Mancidotes Game Review

Manicdotes Game Review

With Manicdotes, Michael Hanson has created a game that is easily learned, quickly played, and (best of all for a family my size) not limited to 4 or 5 players. I had the opportunity to play Manicdotes with my 3 oldest children (ages 9 to 13 as of now) and we all had a great time. It was certainly nice to play a game where no one got upset over losing. Everyone was grateful for a good time and eager to play again.  Take a minute to watch Michael’s video below and then continue on to the Manicdotes game review below.

Manicdotes Gameplay

The gameplay for Manicdotes is simple. On your turn, flip over a Story Starter card and announce it to the other players. Then draw a Words card and review the 5 words you see. You have 20 seconds to decide how you’re going to craft your story and then it’s game on!  Turnover the 90-second hour glass (included) and get to yapping. Once 90 seconds are up it’s time to score the turn.  Award 2, 3, or 4 points to the Storyteller for every word that the Guessers were collectively unable to detect (depends on player count).  But a Guesser earns 1 point for each word he or she guesses as well as a point for each word the Storyteller neglected to use. The winner is the player that collects more than 25 points after however many rounds are necessary. Or play until everyone has had their fill.

Manicdotes Game Review
Manicdotes Game Review

It really is that simple. The fun comes from how energetic and wily the Storytellers become. You will always score more points for each undetected word than you will for guessing correctly on another Storyteller’s turn. Storytellers need to craft their dialogue such that the guessers have a tough time picking out your words. You can add inflection to some words to throw off the guessers or make your story so zany that more than five words sound like fair game. That brings up a point of clarification:  the Guessers all write down their five words independently of one another and only five words. Choose wisely, Guessers.

Final Thoughts on Manicdotes

This review has been brief and for good reason. The game contents are minimalistic and the gameplay is straightforward.

  1. 90 Second Sand Timer
  2. 150 Word Cards
  3. 30 Story Starter Cards
  4. 6 Writing Pads
  5. Pencils
Manicdotes game review
Manicdotes Game Review

You could even make the argument that items 2 and 3 are all you really need since you could use kitchen timers or smartphones in lieu of the timer and who doesn’t keep pencils and paper handy? But it’s a nice touch that they’re included as it makes grabbing the game to bring to a barbecue pretty handy. And that’s exactly what you should do with Manicdotes. It is a great game for “non-gamers” in the same way as something like Mad Gad and Cranium are. You can use it as a relaxing break between longer games. Play Manicdotes with children (if they can read, they’re old enough) on rainy afternoons. Include it in your lineup with drinks and friends. Use it as a portal game to introduce to friends who are interested in playing board games but don’t know where to start.

The important part is to just play Manicdotes! It should be in your collection. For less than the cost of a night at the movies or a decent bottle of bourbon, you could own a game that is versatile enough to include during just about any game night.

Find Manicdotes on Amazon and at as well as on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @manicdotesthegame.

A review copy of Manicdotes was provided by the publisher.

Author: Patrick

Journeyman. Melancholiac. Stoic. A rebel and a runner. I think chocolate and caffeine are over-celebrated and I believe hot sauce pairs nicely with ice cream.

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