MonsDRAWsity Review, the Monster Drawing Party Game for up to eight players

MonsDRAWsity review

MonsDRAWsity has become one of our favourite party games.

The idea behind the game is that someone has just spotted a monster. They only caught a glimpse of it and now they have to describe it to the other players from memory. The other players are sketch artists who have to draw the monster that the first player is describing.

I was sold right there. As soon as I heard the premise, I knew this was a drawing game I had to own.

If you want to know more about this monster drawing game, read on.

Disclosure: This one comes from my own collection, no review copy here. Links in this post may be affiliate links. Using these costs you nothing but may earn us a small commission on eligible items. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

What is MonsDRAWsity?

The MonsDRAWsity box,

MonsDRAWsity comes from designer Eric Slauson and features artwork from a variety of different artists. It was originally released in 2020 and the version we own was published by Deep Water Games who have since changed their name to Friendly Skeleton

The version of MonsDrawsity I have is the original version. There is a second edition, called MonsDRAWsity Top Secret, that was originally released in 2022 as a Target Exclusive. The publisher also recently Kickstartered MonsDRAWsity Usual Suspects in collaboration with Shut Up and Sit Down. Plus there are several expansions and promos out there.

What’s important to know is that the basic gameplay is the same for all versions of MonsDRAWsity. What you read here applies to every version of the game.

This party game plays three to eight players, at least according to the box. I’ve seen some online games with many more people drawing. Each round of MonsDRAWsity only lasts 3-5 minutes with the full game length varying based on the player count and how long you want to play.

As for what age this game is for?, the box says 8, and the Board Game Geek community says 6. I would say the gameplay is simple enough for younger kids, but some of the artwork may be a bit too creepy for some kids.

MonsDRAWsity promotional image from the publisher

MonsDRAWsity is a monster drawing game. One player is the witness who has spotted a monster, which is represented by a card. The witness gets to stare at that card for a bit, but then they have to put it away and describe what they saw to the other players from memory. These players are sketch artists for D.R.A.W., or the Department of Recording Anomaly Witnesses. The sketch artists have two minutes to draw the monster as they ask the witness clarifying questions. Then everyone’s drawing is revealed and players vote to determine whose drawing best matches the monster card and points are awarded.

For a look at a sample monster card and the other components you get in this drawing party game, I invite you to take a look at my MonsDRAWsity unboxing video on YouTube

A look at the components that come in MonsDRAWsity

During that video, I make sure to only show off one monster card. That’s because I didn’t want to spoil anyone’s fun. One of the reasons that there are so many different versions and expansion packs for this game is that it works best if none of the players have any familiarity with the monsters they may see. 

What I did show off in the unboxing is the very clear rulebook, the dry-erase boards for the players, the dry-erase score tracker, the markers, and the box which does a good job of storing everything. The box is designed so that you can easily split the cards into ones you’ve played with before and the ones you haven’t. There’s also enough room that you can fit both of the expansions in the core game box.

The component quality in MonsDRAWsity is quite good for a party game. The card quality is excellent and the card art is fantastic, though it can get a bit creepy at times. The dry erase markers have been lasting pretty well, though the erasers aren’t the best. You will want to have some paper towels on hand.

One thing you don’t get in the box is any form of timer and you will need to set two different timers during each round.

How to play MonsDRAWsity

My MIL acting as the Witness in a game of MonsDRAWsity

You start a game of MonsDRAWsity by choosing who will be the first witness. The witness takes the deck of monster cards while everyone else grabs a dry erase board and a marker. 

The witness takes a monster card from the deck and then has twenty seconds to look at it and try to memorize as many features as they can. After this a new timer is set, this time for two minutes. Now the witness describes the monster they saw. Note this has to be completely verbal, the witness is not allowed to include any hand gestures or motions.

The other players, the sketch artists, will be doing their best to draw what the witness is describing. During this period they are also free to ask the witness any questions they wish, to help them with their drawings. While this is happening no one should be able to see what anyone else is drawing, including the witness who also cannot refer back to the monster card.

After the two-minute timer is up the artists all reveal their drawings. The witness notes down which drawing they think best matched the card they saw (again without checking the card, it has to be from their memory).

Then the monster card is revealed and the artists simultaneously vote for who they think best matched the card. The player or players with the most votes get a point.

Awarding points at the end of a round of MonsDRAWsity

The witness then reveals their pick, who is awarded one point. If they picked the same artist as the one with the most votes they are considered a credible witness and they get one point.

You then pass the deck of cards to the next player who becomes the next witness. According to the rules you are supposed to let every player be the witness twice. In practice though I’ve found some groups are happy just going around the table once, whereas others just keep playing round after round until someone is sick of playing.

The rulebook also includes a variant where the witness doesn’t start describing the monster. Instead, it’s set up like an interview where the artists have to ask the witness questions and the witness can only answer based on the questions asked. When using this variant, you get three minutes to draw and question instead of two. 

Finally, there are rules for playing MonsDRAWsity with younger kids which let the kids keep looking at the monster cards as they describe their monsters as well as suggesting that you make rounds longer to give more drawing time.

