Cartooner: The Fast & Furious Game of Drawing Comics, by Jason Bradley Thompson and Jumana Al Hashal and published by Japanime Games is a competative drawing/story telling game for 1-8 players, ages 12+ and takes between 30 and 60 minutes to play.
Cartooner is a new experience in drawing games, a game that combines storytelling and drawing. It is like "Once Upon a Time" plus "Pictionary", with story prompts that are inspired by popular and quirky comics themes and trends. While this is a game about drawing, it's not a game in which the best artist wins as your strategy and ability to adapt quickly matters much more. Points are awarded for strategy and following the rules, not artistic ability. However, if you are an artist, it is undeniable that Cartooner can be a great companion for you as well. A solo mode has been designed just for that.
The game plays out in four rounds that build up in intensity, and each round is five minutes long. Your goal is to get the most fame points at each round using a combination of your theme cards and the fleeting market trends that are valid only for one round. In the end, the player with the most fame wins…but every player walks away with a comic of their own creation.
Start by drawing three theme cards at random to determine what your comic will be about. Will your comic involve Dinosaurs, Secret Hideouts and Car Chases? Werewolves, Obnoxious Coworkers and The Desire to Be Famous? Or Pirates, Blobs and The Last Human on Earth? When time is up, follow these simple rules to score the game:
Rule 1: You get 1 Fame point for each Theme you express in your comic in a way the other players can recognize by drawing it or writing it in a word balloon.
Rule 2: You get 2 Fame for drawing something in every Panel, no matter how simple.
Rule 3: You get 2 more Fame for keeping it succinct by using three or fewer Word Balloons on the page. It's that easy.
Rounds two through four introduce an element of strategy: Trend Cards. Each Trend Card gives you new ways to earn Fame points for that round. Unlike Themes, which are personal, Trend Cards represent the market and affect every player in the game. Your fickle readers may want you to inject Superheroes, Funny Animals, Medical drama, Disaster stories, Mystery, Romance, or any one of 52 Trends into your story. It's every artist's dilemma: stick to your original story, or sell out for Fame?
Each round brings more Panels to draw and Trends to chase. Plus, each round has more Fame in play than the round before, so the outcome is up in the air until the very end.
When the final round ends, the winner is the one with the most Fame Tokens, but every player ends the game with their own comic.
With literally hundreds of thousands of possible combinations of story prompts, you'll never run out of ideas.