play around the table, then Pictureka! is your game. Enjoy this award-winning Belgian board game with your friends or family. Get the deets on how to play Pictureka! with simple instructions and set-up.

Family and Party Fun: How to Play Pictureka!

The game encourages the players to be observant and keep thinking. Players have to quickly scan small pictures across the board looking for a specific picture. Even non-playing spectators of all ages will enjoy the excitement of the game as players challenge each other to find objects on the game board. The game is equally fun for two younger players as it is for nine players.

Hasbro recommends the game for kids as young as six and adults of all ages. The hide and seek aspect of the game makes it fun for the younger players, while the older players may enjoy the game's competitive nature. This broad range of players' ages makes this a great game for a family gathering or a game party.

Game Pieces

The game includes:

  • A game board that is assembled from nine, two-sided game tiles
  • 100 cards in three colors - red, blue, and green
  • A six-sided die and a colored die
  • Timer
  • Game instructions
  • Four game instruction reference cards

Easy Set-Up of Pictureka!

This is a straightforward game to learn and set up. There are not a lot of instructions or game pieces. You can unpack the game and be up and playing in less than five minutes.

  • Arrange nine double-sided squares into a three-by-three grid. This is the game board.
  • Shuffle your three decks of colored cards and place them by the board.
  • Remove the dice and timer.

Playing the Game

One player is chosen to go first and starts the game by rolling the colored die. Each card color will correspond with a different type of mission. In all the games, you are up against the timer and the other players, so you must work quickly.

If You Roll a Blue Mission Card

Blue is for "Find It First." Your task is to find a specific image.

  1. Pick a card from the corresponding pile.
  2. The card you select will have a picture from one of the boards.
  3. All players then search to see who can find the image on the board first.
  4. Yell Pictureka if you find the image first!
  5. The winner gets to keep the card.

If You Roll a Red Mission Card

The red cards are "Outbid." Your goal is to find as many objects as possible that fit in a certain category.

  1. Before flipping a card over, each player bets on how many images they can find on the board that fit into the card's category.
  2. The person who bets the highest gets to flip the red card over and reads the category.
  3. The timer is flipped over, and the highest bidder tries to find as many objects as they can.
  4. If they can master the task, they get to keep the card.
  5. If you don't find enough, the card is out of play, and you must sacrifice one of your cards.

If You Roll a Green Mission Card

The green card is "Personal." Your goal is to find as many objects as you rolled on the die that fit in a certain category.

  1. Read your goal on the green card.
  2. Roll the numbered die.
  3. Set the timer and try to find as many objects as you rolled on the die that fit your card's instructions.
  4. If you succeed, you get to keep the card.
  5. If time runs out and you don't get enough, the card is taken out of play.

The Action Symbols

To add to the game's fun, some cards have actions symbols on the back of them.

  • The arrow pointing in both directions means you need to switch out the location of two tiles on the board.
  • The 3D curved arrow means you need to flip a tile over.
  • The three-quarter circular arrow means you need to rotate a tile.

The Goal of Pictureka!

The object of the game is to collect six cards. The game is relatively quick to play. The game takes about 20 to 30 minutes to play with four players. Players can decide to shorten the game's length before they start playing by only requiring the winner to collect four cards. Players can extend the game's length by deciding that the object is to collect nine or twelve cards.

Pictureka!: An Award-Winning Belgian Design

The game was designed in 2006 by Belgian game designer Arne Lauwers, who has been designing games since 2002. His company, Lauwers Games, licensed Pictureka! to Hasbro, which is now publishing this wildly popular game.

Pictureka! has received several notable international game awards, including:

  • "Game of the Year" in Australia (2008), France (2008), and the Russian Federation (2007)
  • "Miglior Concept Artistico" (Best Artistic Concept), Lucca - Italy (2006)
  • "Game of the Year" nomination for the 2009 TOTY (Toy of the Year), New York

Game Reviews

Many people noted this game was a great to play with younger children, but some adults and older children may get bored playing. Board Game Geek compiled around 1,277 user ratings of the game, and Pictureka scored a middle-of-the-road 5.4. Wired noted that they really enjoyed the game, and the only issue they had with it was the difficulty with card storage they encountered.

Pros

  • Easy for children to play and understand.
  • Can play with just two people.
  • Several game options to play with just one set of game pieces.
  • Great to play in large groups.

Cons

  • Adults and older children may grow tired of playing games that are so similar.
  • Many people may find it to be too easy.
  • Many people noted it became repetitive over time.
  • Some were confused by the card objectives.

Hazards for Small Children

The game should be kept away from children due to potential choking hazards. The game contains small dice and a timer that can become a choking hazard. Therefore, you should keep these small parts away from children.

Where to Buy

Pictureka is available to purchase online as well as at toy stores.

  • eBay sells this game for around $20.
  • Many local Targets and Walmarts may also carry this game.

Enjoying the Game

This versatile game is great to play with young children and adults alike. It is relatively inexpensive, and four different games can be played using the same game pieces. Be mindful if you play with very young children, as some game pieces are a choking hazard. Whether you are playing with two or nine people, chances are you will have a great time.

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The Ultimate Guide to Playing Pictureka!