Format Games’ Toodles is a bit like Charades, but instead of acting out the hidden word/phrase, the teams have to draw the hidden word/phrase. Sound familiar? Not so fast! Instead of one player drawing, two members of the team have to draw with a single marker that they both control. Sound easy? They have to draw without directing each other and within 30 seconds!
What’s in the box?
Toodles comes with two drawing pads; two markers; two Toodle Wands; two Double Draw-ers; a pen holder; three sets of Toodle Task cards (each card has six task options); the Toodle-O-Meter; a 30-second timer; and a die. The instruction booklet includes a QR code that takes you to the game demo.
How to play Format Games’ Toodles Game:
Each team gets a drawing pad, which is really a white board. The Toodle markers (really nice markers with erasers on the caps) then have to be assembled into the Double Draw-ers. There are two cross-pieces, which are color-coded to indicate level of difficulty – red for hard; yellow for easy and medium – but you could also have each team pick a color. Remove the pen caps, slot them into the cross pieces, then stand the marker up in the pen holder. Set the Toodle Task cards, Toodle Wands, Toodle-O-Meter; timer, and die on the table and you’re ready to go. TOP TIP: Between rounds, clean the boards thoroughly with a damp cloth or white board cleaner. The ink can build up quickly, especially over ten rounds of play.
The game is played in rounds, ten rounds to a game. In each round, on their turn, each team chooses which level of difficulty they’re going to attempt. This is important, because the points are awarded based on level of difficulty, so you’ll earn more points for medium or hard tasks than you will for the easy ones. Each team has to have a minimum of three players, because you need two to Toodle and at least one to guess. The Toodlers choose a task from whichever deck they’re attempting. TOP TIP: If you’re playing with littles, start with the easy deck to give them a chance to learn how to play on a relatively simple task.
When the task card has been chosen, the die is cast to determine which of the six tasks the Toodlers have to draw, and the timer is flipped. Each Toodler picks up a wand and then the fun really begins. The Toodlers have to use their Toodle Wands to pick up the pen to start drawing. Working together, they have to fit the Toodle Wand into the very loose slot and work together to find the right pressure to control the marker. Then, without any prior collaboration or discussion about how they’re going to draw their task, the Toodlers have to draw the task well enough that their guessing teammate can figure out what they’re drawing. In the meantime, the other team uses their drawing pad to record their guesses. This is not a silent game; the Toodlers can speak, but they can’t help the guesser or direct each other. The opposing team, though, should not guess out loud. If they do, the guesser from the drawing team can take their guess. If there are more than three players on a team, all of the non-Toodling teammates can try to guess the task.
Each round ends when the guesser shouts out the correct answer or when the 30-second timer runs out. At the end of the 30 seconds, if the guesser hasn’t guessed the task, the opposing team reveals their guesses and, if they’ve gotten it right, they get 1 point regardless of difficulty. If the drawing team’s guesser gets the right answer, they get 1 point for an easy task; 2 points for a medium task; and 3 points for a hard task. Then, it’s the other team’s turn to Toodle.
How to Win Format Games’ Toodles Game:
After each team has played ten rounds, the points are added up and the team with the highest score wins. You may be wondering about the math. If there are only three people playing and each team needs at least three people, who are they playing against? That’s where the Toodle-O-Meter comes in. If you only have three people playing, the ten rounds are played as if you were playing against another team (you have to decide between rounds who will draw and guess for each round), but instead of matching your final score against the other team, you check the Toodle-O-Meter to see how well you did.
Format Games’ Toodles requires a minimum of three players (max of ten) with a minimum recommended age of 8, and each game takes 15-20 minutes. If your littles are particularly competitive, I recommend pairing them with older players until they get the hang of it, to avoid squabbles about control over the doodlers. This is not a game about communication, so that’s not necessarily a required skill, but having someone with less of a stake in the game, so to speak, will help ease the tension for the more competitive players on the teams. TOP TIP: If your littles want to play, maybe let them practice for a few rounds before starting the game.