MonsDRAWsity has been a huge hit locally

MonsDRAWsity being played at a local bar.

I first heard about MonsDRAWsity during the 2021 GenCon Spring Showcase and as soon as I heard the gameplay described I knew I had to have this game.

One of the things I love about MonsDRAWsity is its simplicity. The game is very approachable. You can describe the core concept in seconds and right from that base description a perspective player will know right away if it’s their kind of game or not.

MonsDRAWsity boils down to one player describing a monster and everyone else trying to draw it, with points awarded for how close the drawings match the monster being described. It’s such a simple concept, and it plays out exactly as you expect it to.

Something I found fascinating, after many plays of MonsDRAWsity, is how much player experience can affect the game. First time witnesses don’t really know what to focus on. They don’t realize what’s best to memorize, what needs to be described and what doesn’t.

As you play, you quickly learn that some things are more important than others. For example, I’ve been there when first-time players describe the colours of the monster they saw.

Doing a very detailed drawing isn't always the best choice when playing MonsDRAWsity

The problem is that everyone is using black dry-erase markers on whiteboards, so colour doesn’t matter at all. Things like the number of limbs, what the monster’s face looks like, and body position are much more important to include in your descriptions.

At the same time, experience with MonsDRAWsity is also its biggest drawback. To have the most fun playing this drawing game, each round you should be using a brand new, never-before-seen, monster card. You never want to have a round where someone is like “Oh, I remember this monster!” or a witness describing the monster as “Remember the one that looks like a starfish? It’s that one.” 

Knowing what monsters you’ve used and which you haven’t is pretty easy when you just play with the same group all the time. The box insert is even designed to help track this. However, it can be a problem for someone, like myself, whose games get played at public play events and by a wide range of people.

Even just within our own family, my oldest daughter has played the game more than twice as often as I have and has seen way more of the monsters than I have.

A buff squid monster from MonsDRAWsity

Now there are a lot of versions of the game, plus various expansion packs, that do help with this problem. I’m personally tempted to split up my original game cards into an At Home deck and a Public Play deck, and so far I’ve kept the expansions I own at home to use just with our immediate family.

That said, it’s not the end of the world when a monster we’ve played with comes up again. There are enough similar features between the monsters it would be hard for everyone to know exactly what card has been drawn from a description. Plus there’s the fact that not many people are going to remember specific monsters, as long as there is some time between plays.

One thing that has come up while introducing MonsDRAWsity to new players is that some of the artwork in the base game is rather creepy and there are many insect-like creatures. This probably isn’t an issue for most groups but it’s worth checking for any phobias before playing. My youngest daughter ended up having nightmares after our first play based on some of the card art.

The expansions can help with this. We ended up picking up both the more kid-friendly MonsDRAWsity Robots and MonsDRAWsity Cute Creatures expansions, specifically for playing with Genevieve.

A set of three monster drawings from a game of MonsDRAWsity

Overall MonDRAWsity was exactly the hit I expected it to be. My kids love it, my gaming group loves it, and it’s been very popular at our local game nights. Even people who don’t generally like drawing games have enjoyed playing this one. I think part of this is that just getting across the gist of a monster, things like the pose, the general shape, number of limbs, etc. can work out better than having lots of perfect little details that may or may not perfectly match the cards. The more details the more chance some of them are wrong.

One interesting group that has taken to MonsDRAWsity are the local Dungeons & Dragons players, especially the DMs. I guess this makes sense since a part of being DM is describing monsters to the players. One local DM noted that this game is a fantastic way to practise and refine those monster description skills.

While MonsDRAWsity won’t win over folks who can’t stand drawing games, I think your average group of players will have fun with this game regardless of their hobby gaming experience. MonsDRAWsity has proven time and time again that it’s a great game for hobby gamers and casual gamers alike.

There you have my thoughts on the monster drawing party game MonsDRAWsity.

We’ve come a long way from Win, Lose or Draw. There are quite a few great drawing games out there now. A couple of my favourites are Telestrations and Pictomania. What’s your favourite drawing game? Tell us about it in the comments below!

  • “Imagine if Telestrations featured your most hilariously horrifying Freudian nightmares… I cried laughing” – Eric Lang
  • Those pesky monsters are at it again, and one of them’s been spotted nearby! As a paranormal investigator, it’s your job to sketch out this newest anomaly based on your witness’s description, but be careful they didn’t get a good look, and it’s up to you to fill in the blanks!
Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Got a gaming question?

Ask the Bellhop!

We’re here to answer your gaming and game night questions.

Hit the bell and send us a Q.

Ding the bell, Send us your questions!

Become a patron of the show and get behind the scenes updates, extra giveaway entries, bonus audio and more.

Looking for more gaming advice and reviews?

Sign up for our newsletter and don't miss a thing!

Looking For More Gaming Advice & Reviews?
Sign up for our Newsletter!

Looking For More
Gaming Advice & Reviews?
Sign up for our Newsletter!