Kulkmann's G@mebox - www.boardgame.de

Palm Reader

[Palm Reader]

Jonathan Bittner, Andrew Setodal

Sit Down!

No. of Players:



G@mebox author Lutz Wildt writes about the game:

We all know some classic children or family games that don't need much material, but that are still - or maybe just because of the lack of material - a lot of fun. They are quickly explained, and you can play them cross-generational. For some games it is enough to whisper a single word from ear to ear and wait what word creation comes out at the end of the round. Of course, I am talking here about the children's game Telephone! And it is in the nature of things that it is most fun when the word that is sent out changes from ear to ear and becomes something totally different. Telestrations has further developed that principle. With that game, instead of only whispering a word, we are asked to alternately draw and write-down the word or sentence, whereby a player only sees the previous step (drawing or text) as a hint. Actually one piece of paper and a pen is sufficient for a nice game round. So why the hell do we need all that boardgames with tons of cards, small game pieces and huge boards? Well, because it is cool and it is varied. And with more game material you can also modify simple games to make them new and modern again. So let's talk about Palm Reader from SIT DOWN! now:

[Palm Reader]

Click on image to enlarge!

No worries! We remain in the simple game category. And like in Telestrations you have to draw in Palm Reader, too. But there are neither pencils nor paper. There are also no words to whisper and pass on. Instead, the name of the game says it all: it is the hand - or more precise - the palm that is written on and has to be read. Luckily, this is done with a finger and not with a pen, otherwise you would have to wash your hands quite often and would still end up the game with a smeared hand. In the game box we find some other game materials, that is many cards with different shapes and symbols, five of them are shown on each card, and a dice with a small cardboard dice cup.

[Palm Reader]

Click on image to enlarge!

Palm Reader is played quite similar to Telephone. But the starting player of a round does not whisper a word into the ear of another player. Instead, he draws a card, rolls the die (hidden from the other players), and draws the shape matching the die result in the palm of the next player. The drawing is done hidden from the other players, so it's just the feeling that counts. It's the players' task to identify the shape that is drawn on their palm, and to pass that shape to the next player's palm again. At the end of a round the card is revealed, and - at a command - all players use a finger to show the number of the shape (as given on the card) they have identified. Victory points are scored for the number of correct answers beginning by the player left to the starting player and ending by the player with the first wrong guess. Following the same structure, the game continues with a new starting player until 10 rounds are played. Since Palm Reader is a cooperative game, all victory points are added up. The comparison with a scoring table tells us how successful we have played.

[Palm Reader]

Click on image to enlarge!

I had a lot of fun playing Palm Reader with different gaming groups! Regardless of the age of the players, everyone was captivated and liked the drawing and especially guessing of other person's drawings in their palm. And to guess right is not as easy as you might think. Try it! Even with simple shapes like an easy combination of lines and dots you will easily fail. Every now and then you think a drawn point is a line or vice versa. To make it even more difficult, the shapes on the cards are often very similar, so before making your decision at the end of the round you better think twice if a detail of the drawing on your palm was really a straight line with a point or a curve with two points.

A few more words concerning the level of difficulty: There are four different types of cards with very simple shapes for the beginners and ending up with expert cards with complex shapes that are extremely hard to distinguish. On the one hand this means that even for experienced players the fun of playing will not end so quickly. On the other hand, the different levels of difficulty make it very easy to adapt the game to the age of the players. After all, only small drawings fit into a small hand.

In my opinion Palm Reader is - despite its simplicity - a strong family game. But likewise it can also be the icing on the cake to a long gaming night. In a manner of speaking a new classic! I will continue to train my dexterity on a regular basis, so I hope to master the one or other expert card soon. So get up for a new round of Palm Reader!      

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