Eat Poop You Cat: A silly, fun, and free party game
You wouldn't know it from the title, but Eat Poop You Cat (yes, that is the name it is known by), is a game that is the drawing equivalent of the game "Telephone."
What may start out as the caption "Karen reads a lot of books" can end up as "A man presenting a girl with a snowman for her birthday" once it has traveled down the line. It's silly, it's fun, it's absolutely free, and I would play it over Pictionary any day of the week.
If you are dead set on paying money for the game, the game has recently been published under the name Telestrations, but this is a public domain game you can easily make yourself. By the end of today's review you'll know how to play, have seen a sample round of drawings, and have a good feel for if this is the sort of game for you.
EPYC is a game that plays best with a large number of players: We played with nine, though I think the more that you can have, the better. Looking through our own drawings from our game, I think that nine players gives enough time that most every drawing is guaranteed to go through some sort of funny mutation. Our game took 40 minutes to create and play all the way through, though overall playtime will vary with number of players.
Each player needs a pack of papers with sheets equal to the number of people playing. On the first page of the pack, each player writes a phrase or sentence of their choosing. It can be anything, but it should be something that can at least be somewhat represented visually.
You could choose "The bear ran for president and lost" or "cats playing rock band on the wii" or even something as straightforward as "the ball bounces down the stairs."
Then, you hand your sentence to the player on your left, and they draw your sentence on the next page of the book. They finish that drawing and then pass it left so that the next player can only see the drawing that they just drew. That next player captions it and passes it so only the caption is visible to the next player.
Since you're also seeing one page, you have no idea what the item was originally. You may have been trying to draw a singing cowboy, but the person seeing your drawing might think that you were trying to draw Yankee Doodle.
We're going to take a look at "the ball bounces down the stairs" to see what happens over the course of a game. When the drawing got to me and I wrote my caption, I thought that it would probably make it all the way around without changing. Let's see if that happened [I told everyone the wrong number of sheets, so we just wrote our final caption on the last drawing]:
While an obviously fun thing about EYPC is seeing what things your drawing turns into, another great part about the game is when you get a really weird phrase in the middle of the game. You know that original captioner probably didn't start out with, "there's a vampire turning cats into vampire cats in the basement," so as the game goes on there's a building of excitement for the end when everything will be revealed.
The game works because it's silly fun. You don't have to be a good drawer to play, so for those that hate Pictionary: you don't have to worry about letting down your team if you're a bad drawer. In fact, this game is probably more fun if there's a bad drawer in the mix.
For me, EPYC takes all the fun elements of figuring out what artistic liberties your friends are taking in Pictionary while getting rid of the stress of it all.
Make no mistake though: To call this a "game" is certainly a huge stretch; this is really just an activity. There is no scoring to the game, and no one ends up a winner or a loser. Everyone presents their drawings, you all laugh, and you move onto the next thing.
The published version does add scoring that rewards how right you get the drawing, but that seems pretty silly since what really makes the game fun is what everyone gets wrong.
Mike Hulsebus is very much aware that he once railed on a game for not having winners or scoring. Call him a hypocrite at firstname.lastname@example.org.